Oculus Rift

Overview

Considered one of the first in this generation of VR headsets, the Rift currently has the most documentation and information to help with development. While it can be seen as a disadvantage that it was originally designed to be used while seated using an XBOX controller, it’s headset is relatively comfortable and easy to set up. Oculus plans to release a set of controllers comparable to HTC Vive’s controllers, to allow more intuitive interactive. The Rift allows six degrees of freedom to its users, providing the ability to not only spin in a 360 to view and interact, but also move up, down, left and right, swivel left and right, tilt forward and backward and pivot side-to-side in a virtual space. Software for this hardware can be bought in Oculus Home. There is currently no development tools for the Rift on Mac computers and developers must have access to a PC. Although, there is Mac support for developing content for the Samsung Gear, also developed by Oculus.

Development

  • Development Platforms: Unity (C#), Unreal (C++)
  • Connections Needed: HDMI, USB 2.0, USB 3.0
  • System Requirements: 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
  • NOTE: Development not yet supported on Mac systems.

    Specs

  • Price: $600
  • Display: OLED
  • Resolution: 2160 x 1200
  • Refresh Rate: 90Hz
  • Field of View: 110 degrees
  • Tracking area: 5x11 feet
  • Built-in audio: Yes
  • Built-in mic: Yes
  • Controller: Oculus Touch, Xbox One controller
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, 360-degree positional tracking
  • Tutorials

  • How to create a 360 Skybox Menu for VR
  • Optimization in VR
  • Google Cardboard

    Overview

    While the Cardboard is the cheapest out of all available VR headsets, it is also very limited in the interaction it can provide. The Cardboard only allows three degrees of freedom, limiting users to staying stationary and rotating their view around the x,y and z axis. Although, development in the most flexible out of the three headsets provided here. Allowing developers options on both Mac and PC computers. Content can also easily be made with current 3D cameras and uploaded to YouTube.

    Development

  • Development Platforms: Unity (C#) for Android and iOS, Native C/C++ for Android
  • Connections Needed: none
  • System Requirements: iOS or Android mobile phone
  • Specs

  • Price: starting at $14.99
  • Display: OLED
  • Resolution: dependant on mobile device used and project settings
  • Refresh Rate: 60Hz
  • Designed Field of View: 80 degrees
  • Tracking area: none
  • Built-in audio: Yes
  • Controller: none
  • Sensors: none
  • Tutorials

  • Rendering 360 Stereo Images in Maya
  • 360 and VR Videos
  • HTC Vive

    Overview

    The Vive is a high quality headset with the best controller and highest pricetag currently on the market. Like the Oculus, it provides six degrees of freedom to its users, providing the ability to not only spin in a 360 to view and interact, but also move up, down, left and right, swivel left and right, tilt forward and backward and pivot side-to-side in a virtual space. Buying software and games is convienet for many consumers, since many already have Steam accounts and can easily access SteamVR. Gameplay can easily be designed for sitting down or standing up. The headset is comfortable for most, heavy for some and more complicated to assemble. The Vive requires more room than the Rift, requiring up to 15x15 feet (usually less) for set-up. To help combat the issue of users not being able to see the outside world when they need to or running into real-life objects, there is a provided in-headset view of what is in front of you and a “chaperone” fence inside the experience to make sure that users do not move past set bounderies in both the virtual and physical space. There is currently no development tools for Vive on Mac computers and developers must have access to a PC.

    Development

  • Development Platforms: Unity (C#), Unreal (C++)
  • Connections Needed: HDMI, USB 2.0, USB 3.0
  • System Requirements: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 /Radeon R9 280 equivalent or greater Intel Core i5-4590 equivalent or greater 4GB+ of RAM Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output 1x USB 2.0 port
  • NOTE: Development not yet supported on Mac systems.

    Specs

  • Price: $800
  • Display: OLED
  • Resolution: 2160 x 1200
  • Refresh Rate: 90Hz
  • Field of View: 110 degrees
  • Tracking area: 5x15 feet
  • Built-in audio: Yes
  • Built-in mic: Yes
  • Controller: SteamVR controller, any PC compatible gamepad
  • Sensors: Accelerometer, gyroscope, laser position sensor, front-facing camera
  • Tutorials

  • SteamVR: Handling Vive Controller Input in Unity
  • VR Gaze Input