OSVR support for Mac OS X, Linux, Android, SteamVR

We wanted to provide a brief update on new and enhanced support for operating systems and game engines within OSVR.

Operating system support

Mac OS X

In the words of @d235j:

Mac support for OSVR has been steadily improving. The recent HDK firmware update has resolved several USB connectivity issues. The stack cleanly compiles, and the HDK is usable on Mac OS. SteamVR-OSVR also works on Mac OS and Linux, though there are bugs in SteamVR which need to be worked around, and the SteamVR compositor is not available.
A Homebrew tap is now available at https://github.com/OSVR/Homebrew-OSVR, and at present this is the preferred way to install it on Mac OS. Near-term improvements will include improvements to the OSVR Server configuration scheme as well as better ways to locate finding plugins.
Even with these minor issues, OSVR is usable on Mac OS X, as is SteamVR. The remaining issues will be resolved in the near future, with an easy-to-use binary package coming at some point.


We have made several improvements to Android support, including:

  • Multiple deployment models: OSVR client and OSVR server, running on two different processes; client and server running on the same process and thread, as well as client and server running in the same process on different threads.
  • App to launch the OSVR server if automatic launch upon startup is not desired.
  • Improved Unity “Palace” demo
  • Additional Android samples, including using the imager plugin



OSVR is being compiled on Linux everyday as part of our Continuous Integration server. However, we improved the build instructions to make it easier for others. We have also see demos of Unity/OSVR/Oculus on Linux, SteamVR/OSVR on Linux and others.


A new OSVR driver installer has been added for Windows. It sets up drivers including:

  • CDC driver for the OSVR HDK
  • Atmel bootloader driver in case a firmware upgrade is desired to the OSVR HDK
  • Device identification in the Windows control panel and device listing

What’s next?

Aside from improvements to currently-supported platforms, we would like to continue the work towards supporting:

  • iOS
  • Embedded configurations (Linux, Android or others on single-board computers like those from Gumstix). This could enable interesting applications
  • Game consoles: XBOX, PlayStation, etc.

If you have another configuration you’d like to run OSVR on, we’d love to help out.

Game engine support


Quoting @d235j again:

We finally have a working SteamVR driver! This means you can use the OSVR HDK to play SteamVR games, or to develop software that uses the SteamVR API. So far most of the testing has been with jMonkeyEngine (via jMonkeyVR) and Team Fortress 2. TF2 is already quite playable with the HDK. If anyone would like to try using SteamVR-OSVR, binary builds and installation instructions are available at https://github.com/OSVR/SteamVR-OSVR#binary-usage-instructions.

Just to clarify, the SteamVR-OSVR project allows OSVR-supported hardware to be used with SteamVR. We do not yet have support for HTC Vive as an OSVR device, though I hope that this will be available soon.

What’s next

I am aware of teams working on a Blender plugin as well as CryEngine. If you have another game engine you’d like to integrate with OSVR, we’d love to help out.

Want to participate?

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!

Sensics and SMI bring Virtual Reality Eye Tracking to OSVR

Sensics and SMI bring Virtual Reality Eye Tracking to OSVR

SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) and Sensics release the first eye tracking plug-in for the Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) software platform

The Organizers of Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) today announce a new software plug-in that supports eye tracking technology by SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI). The OSVR eye tracking interface brings vendor-agnostic real-time eye and gaze data to the open software and hardware platform for virtual reality. The SMI plug-in implements this interface, allowing developers to easily integrate SMI eye tracking data with the range of game engines supported by the OSVR. The plug-in connects SMI’s unique and proven eye tracking upgrade for the Oculus Rift DK2 to OSVR core software and, through it, to the universe of supported interfaces. The plug-in has been developed by Sensics, Inc., founding contributor to OSVR, in collaboration with SMI. It is accessible in open-source form from the OSVR-SMI github repository: https://github.com/OSVR/OSVR-SMI).

Eye Tracking devices are effective tools to create interaction inside VR and gaming environments providing an intuitive way to make selections, move objects, or to create life-like animations of avatars. The SMI plug-in for OSVR uses the SMI SDK to stream real-time eye tracking data via the OSVR EyeTracker interface, including 3D gaze direction and eye images. Via OSVR, SMI eye tracking data can also be integrated into Unity, Unreal and additional game engines.

The SMI plug-in connects SMI’s HMD eye tracking technology to the OSVR universe. The SMI Eye Tracking upgrade for the Oculus Rift DK2 is designed for VR developers and researchers and is a proven high performance eye tracking solution for VR applications. It comes with a calibration-free user mode for quick and easy setup. A fully automatic slip compensation allows users to move or take the headset on or off without impact on data robustness.

SMI also provides an OEM Eye Tracking Platform and reference designs for Virtual Reality Headsets ready for pick up by HMD manufacturers.

“Eye tracking has huge potential to enhance natural interaction with VR content”, says Yuval Boger, CEO of Sensics, founding contributor to OSVR. “SMI products provide excellent out-of-the-box experience and we are glad to collaborate with them in building the OSVR SMI plug-in, providing a standards-based eye tracking interface to game developers.”

“SMI’s engagement in the OSVR project is fully in line with SMI’s continuous support for the VR community”, says Christian Villwock, Director of SMI’s OEM Solutions Business. “By providing an alternative interface to SMI’s SDK, SMI emphasizes the diversity of VR and makes it even easier for developers and academia to use the tools they already favor. The SMI OSVR plug-in adds another widely accessible way to interface SMI’s eye tracking technology.”


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. For additional information, please visit: www.osvr.org.

 About Sensics

Sensics creates cutting-edge VR products, combining technology, passion and expertise rooted in many years of delivering to the world’s top organizations. A founding contributor to OSVR, Sensics is at the forefront of open-source VR, advancing choice and innovation alongside a community of contributors and partners. For additional information, please visit: www.sensics.com.

 About SMI

SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) is a world leader in eye tracking technology, developing and marketing eye & gaze tracking solutions for scientists and professionals, OEM and medical solutions for a wide range of applications. Find out more at www.smivision.com. Follow @SMIeyetracking on Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Twitter.

 Media Contact
SensoMotoric Instruments GmbH (SMI)

Stefanie Gehrke

+49 (0) 172 3808 537