Oculus VR » General https://www.oculus.com Oculus VR, a technology company revolutionizing the way people experience video games. Fri, 22 May 2015 19:01:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.2 Announcing Oculus Connect 2 and Mobile VR Jam Finalists https://www.oculus.com/blog/announcing-oculus-connect-2-and-mobile-vr-jam-finalists/ https://www.oculus.com/blog/announcing-oculus-connect-2-and-mobile-vr-jam-finalists/#comments Thu, 21 May 2015 13:35:59 +0000 http://www.oculus.com/?p=7756 Announcing Oculus Connect 2, Sept. 23-25 in Hollywood, CA

We’re excited to announce our second annual developer conference, Oculus Connect 2, where engineers, designers, and creatives from around the world come together to learn about the future of the Oculus platform and push virtual reality forward.

This year’s Connect will feature keynotes from Brendan Iribe, Michael Abrash, and John Carmack, plus everything developers need to know to launch on the Rift and Gear VR.

Oculus Connect 2 takes place Sept. 23-25, at the Loews Hollywood Hotel in Hollywood, CA. Applications to attend the event, along with a call for papers, will be available on the Oculus Connect website starting in June, and attendance confirmations will be sent out soon after.

carmckoc1 John Carmack, Oculus CTO, speaking at Oculus Connect last year

At last year’s inaugural Connect, nearly 1,000 developers attended engineering and design sessions, showcased their projects, connected with fellow developers, and experienced the Crescent Bay prototype for the first time.

As a result of the community’s incredible work, virtual reality is poised to transform gaming, storytelling, film, communication, and much more. We look forward to seeing you there!

Mobile VR Jam Finalists

Congratulations to the Finalists for the Mobile VR Jam! We’ve been blown away by the quality and quantity of content we received from members of the community. It’s clear that all of the participants dedicated a huge amount of time and energy to bringing their ideas to life. The competition has been fierce for the finalists, and it’s been tremendous to experience the amazing range of creativity.

VRJamFinalists

The 60+ games and apps that made it the the finalist round are ready for you to experience if you have a Gear VR Innovator Edition: just visit any finalist’s ChallengePost page on your phone and tap the “try it out” link to install and launch. And remember to vote for your favorites in the gallery to help us determine the winners of the $10,000 Community’s Choice awards!

– The Oculus team

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The Rift’s Recommended Spec, PC SDK 0.6 Released, and Mobile VR Jam Voting https://www.oculus.com/blog/the-rifts-recommended-spec-pc-sdk-0-6-released-and-mobile-vr-jam-voting/ https://www.oculus.com/blog/the-rifts-recommended-spec-pc-sdk-0-6-released-and-mobile-vr-jam-voting/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 15:35:15 +0000 http://www.oculus.com/?p=7633 The Rift’s Recommended Spec

Presence is the first level of magic for great VR experiences: the unmistakable feeling that you’ve been teleported somewhere new. Comfortable, sustained presence requires a combination of the proper VR hardware, the right content, and an appropriate system.

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For the full Rift experience, we recommend the following system:

  • NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
  • Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • 8GB+ RAM
  • Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Windows 7 SP1 or newer

The goal is for all Rift games and applications to deliver a great experience on this configuration. Ultimately, we believe this will be fundamental to VR’s success, as developers can optimize and tune their game for a known specification, consistently achieving presence and simplifying development.

All of the games and applications for the Rift created by Oculus will provide an incredible experience on this system.

Binstock, Oculus chief architect, wrote a detailed technical post outlining the recommended system specification and the reasoning behind it, along with more Rift details, here: “Powering the Rift”.

Oculus PC SDK 0.6.0 Released

The Oculus PC SDK 0.6.0 is now available on the Oculus Developer Center. You can download it here.

0.6.0 includes the following major changes:

  • Compositor service
  • Layers
  • Removal of application-based distortion rendering
  • Simplification of the API

The compositor service moves distortion rendering from the application to the OVRServer process. This is an architectural change that enables features like layers and other performance and quality improvements in the future.

Layer support allows an application to send multiple independent render targets to the compositor. For example, you might render the heads-up display, background, and game space each to their own separate layer. Each layer can have a different size, resolution, and update rate, which can be used to improve performance and rendering quality, particularly around text.

The API simplification is a major step toward v1.0 including removing support for application-based distortion rendering.

You can read the full release notes for 0.6.0 here.

