OSVR Extends Reach To China Through Partnership With Chinese Software Giant QIHOO 360

OSVR EXTENDS REACH TO CHINA THROUGH PARTNERSHIP WITH CHINESE SOFTWARE GIANT qihoo 360

 OSVR supported content to be made available to 800 million Chinese user base, Hacker Development Kit to be shipped to China later this year.

 SHANGHAI, CHINAJOY – Organizers of Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR), a platform designed to set an open standard for virtual reality devices, today announced its official partnership with Qihoo 360, one of the largest app stores in China.  With an 800 million app store user base, OSVR is now set to extend the reach of its global content partner network into China.

OSVR IN CHINA

 With the launch of official support in China, virtual reality content and hardware developers will now be able to take advantage of the software platform to extend the reach and compatibility of their technology to an ever expanding list of global VR hardware and software.

“China’s appetite for virtual reality is growing very rapidly. There are hundreds of VR developers looking for ways to increase the reach of their content and grow their virtual reality technology further.” Says Min-Liang Tan, Chief Gamer & CEO of Razer. “OSVR’s goal is to help accelerate the development of VR in China by helping developers to support an ever growing variety of VR hardware on a local and global scale and to collaborate with the best of the best in the industry.

PARTNERSHIP WITH QIHOO 360

 Qihoo 360 is a leading internet and mobile platform company in China with a user base of more than 800 million. They specialize in antivirus software, web browsers and a mobile assistant application. Revenue is generated through micro transactions and online advertising.

With OSVR’s support, Qihoo 360 will be building a VR store to discover and download VR content, effectively bringing OSVR content to their 800 million users. In addition to this, both partners will be working closely together to support VR game and content developers in China, providing development hardware, software SDKs and content distribution for OSVR supporters to help VR gain mainstream adoption.

“We believe Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) is the future of VR. With OSVR we’ll be able to provide our user base with a more extensive range of virtual reality games and content for our store’” Says, Mr. Weihua Tao, General Manager of 360 Mobile Assistant Division. “The content will also be compatible with multiple headset technologies allowing us to support the needs of individual users. As the China VR headset market grows larger, we can also scale our hardware support through OSVR so we are always up to date.

Other Partnerships:

Other Chinese partnerships gained in the effort to provide VR development support in China include:

Inlife-Handnet Co.Ltd is focused on the R&D of innovative technologies and solutions in virtual reality, 3D intelligent interactive, 3D image collecting and processing. As one of the most influential 3D technology enterprises, they have advanced 3D acquisition and 3D display technology and are always innovating

KatVR is a manufacturer of VR input devices, they are looking forward to the OSVR partnership in order to share their project with other developers in order to create more interesting technology for the virtual reality industry. Their locomotive peripheral, the KAT WALK is an omni directional treadmill designed to be as unrestrictive as possible while giving the user 360-degrees of continuous movement.

LingVR is a Chinese VR headset company that has designed a mobile HMD for 3rd party smartphone use and an all-in-one HMD with built in mobile hardware. They also run a mobile app store that provides local and global cinematic VR content and third party VR apps.

 VR-China is the oldest VR community in China. It is the place where Chinese developers and enthusiasts come together to share projects, collaborate, and keep up to date on VR developments in China and around the world.

 Ximmerse develops virtual reality hardware based on mobile visual computing and inertial tracking research. They explore the possibilities of human computer interaction and aim to create cutting-edge technologies and products for better VR experiences.

 

OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE IN CHINA

The official OSVR website is now available in simplified Chinese (www.osvr.com/cn-zh) through which developers, universities and research labs can apply for the following programs:

Official Supporter Program:

While the OSVR SDK is available for free, those who join the supporter program will receive the following benefits:

  • Priority allocation for a free Hacker Development Kit when it ships to China later in the year.
  • Access to the OSVR network of supporters for collaborative and technical support.
  • Access to the OSVR support portal to help with integration.
  • Promotional and marketing support for their products.

Academia Program:

The OSVR Academia Program is designed to help universities and research institutes set up a full VR lab for virtual reality research or educational purposes.  Due to the platform’s open source nature, the software can be experimented with to aid in learning.

 

About OSVR:

OSVR™ is a software platform designed to set an open standard for virtual reality input devices, games and output to provide the best possible VR game experience. Supported by industry leaders, the OSVR framework unites developers and gamers alike under a single platform. Plug in. Play Everything.

For the full list of OSVR supporters go to www.osvr.com.

Like OSVR on FB: https://www.facebook.com/OpenSourceVR.

Follow OSVR on Twitter: https://twitter.com/OpenSource_VR .


