Lab announces Oculus Rift DK2 project viewer available

On Wednesday May 21st, Linden Lab publicly released the Oculus Rift project viewer, offering initial support for the Oculus Rift DK1.

Things have moved on since, most notably with the release of the Oculus DK2, versions of which the Lab received in July 2014, and have been using to update the project viewer to provide DK2 support.

Oculus Rift: Lab launches project viewer with DK2 support
Oculus Rift: Lab launches project viewer with DK2 support

On Monday October 13th, the Lab announced that the updated version of the viewer is now available.

The blog post announcing the update reads:

A few months ago, we released a Project Viewer that made it possible to use the first generation Oculus Rift development kit (DK1) anywhere in Second Life.

Since then, Oculus Rift has released a second generation development kit, DK2. The new hardware offers an even more immersive experience when used with Second Life – there’s less likelihood of feeling motion sick thanks to the motion-tracking features, and less of the “screen-door effect” on the visuals, thanks to higher resolution and brighter display.

We’ve integrated the DK2 with Second Life, and today are releasing a new Project Viewer so that virtual reality enthusiasts with the DK2 can use it anywhere in Second Life, just as DK1 users can.

Unfortunately, though, there are still some bugs impacting the experience, which we won’t be able to fix until we receive the next SDK from Oculus Rift. Because Second Life uses OpenGL in its browser, we cannot support direct mode in the Rift until Oculus releases a version of the SDK that supports that.

In addition, juddering is an issue (as it is with most DK2 demos).This can be significantly improved on Windows by turning off Aero, which allows the Rift to use its full refresh rate rather than being limited to the refresh rate of the primary monitor. This refresh rate is a major factor in the judder and turning off Aero can significantly improve your experience.

We’ll continue to fix bugs and improve the experience as quickly as we can once we get the next SDK, but in the meantime, we wanted to get this Project Viewer out into testers’ hands. If you have an Oculus Rift development kit, you can download the new Project Viewer here.

The update includes an expanded HMD configuration panel, which can be accessed via Preferences > Move and View > click on the Head Mounted Displays button.

The expnaded HMD configuration panel
The expanded HMD configuration panel

As with the original project viewer, this configuration panel can also be accessed via a dedicated toolbar button.

The release notes for the viewer include some additional hints and tips:

  1. In Windows 7 turn OFF Aero (go to Windows Basic setting in the “Personalize” right-click menu on the desktop).
  2. In the Windows display settings, adjust the refresh rate on the DK2 to 60hz rather than 75hz.
  3. Make sure your Oculus config runtime and firmware are up to date.
  4. Make sure the power cable is plugged in to the Rift.
  5. If using an NVIDIA card, update to the latest drivers, which have some Oculus/VR specific optimizations.
  6. Turning on Triple buffering in the NVIDIA control panel may help in some cases. Results may vary.
  7. To increase framerate try reducing the Second Life Viewer draw distance and/or disable Shadows and the Ambient Occlusion.
  8. On the HMD setting panel in preferences try experimenting with turning low persistence mode on and off. We’ve found that is some cases it can exacerbate ghosting and jitter.
  9. If you’re in Mac OS X, it is recommended that you exit HMD when uploading files, such as images or models. There is currently an issue that can get your viewer stuck in a bad state if you attempt to upload files while HMD Mode is enabled.

Key Controls

  • Enter HMD mode – CTRL + SHIFT + D
  • Align to look – Q
  • Center Mouse Pointer – Z
  • Action key – X
  • Camera Mode – M (Press multiple times to cycle through 3rd Person, HMD Mouse look, and 1st Person modes)

The blog post from the Lab also includes the video released at the time the original Oculus Rift project viewer was launched.

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