Mobile VR Jam 2015 – Community Voting Now Open

Over the last month, hundreds of teams from around the world have dedicated themselves to bringing their virtual reality ideas to life for the Mobile VR Jam 2015. On Monday, over 300 teams submitted their final build for Milestone 4. Now, these VR Jam games, applications, and experiences are ready for community voting!

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If you have a Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition, you can visit the ChallengePost submission pages, download the builds, and experience them for yourself. Let us know what you think by voting on your favorites!

If you’re interested in learning how to register to vote on ChallengePost, or next steps for VR Jam 2015, you can check out the latest update here.

Oculus Dev Blog – Squeezing Performance Out of Your Unity Gear VR Game

Chris Pruett, Oculus partner relations engineer, discusses methods for optimizing game performance on Gear VR in his post, “Squeezing Performance out of your Unity Gear VR Game”.

kitchen-smallblogA sample frame from Unity with about 30,000 polygons and requires 40 draw calls

In part 1, Chris covers details of Gear VR, the runtime environment, and rendering techniques to improve performance. Part 2 will discuss how to go about debugging real-world performance problems.

More news to come in the run-up to E3.

– The Oculus team

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Powering the Rift https://www.oculus.com/blog/powering-the-rift/ https://www.oculus.com/blog/powering-the-rift/#comments Fri, 15 May 2015 15:28:26 +0000 http://www.oculus.com/?p=7648 tl;dr - Given the challenges around VR graphics performance, the Rift will have a recommended specification to ensure that developers can optimize for a known hardware configuration, which ensures a better player experience of comfortable sustained presence. The recommended PC specification is an NVIDIA GTX 970 or AMD 290, Intel i5-4590, and 8GB RAM. This configuration will be held for the lifetime of the Rift and should drop in price over time.

The Rift is specifically designed to deliver comfortable, sustained presence – a “conversion on contact” experience that can instantly transform the way people think about virtual reality. As a VR device, the Rift will be capable of delivering comfortable presence for nearly everyone. However, this requires the entire system working well.

Today, that system’s specification is largely driven by the requirements of VR graphics. To start with, VR lets you see graphics like never before. Good stereo VR with positional tracking directly drives your perceptual system in a way that a flat monitor can’t. As a consequence, rendering techniques and quality matter more than ever before, as things that are imperceivable on a traditional monitor suddenly make all the difference when experienced in VR. Therefore, VR increases the value of GPU performance.

At the same time, there are three key VR graphics challenges to note: raw rendering costs, real-time performance, and latency.

On the raw rendering costs: a traditional 1080p game at 60Hz requires 124 million shaded pixels per second. In contrast, the Rift runs at 2160×1200 at 90Hz split over dual displays, consuming 233 million pixels per second. At the default eye-target scale, the Rift’s rendering requirements go much higher: around 400 million shaded pixels per second. This means that by raw rendering costs alone, a VR game will require approximately 3x the GPU power of 1080p rendering.

Traditionally, PC 3D graphics has had soft real-time requirements, where maintaining 30-60 FPS has been adequate. VR turns graphics into more of a hard real-time problem, as each missed frame is visible. Continuously missing framerate is a jarring, uncomfortable experience. As a result, GPU headroom becomes critical in absorbing unexpected system or content performance potholes.

Finally, we know that minimizing motion-to-photon latency is key to a great VR experience. However, the last few decades of GPU advancements have been built around systems with deep pipelining to achieve maximum throughput at the cost of increased latency; not exactly what we want for VR. Today, minimizing latency comes at the cost of some GPU performance.

Taking all of this into account, our recommended hardware specification is designed to help developers tackle these challenges and ship great content to all Rift users. This is the hardware that we recommend for the full Rift experience:

  • NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
  • Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • 8GB+ RAM

The goal is for all Rift games and applications to deliver a great experience on this configuration by default. We believe this “it just works” experience will be fundamental to VR’s success, given that an underperforming system will fail to deliver comfortable presence.

The recommended spec will stay constant over the lifetime of the Rift. As the equivalent-performance hardware becomes less expensive, more users will have systems capable of the full Rift experience. Developers, in turn, can rely on Rift users having these modern machines, allowing them to optimize their game for a known target, simplifying development.

