On Wednesday May 21st, Linden Lab publicly released the Oculus Rift project viewer. Version 126.96.36.1999834 of the viewer offers initial support for Oculus Rift, and is focused on getting started with the Oculus Headset (which has yet to be commercially released, although there are currently some 75,000 SDK 1 models in the world, and shipping will commence soon on the updated SDK 2 version).
For Windows, Oculus Rift requires Windows Vista or later, and with Mac OS X, version 10.7 or later is required.
The blog post announcing the release reads in part:
The early beta testers of our integration have provided some valuable feedback, identifying bugs as well as providing suggestions for additional features and options that would improve the experience of using the Oculus Rift with Second Life. Today we’re pleased to announce that our Oculus Rift integration is now available as a Project Viewer, the first step toward becoming a part of the default Second Life Viewer.
Like our initial beta release, this Project Viewer is more about making it easy to get started using the Oculus Rift to view Second Life than it is about optimizing the UI for headset users. We’ve made some minor adjustments to the regular Second Life UI in order to present it in head-mounted display (HMD) mode, but the UI headset users will experience with this project Viewer is still essentially the same as you’d see without an Oculus Rift.
Features in the viewer include:
- Full Oculus Rift Hardware Support – includes automatic hardware detection and display calibration for quick and easy setup
- HMD Mode – activated via Me > Display Select or via CTRL-SHIFT-D / CMD-SHIFT-D or via the HMD Mode toolbar button. This command also allows one to display the stereo rendering output intended for the Oculus Rift on their primary display
- HMD configuration via Preferences > Move and View > click the HMD calibration button
- Full UI Support – users can access the entire Second Life UI and HUDs while in Oculus Rift mode, so there are no limitations on what a user can do in-world while using the headset
- Avatar Head Motion – Oculus Rift head-tracking data is mapped to the avatar, so users’ avatars look where they do
- “Align to Look” [Q] – allows users to quickly start moving the direction they are looking
- New First-Person View – allows users to enjoy the immersion previously available with Mouselook mode, but allows the mouse to be used to control the cursor, allowing for interaction with the UI and objects in-world
Action Key – [“X”] It is now possible to activate action items (i.e. Opening Doors) from Mouselook mode. Aim the crosshairs at the item you’d like to activate, and press the “X” key. In First-Person mode, the Action Key [“X”] will have the same functionality as clicking the mouse button in Mouselook mode (i.e. it will “trigger” guns or other held items).
To display the viewer with the best results, Linden Lab recommend that the Oculus Rift is configured as an Extended Desktop in Windows (do not Duplicate Displays), and that Mirroring Mode (Settings > Displays) is enabled on Mac OS X.
There are some known issues with the viewer, as noted in the release notes. These include, but are not limited to:
- Alt+Tabbing out of the viewer confuses the Rift – RIFT-22
- Build Tool’s Translation plane is opaque – RIFT-4
- File Browsers cannot function in HMD mode – RIFT-20
- Snapshots disabled while in HMD mode because:
- HUD and UI elements always drawn in snapshots –RIFT-30
- Save to my Computer adds a blank screen between refreshes when trying to take snapshots – RIFT-31
- Toggling HMD mode sets the focus wrong and you have to click in world before doing anything else, on Macs – RIFT-110
There are also known limitations with the Action Key [“X”] – please refer to the release notes for a list of known issues and to JIRA raised under the RIFT project.
To go with the project viewer launch, the Lab has also created a new Oculus category in the Destination Guide, which is intended to list “places that are particularly compelling with the Oculus Rift.”
The blog post includes an introductory video, embedded below. Please note, this video refers to downloading the release version of the SL viewer – this is incorrect. The Oculus Rift capabilities are only available via the Oculus Rift project viewer, which is correctly linked-to in the blog post.