Technology, Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift: first impressions

My Oculus Rift developer kit arrived today, and needless to say, I dived right in to my complimentary 4-month Unity Pro trial, and a handful of assets I’ve been eyeing for a while (namely UFPS). But I may have overdone it a little. Already suffering from a major case of VORTAN.

VR “motion” sickness aside, it was a lot of fun. The Rift came in a slick black carrying case with all the extras, setup was a breeze, the included World demo from the SDK and extra Tuscany demo download both worked flawlessly and helped a lot with configuration. Interestingly, the included World demo also served as a useful case study for my previous post on (fluxus) and the oculus rift; in the world demo, hit your spacebar and you get a sweet floating popup that lists a few important settings. Hit spacebar again and you get more detail. Hit it a third time and you get a helpful list of keyboard shortcuts for adjusting the settings. The floating dialog, appearing more like a wetware HUD for augmented reality than a help screen for virtual reality, followed along with the head tracking; the text was crisp and clear, even without the distortion filter that normalizes the stereoscopic projection for your FOV.

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Development, LISP, Racket, Scheme, Technology, Virtual Reality

New Toys: (fluxus) and Oculus Rift

I got the email on Friday from Oculus VR that my Rift Developer Kit would be shipping soon. Naturally I’m pretty excited, since I haven’t used a VR headset since some tech expo I was at back in the 90s—and the Rift is substantially more advanced. I’m also quite excited for the 4-month Unity Pro trial license that comes with the Rift (not to mention Unity Pro’s new subscription license!).

So this weekend, with the expectation of the impending arrival of said hardware, I’ve been playing around with a bunch of different things. Exploring my options, as it were, to take full advantage of the Rift hardware once it arrives. I plan to write a Common Lisp wrapper to the Oculus SDK, as that will be generally useful for Lisp game developers; but it would benefit me more directly to have a toolkit in Lisp for procedural generation of 3D graphics.

That’s when I came across (FLUXUS), a really cool livecoding environment built on Racket (a relatively new flavour of LISP/Scheme). It doesn’t have support for the Oculus Rift, and I imagine it would be slightly difficult to type with a VR headset on, but at least it’s a step in the right direction. But that’s no matter, because (fluxus) is exactly the tool I was looking for, for my live music performances.

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