Apart from the recommended spec, the Rift will require:

  • Windows 7 SP1 or newer
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • HDMI 1.3 video output supporting a 297MHz clock via a direct output architecture

The last bullet point is tricky: many discrete GPU laptops have their external video output connected to the integrated GPU and drive the external output via hardware and software mechanisms that can’t support the Rift. Since this isn’t something that can be determined by reading the specs of a laptop, we are working on how to identify the right systems. Note that almost no current laptops have the GPU performance for the recommended spec, though upcoming mobile GPUs may be able to support this level of performance.

Our development for OS X and Linux has been paused in order to focus on delivering a high quality consumer-level VR experience at launch across hardware, software, and content on Windows. We want to get back to development for OS X and Linux but we don’t have a timeline.

In the future, successful consumer VR will likely drive changes in GPUs, OSs, drivers, 3D engines, and apps, ultimately enabling much more efficient low-latency VR performance. It’s an exciting time for VR graphics, and I’m looking forward to seeing this evolution.

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First Look at the Rift, Shipping Q1 2016 https://www.oculus.com/blog/first-look-at-the-rift-shipping-q1-2016/ https://www.oculus.com/blog/first-look-at-the-rift-shipping-q1-2016/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 12:00:01 +0000 http://www.oculus.com/?p=7215 Since the earliest days of the Oculus Kickstarter, the Rift has been shaped by gamers, backers, developers, and enthusiasts around the world. Today, we’re incredibly excited to announce that the Oculus Rift will be shipping to consumers in Q1 2016, with pre-orders later this year.

The Rift delivers on the dream of consumer VR with compelling content, a full ecosystem, and a fully-integrated hardware/software tech stack designed specifically for virtual reality. It’s a system designed by a team of extremely passionate gamers, developers, and engineers to reimagine what gaming can be.

rift2 A first look at what the world can expect in Q1 2016

The Oculus Rift builds on the presence, immersion, and comfort of the Crescent Bay prototype with an improved tracking system that supports both seated and standing experiences, as well as a highly refined industrial design, and updated ergonomics for a more natural fit.

rift1 A peek inside the Oculus Rift

In the weeks ahead, we’ll be revealing the details around hardware, software, input, and many of our unannounced made-for-VR games and experiences coming to the Rift. Next week, we’ll share more of the technical specifications here on the Oculus blog.

Virtual reality is going to transform gaming, film, entertainment, communication, and much more. If you’re interested in building a next-generation VR game or application, everything you need to start developing for the Rift is available at the Oculus Developer Center.

E3 is just around the corner — this is only the beginning.

– The Oculus Team

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‘Render the Metaverse’, Mary Lou Jepsen, Anna Sweet, and International Commerce https://www.oculus.com/blog/render-the-metaverse-mary-lou-jepsen-anna-sweet-and-international-commerce/ https://www.oculus.com/blog/render-the-metaverse-mary-lou-jepsen-anna-sweet-and-international-commerce/#comments Mon, 27 Apr 2015 14:36:24 +0000 http://www.oculus.com/?p=7145 Render the Metaverse with Oculus and OTOY

We’re excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with OTOY to host Render the Metaverse, a virtual reality art competition with $75,000 in prizes. You can enter the competition starting today by creating and submitting a 360º stereoscopic panorama created using OTOY’s Octane VR system via the Render the Metaverse website.

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Render the Metaverse will run through May, June, and July. Each month the best, most breathtaking 360º stereo-panoramic submissions will be judged by legendary comic book artist Alex Ross, Oculus CTO John Carmack, and OTOY founder and CEO, Jules Urbach. All winners, including 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place along with runner-ups will be featured and showcased in Oculus 360 Photos.

“One of the rewards of years of technology development is seeing artists work on the canvases I have helped create, and I am always left amazed by the vision brought to bear. Stereoscopic panoramas are powerful, but they are a peculiar medium that is difficult to author for with conventional photography or rasterization based rendering. OTOY’s Octane VR makes it trivial to emit optimal media for today’s displays, as well as next generation formats for the future.” – John Carmack

We’ll have more news and updates on the contest in the coming weeks, so stay tuned! In the meantime, you can learn about OTOY and Octane VR at http://home.otoy.com/. We’re looking forward to experiencing your visions in VR!

Mary Lou Jepsen and Anna Sweet Join Oculus

We’re very excited to announce that that Mary Lou Jepsen has joined Oculus. Mary Lou is one of the top display innovators in the world. Before Oculus, Mary Lou engineered the One Laptop Per Child $100 laptop, and later led “moonshot” display projects at Google[x].