Press Contacts: press
@osvr.org

New interfaces, SteamVR and more

It’s been a busy month of OSVR development, and we wanted to update you about some of the new and improved capabilities

  • ndk-build compatible Android builds
  • SteamVR plugin
  • “Reset yaw” and other OSVR core improvements
  • New eye tracker and other interfaces
  • Windows installer
  • Additional improvements

Improved Android builds

ndk-build compatible Android builds of OSVR now being built – see https://github.com/OSVR/OSVR-Android-SDK

SteamVR plugin (alpha)

This is a SteamVR driver for allowing applications written against that API to work with hardware and software running with the OSVR software framework. See https://github.com/OSVR/SteamVR-OSVR

Note that despite similar goals, the internal models of the two systems are not the same (in most cases, OSVR has a more flexible, descriptive model), so if you’re writing an application from scratch, be sure to evaluate that. This driver exists primarily for compatibility reasons, so existing software using the SteamVR system can run on OSVR.

There are still some issues with this plugin – see https://github.com/OSVR/SteamVR-OSVR/issues/5 and we would appreciate the community’s help in getting this to the finish line

OSVR Core improvements

Key improvements include:

  • “Reset yaw” tool added, allowing to set the yaw direction of the head tracker to a desired ‘0’ position
  • Initial support for updated OSVR HDK tracker firmware, providing higher reporting rate and angular velocity reports

New Interfaces

Interfaces – pipes of data – provide an abstraction layer for VR devices and peripherals so that a game developer does not need to hardcode support for particular hardware. Instead, just like a Windows application prints to the Windows print services, the game developer connects to the OSVR abstraction layer. If a new VR goggle was introduced in 2016, an OSVR-based game published in 2015 could support this new goggle as soon as the goggle had an OSVR driver. 

New interfaces that have been completed or are imminent are:

  • Eye tracking
  • Locomotion – supporting omnidirectional treadmills
  • Gesture
  • Skeleton – for body and finger tracking

See the interface definition section https://github.com/OSVR/OSVR-Specs-and-Proposals

Windows Installer

The Windows installer, provides a simple way to install the OSVR server. See https://github.com/OSVR/OSVR-win-installer#readme

Additional improvements

  • OSVR-Devel mailing/discussion list now fully up and running, now including searchable web archives and a web interface courtesy of Gmane – see http://osvr.github.io/mailing-lists/
  • Managed-OSVR (used by OSVR-Unity and OSVR-Monogame):
    • Improved method of pre-loading native libraries
    • Wrappers for the State API (in addition to the existing Callback API)
    • Wrappers for Eye tracker, Direction, and Position2D device interface classes added
  • OSVR-Unity: see also https://github.com/OSVR/OSVR-Unity/blob/master/OSVR-Unity/CHANGES.md
    • Switched to using externally-built Managed-OSVR, for improved reliability, quicker development, and multiplatform (including 64-bit) support
    • Tagged version 0.2 following this migration.
    • Made the ClientKit prefab a persistent singleton, preventing duplication and instability in multi-scene projects.
    • Updated way of making custom code access OSVR callbacks and state (RequiresAnalogInterface, etc)
    • Updated examples, code to use new Managed-OSVR InterfaceAdapter functionality.

As always, the OSVR team with the support of the community is continuously  adding smaller features and addressing known issues. You can see all of these on Github such as in this link for OSVR Core

Interested in contributing? Start here: http://osvr.github.io/contributing/

Any questions or issues? email support@osvr.com

Thank you for being part of OSVR!

OSVR Launches Research Portal In Collaboration With Academic Partners To Aid In Industry Development

Academia program continues to grow with the addition of 13 new universities and research institutes


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Organizers of Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR), a platform designed to set an open standard for virtual reality devices, today announced the launch of a research portal on the OSVR Website. Led by OSVR’s academic partners, the research can be accessed by developers, enthusiasts and anyone with an interest in virtual reality.

“Creating an open platform to exchange knowledge and learnings of both commercial and academic partners will drive the entire industry forward with an open knowledge base through which the exchange of crucial learnings can be done,” says Christopher Mitchell, senior product marketing manager at Razer. “We are still in somewhat unchartered territory with virtual reality, and it is through collaboration that we can solve problems and push the envelope of virtual reality technology to make it a mass market success.”

The resources available at the portal’s launch will cover the following categories with more anticipated:

  • Virtual Reality – General VR design principles and technology
  • Augmented Reality – Effective real world application of AR
  • Game Design – Observations and insights into effective game design for VR/AR
  • Peripheral Optimization – Guidelines and best practices when designing interaction and interfaces around industry peripherals
  • Algorithms – Optimizing the design and logic of VR/AR software technology.
  • VR in Education – Enhancing education with virtual reality

Contribute research

Anybody interested in contributing can submit his or her whitepaper for publishing on the VR research portal. If selected, you will have the opportunity to tap on the entire OSVR base of 155 partners covering aspects of the industry ranging from VR peripherals, content production, simulation engines, consultation, technology providing and academia to further your research.

