With spring semester courses set to start next week (including both Graphics Programming II and Console Game Programming), I’m really excited to hear that my Oculus Rift VR Developer’s Kit should ship in March.
For those that haven’t heard, the Oculus Rift is a new virtual reality (VR) headset funded by a Kickstarter project. The headset prototype attracted the praise of game industry veterans for it’s high quality experience.
The Developer’s Kit is integrated with both Unity and Unreal, but also provides an API for direct access to head orientation via a rotation matrix, quaternions, and Euler angles.
The Oculus sensor includes a gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer. When the data from these devices is fused, we can determine the orientation of the player’s head in the real world and synchronize the player’s virtual perspective in real-time. The Rift’s orientation is reported as a set of rotations in a right-handed coordinate system, as follows:
The process of combining the sensor data from all three devices into something useful is called “sensor fusion.” For those of you interested in learning more, we recommend this Google tech talk:
Needless to say I’m really looking forward to playing with the technology as well as seeing what any overachieving game programming students can come up with.