Mary

“Virtual reality has been seen as a niche product for the wealthy. Like One Laptop Per Child’s vision of computers for the poorest children, we imagine VR as an enabling technology, a platform for mass adoption, for women and men, adults and children, rich and poor, everywhere.” – Mary Lou Jepsen

At Oculus, Mary Lou will be developing displays that will make it possible to push the boundaries of virtual reality technology.

We’re also thrilled to welcome Anna Sweet as Oculus’ new Head of Developer Strategy. Anna brings a wealth of industry experience from her time at Valve, where she led Steam software and hardware programs, working with partners around the world. At Oculus, she’ll be focused on building an ecosystem that rewards developers for creating and delivering the world’s best VR experiences.

anna

“The first time I put on a VR headset, I knew it was the next thing I wanted to work on — it was the same feeling I had when my parents bought me a Tandy when I was a kid. The ways in which VR can impact our lives is boundless, and I’m extremely excited to work with the world class team at Oculus to build the VR platforms and experiences that will shape the future of technology. I look forward to helping support and enable partners and developers across many industries to be a part of that.” – Anna Sweet

Please join us in welcoming Mary Lou and Anna to the team!

International Commerce Now Available on Gear VR

Since introducing commerce to the Oculus Store available on the Gear VR Innovator Edition, the team’s been working on expanding support to the rest of world. We’re excited to announce that as of 4/20, the global commerce rollout has begun. You can now buy and sell apps, games, and experiences on the Oculus Store in all countries where Gear VR is sold.

Viral1 Viral by Fierce Kaiju, available on the Oculus Store for Gear VR Innovator Edition

Full versions of games like Viral (“…the best $5 you can spend in virtual reality…” – Kotaku), Darknet by E McNeill ($9.99), Dreadhalls by White Door Games ($4.99) and Gunner by nDreams ($4.99) are now being sold to Gear VR Innovator Editions users worldwide. We’ll continue to add support and features for commerce in the months ahead — Stay tuned!

Mobile VR Jam 2015 – Milestone 1 Complete

This week nearly 600 teams completed Mobile VR Jam 2015’s first development milestone, submitting ideas, pitches, and imagery from their project. You can check out the jam’s public submission gallery to share feedback, comments, suggestions, and questions directly with the teams.

jam1
Over the next few weeks, developers will continue to flesh out their submissions – providing screenshots by 4/27, videos by 5/3, and a final shareable build by 5/10. And most importantly, get ready to help us decide our “Community’s Choice” winners by voting on your favorites from 5/12 – 5/27.

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It’s 6 weeks until E3 2015, and we can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on. We’re looking forward to seeing you at the show!

– The Oculus Team

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Oculus @ GDC 2015 https://www.oculus.com/blog/oculus-gdc-2015/ https://www.oculus.com/blog/oculus-gdc-2015/#comments Wed, 04 Mar 2015 23:08:31 +0000 http://www.oculus.com/?p=6954 We’re at GDC 2015 in San Francisco this week meeting with developers and showing off brand new content on the Crescent Bay prototype and Gear VR Innovator Edition. This is hands-down one of the biggest weeks for virtual reality in the history of the industry, and we’re excited to be a part of it.

Throughout the week, Oculus team members will be giving talks on the latest Oculus tech. John Carmack, CTO, kicked the show off this morning with his keynote, “The Dawn of Mobile VR“.

You can watch the full video of John’s keynote on the Oculus Twitch channel.

Tomorrow (Thursday) we have two more engineering talks…

  • Brian Hook, head of audio, and Tom Smurdon, audio engineer, are talking about the new Oculus Audio SDK at 10:00am PT. Located in the West Hall, Room 2024.
  • Anuj Gosalia, head of SDK, will be presenting on ‘Developing VR Games with Oculus SDK’ at 12:45pm PT. Located in the West Hall, Room 2024.

We also released two technical posts on VR rendering earlier this week:

The Oculus Rift ‘Crescent Bay’ experiences

On top of the Crescent Bay demos and Epic’s Showdown with remixed 360 spatial audio, at the Oculus booth we’re showing a brand new experience created in collaboration between Epic Games, WETA Digital, NVIDIA, and Oculus, called “Thief in the Shadows“.

Thief in the Shadows by Weta Digital
©2014 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC. AND METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER PICTURES INC.