To explore all currently available whitepapers or submit research, interested parties may visit: www.osvr.com/research

NEW ACADEMIA PARTNERS:

The 13 latest additions to the overall count of 49 academia supporters:

Arizona Laboratory for Immersive Visualization Environments, University of Arizona, has a 4-sided CAVE which utilizes the Unity game engine as their main display software in the immersive environment. They are exploring OSVR as a means to provide single users a way to collaborate and share the immersive CAVE experience from remote locations using their own head mounted displays.

COSMIAC (The Configurable Space Microsystems Innovations and Applications Center promotes STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and uses OSVR  for educational purposes as it spans multiple engineering disciplines for both software and hardware modification.

JCU Singapore (registered as James Cook Australia Institute of Higher Learning in Singapore) is fully owned by James Cook University Australia and is ranked in the top 4% of universities in the world. JCU Singapore is also the host of the first permanent museum entirely dedicated to the history of video and computer games in South East Asia.

Keio-NUS CUTE (Connective Ubiquitous Technology for Embodiments) center is a joint collaboration between National University of Singapore (NUS) and Keio University, Japan. It is partially funded by a grant from the National Research Foundation (NRF) administrated through the Media Development Authority (MDA) of Singapore. Operations of the Center commenced on 1 April 2009. The main objective of setting up the center is to collaborate on fundamental research in the general area of Interactive Digital Media targeted at addressing the future of interactive, social and communication media. They use OSVR in their medical training and simulations and in their scientific studies on the role of physical movement and learning.

Multi-Platform Game Innovation Centre (MAGIC) in Nanyang Technological University (NTU) aims to champion games technology and related research to translate scientific ideas into technological products and services for the Studios of the Future in the media and entertainment industry.

Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Center focuses on providing computing power, networking services, research and development facilities for next generation computer networks, modern applications, portals, parallel and distributed computing as well as network and system security, integration and implementation of scientific research results via developing services for public administration, healthcare, education and other social areas.

SRH University Heidelberg is one of the oldest and largest private campus universities in Germany. For four decades, the SRH University Heidelberg has been among the most renowned German universities, with a close network of businesses and institutes of higher education worldwide. By establishing a unique study course focusing on virtual worlds and end-user application of “Virtual Realities” already in 2010, the SRH University Heidelberg anticipated current trends ahead of time.

Stefan cel Mare, University of Suceava develops new technologies that can be used worldwide by other universities or companies. They see the potential in virtual reality and like that OSVR is a big community and are pleased to be a part of it.

The Virtual Reality Laboratory of SeAMK – Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences – is a laboratory of the School of Technology, reserved for the research, project works and final theses of engineering students of Automation, Information Technology, Construction and Mechanical Engineering. The VR lab is equipped with state of the art technology in Virtual Reality. The aim of adaptation of OSVR is to enhance and broaden the technology research field of the lab. Future OSVR projects will be mainly targeted in architecture, construction, robotics, factory automation, 3D design and 3D gaming technologies

University of Bologna, Italy facilitated the development of GLOVR a hand interface specifically designed for VR applications. The idea behind it is to free players from the constraints imposed by traditional controllers. GLOVR features a dynamic gesture detection unit and a natural language interface to allow the user to communicate with an AI system. OSVR provides expanded compatibility allowing GLOVR to be tested with a wide range of software and accompanying peripherals.

University of Georgia is the oldest state-chartered university in the United States, and recently launch the youngest College of Engineering in the United States.

University of Kentucky is a land-grant institution with over 20,000 resident and commuter students on our main campus. The Department of Electrical Engineering has over 200 undergraduate and graduate students.

Virtual Neuroscience lab in the University of Tartu, Estonia aims to combine computational neuroscience and experimental psychology with virtual reality to enhance experiences. OSVR helps to contribute to their research by being open source allowing them to share their work.

 

ABOUT OSVR:

OSVR™ is a software platform designed to set an open standard for virtual reality input devices, games and output to provide the best possible VR game experience. Supported by industry leaders, the OSVR framework unites developers and gamers alike under a single platform. Plug in. Play Everything.

For the full list of OSVR supporters go to www.osvr.com.

Like OSVR on FB: https://www.facebook.com/OpenSourceVR.

Follow OSVR on Twitter: https://twitter.com/OpenSource_VR .


PRESS CONTACTS:

 press@osvr.org