Running exclusively on Crescent Bay and debuting at GDC, viewers will find themselves face to face with Smaug, the legendary dragon from the Hobbit. Thief in the Shadows is built in Unreal Engine 4 and powered by NVIDIA’s new flagship GPU, TITAN X. The experience also leverages the Oculus Audio SDK for incredible, 3D VR spatialized audio.

You can find Crescent Bay prototypes all over the GDC Expo floor! Visit Crytek’s booth for a brand new “Back to Dinosaur Island” experience in CryEngine, pop by Unity’s booth to see a demonstration of the great new features in Unity 5 for Oculus developers or head over to Epic Games and NVIDIA’s booth to see the latest Showdown and Thief in the Shadows experiences running on NVIDIA’s new TITAN X GPU in UE4.

The Oculus booth is in the South Hall, Lower Level, #1224. You can schedule a demo of Crescent Bay and/or Gear VR Innovator Edition through the Oculus Live App, available for download for Android and iOS.

We’re also hosting private, technical sessions where developers can get help from Oculus engineers on VR performance and design challenges. You can sign up by emailing dev-clinic@oculus.com with your name, company, and contact information. Please include as much detail as possible in your initial email so we can make sure the right folks are available.

Oculus Audio SDK Preview Available Now!


A preview of the Oculus Audio SDK is now available for download on the Oculus Developer Center! This is the same technology that we announced at Oculus Connect and that powered the remixed demos and experiences we debuted at CES.

Great spatialized audio is a powerful amplifier for presence — By providing 3D audio plugins for Unity3D, AudioKinetic Wwise, Firelight FMOD, and VST compatible digital audio workstations, the Oculus Audio SDK provides content creators the tools to immerse players sonically in a virtual world, surrounded by realistically spatialized sounds.

Let us know what you think over on the Oculus Developer Center in the new Audio Development forum. We’ll also have Brian Hook and Tom Smurdon’s GDC talk on the Audio SDK available shortly after the show.

Unity and Mobile VR Jam 2015

We recently announced the Mobile VR Jam 2015, which invites developers to compete for $1,000,000 in prizes by creating innovative, new VR content for Gear VR Innovator Edition.

Yesterday during the Unity 5 keynote, John Riccitiello, Unity CEO, and Palmer announced that Unity will be sponsoring this year’s Mobile VR Jam! Eligible developers participating in the jam will receive a $50 credit toward the Unity Asset Store for assets they can use in the competition. You can find full details on the official Mobile VR Jam 2015 site

Thanks for an incredible kick-off to GDC 2015 — We’re looking forward to connecting with you this week at the show!

– The Oculus team

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Gear VR Innovator Edition Coming to Galaxy S6 Series https://www.oculus.com/blog/gear-vr-innovator-edition-coming-to-galaxy-s6-series/ https://www.oculus.com/blog/gear-vr-innovator-edition-coming-to-galaxy-s6-series/#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 23:33:06 +0000 http://www.oculus.com/?p=6831 Today at the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked event in Barcelona, Samsung announced that Gear VR Innovator Edition will be expanded to the just announced Samsung Galaxy S6 and Samsung Galaxy S6 edge smartphones!

Gearvr1 The new Gear VR Innovator Edition for Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge

Gear VR Innovator Edition on the Galaxy Note 4 provided developers a platform for building and sharing the first generation of mobile virtual reality. With Gear VR Innovator Edition now coming to the Galaxy S6 series, more people will be diving into virtual reality using their Android smartphones than ever before.

gearvr2Attendees at Samsung Unpacked try the new Gear VR Innovator Edition for the Samsung Galaxy S6

Alongside the announcement, we’re launching a preview of commerce on the Oculus VR Store in the United States, allowing developers to sell their content to other Innovator Edition users. We also have a slate of new games and experiences coming available for purchase in the United States through the Oculus VR Store later this month. We’re working on expanding commerce to the rest of world, along with additional features like in-app purchasing. We’ll keep everyone posted on progress.


The stage today at Samsung Unpacked in Barcelona during the Gear VR Innovator Edition announcement.

On top of these new games, applications, and experiences, we’re making a number of short films available to stream within Oculus Cinema, including Lunar, Plot Device, and the brand new film, Immersion.  We’re also launching improvements to Oculus 360 Photos with support for stereoscopic panoramas and updated content soon, so stay tuned to see what comes next.

Oculus Mobile SDK v0.4.3 Now Available

In preparation for the Gear VR Innovator Edition on S6, we’ve released v0.4.3 of the Oculus Mobile SDK, which has a number of performance and stability fixes, including improvements to correction for yaw drift, Samsung Galaxy S6 support and device-specific fixes, and updates to localization in the Oculus Universal Menu.

The full release notes for 0.4.3 are available on the Oculus Developer Center.

 

As of 0.4.3, we’ve unified the Oculus Unity integration, allowing developers to more easily build once for Oculus and then publish to PC or Mobile through the Unity Editor. In addition, developers using Unity Free 4.6 will now have access to a head-tracked splash screen that is approved for submission to the Oculus Store.

We’re incredibly excited about this next iteration of the hardware and software in collaboration with Samsung, and we’re looking forward to seeing what you create next, especially during the upcoming Mobile VR Jam 2015!

– The Oculus Team

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Oculus’ Mobile VR Jam 2015 https://www.oculus.com/blog/oculus-mobile-vr-jam-2015/ https://www.oculus.com/blog/oculus-mobile-vr-jam-2015/#comments Wed, 25 Feb 2015 01:01:38 +0000 http://www.oculus.com/?p=6811 Oculus’ Mobile VR Jam is set to begin on April 13, 2015 with $1,000,000 in available prizes!

In 2013, hundreds of teams came together over three weeks to compete in the first ever VR Jam. Diving headfirst into unknown territory, these developers pioneered hundreds of new VR experiences, including DarkNet, Dumpy, SightLine, and DreadHalls.

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This year, participants are challenged to build groundbreaking new content with the Gear VR Innovator Edition. This is an opportunity to collaborate with fellow developers, with $1,000,000 cash in awards and prizes for the best new VR games, apps, and experiences.

You can visit the our official Mobile VR Jam 2015 page on ChallengePost to sign up, find a team, discuss your ideas, and get started. For each weekly milestone, each entry – including yours – will have its progress available for view, so you’ll also be able to give and receive valuable feedback.

If you’re attending GDC this year, we’d like to invite you to our Mobile VR Jam 2015 kick-off event, where you can meet other participants. Full details here.

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We’ll have more news on the Mobile VR Jam in the weeks ahead, so stay tuned. We’re looking forward to seeing what you create!

Let’s Jam!

–The Oculus Team

 

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Oculus Story Studio, Oculus + Unity Free, and GDC 2015 https://www.oculus.com/blog/oculus-story-studio-oculus-unity-free-and-gdc-2015/ https://www.oculus.com/blog/oculus-story-studio-oculus-unity-free-and-gdc-2015/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:37:28 +0000 http://www.oculus.com/?p=6639 Over the last two years, we’ve seen virtual reality expand well beyond games into more unexpected areas like cinema and storytelling. This week as part of the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, we’re excited to announce a new experimental virtual reality cinema project: Oculus Story Studio.

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Oculus Story Studio is made up of a small, all-star team of film and game developers dedicated to exploring ‘immersive cinema’ — realtime story-driven VR experiences that let the viewer step inside and become part of the story. The goal was to learn more about cinema and storytelling in VR and to share that knowledge with the community.

Story Studio is debuting its first, short (4-minute) experience this week at Sundance called ‘Lost’. Lost takes the viewer on a journey to a moonlit forest inhabited by an unexpected creature. The piece is directed by Story Studio’s creative director Saschka Unseld, who was also the director of Pixar’s short film ‘The Blue Umbrella’.

lost_scene_smallScreenshot from Lost, a short immersive cinema experience from Oculus Story Studio

Lost was built in Unreal Engine 4 for Crescent Bay and mixes hand animation with procedural animation to better transport the viewer. The team has been working to expand Unreal 4’s cinematic and storytelling toolset — Lost uses custom gaze controls to tailor the experience to the individual viewer, allowing for a unique pace to the story each time.

In addition to its own creative team, Story Studio is also building experiences with guest directors including Rob Stromberg (Maleficent), Robin Hunicke (Journey), and Jillian Tamaki to create entirely new immersive stories as well.

So far, we’ve discovered that mixing great storytelling and art with the magic of VR presence allows for something really special. Lost is just the beginning for Story Studio, and we’re looking forward to sharing it, along with the team’s other upcoming films, in the months ahead.

We’ll have more news from the Oculus Story Studio soon, but you can learn more about the team and follow their work at oculus.com/storystudio.

Oculus Now Supported in Unity Free (PC & Mobile)

In case you missed the announcement over the holiday, Oculus is now supported in Unity 4.6 Free. If you haven’t already, you can download the integration from the Oculus Developer Center.

 

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Unity continues to be one of the easiest ways to build high-quality VR experiences for the Rift and Gear VR. This latest release of the Oculus-Unity integration supports Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android (Gear VR). The desktop version also includes full access to LibOVR through a pure C# wrapper.

Some of the features of the latest release:

  • Lens correction, TimeWarp, and dynamic prediction from LibOVR/VRLib
  • Preview within the Unity editor
  • Layered camera support for cockpits, UI, etc.
  • Cross-platform support for XInput controllers
  • Consistent IPD and head model for comfort at all world scales
  • Utilities for locomotion, head-tracking, and Rift status
  • On Windows, direct-to-Rift rendering with or without display driver

A few of the other updates, though not included in the release today, are simpler direct-to-Rift rendering (without DirectToRift.exe) and targeting PC or Mobile from within a single project.

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HeroBound for the Gear VR Innovator Edition

We’re also collaborating with Unity on a number of VR specific features for a deeper Oculus integration including a seamless, robust integration for Unity 4.6, improved Unity Editor workflow when using the Rift, and rendering optimizations specifically for VR in Unity 5.Unity also just made a major update in audio latency on Gear VR, improving it from over 130ms to roughly 30ms. A huge thank you to Unity team for their help addressing this.

If you have suggestions on additional features you’d like to see, let us know on the Oculus Developer Forums. We’re looking forward to seeing what you create!

Oculus @ GDC 2015

We’ll be at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco March 2-6, showing the latest prototypes of the Rift and Gear VR. We’ll also be giving a series of talks on VR rendering, 3D spatialized audio, and the future of virtual reality.

 

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As part of GDC, we’re co-hosting an event with Women in Games International (WIGI). You can join us Tuesday, March 3, at The Village (969 Market St, 3rd Floor) to meet members of the Oculus team, chat with experts and enthusiasts about VR, and try out the latest Oculus demos. Registration for the event will open soon — Stay tuned to the official event page for more details.

We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Best,

– The Oculus Team

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Oculus @ CES 2015 https://www.oculus.com/blog/oculus-ces-2015/ https://www.oculus.com/blog/oculus-ces-2015/#comments Wed, 07 Jan 2015 01:32:45 +0000 http://www.oculus.com/?p=6585 Oculus @ CES 2015

We’re at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week, showing the Oculus Rift Crescent Bay prototype for the first time publicly, along with Gear VR Innovator Edition and great mobile VR content. We’re also demonstrating high-fidelity VR audio for the very first time on PC and mobile.

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Great audio is a key element of immersion and an amplifier for presence that has been largely untapped until now. The upcoming Oculus Audio SDK uses Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF) technology in conjunction with the Rift’s head tracking to achieve a sense of true 3D audio spatialization. This allows content creators to immerse you sonically in a virtual world, surrounded by realistic sounds in all directions.

audiobots-blogOne of the experiences in the updated Crescent Bay demo set, now with VR audio.

HRTFs simulate the changes to a sound when it reaches your head from a point in space. It does this by referencing data that represents changes that would happen to a sound coming from that direction. There is data for hundreds of points around your head, and the software smooths the audio between those points for a natural sound, regardless of head or sound source position.

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Although HRTF technologies have been around for decades, the addition of precise head tracking makes it much more effective. We’ve gone back and revised all of our Crescent Bay demos with awesome 3D spatialized audio, along with a few surprises.

We also have Gear VR Innovator Edition showing off several of the best mobile VR games and experiences currently available in the Oculus VR Store. For those of you waiting to buy Gear VR outside the United States, we’re hard at work with Samsung supporting other regions early this year.

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The Oculus booth is in the South Hall, #26002. We also have an Oculus @ CES mobile app, which you can use to schedule a Crescent Bay demo ahead of time. You can download it for iOS or Android. We’re also taking walkups for Crescent Bay and Gear VR on the show floor.

This is hands-down the biggest year ever for VR at CES. A huge thank you to all the developers, enthusiasts, and backers who made it possible. We’re looking forward to seeing many of you at the show this week!

– The Oculus Team

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