OSVR’s new headset ups the hardware, goes toe-to-toe with Rift and Vive

osvr hdk2 headset improved resolution osvr2
The second generation of the OSVR developer kit headset has been detailed by third-party manufacturers like Razer, which plan to have the new headset and its various components available for purchase by July. OSVR, which stands for Open Source Virtual Reality, is an initiative which, as its name more than implies, is seeking to bring open-source software and hardware to the virtual reality development community. The upgrades are designed to bring the headset in line with the specifications of both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets — though it does still lack room-scale tracking and motion controllers.

Termed the OSVR Hacker Development Kit 2 (HDK2), the headset sports a new pair of low-persistence OLED panels, with a combined resolution of 2,160 x 1,200p (the same as both aforementioned commercial headsets). They also operate at 90Hz, meaning the headset can support that 90-frames-per-second minimum that most developers are targeting with their VR experiences.

The field of view is listed by Engadget as 110 degrees.

We’re also told that it uses Image Quality Enhancement, or IQE, to help reduce what’s known as the “screen door effect.” That’s when the lines between pixels become visible due to the proximity of the user’s eyes to the displays, materializing much like the view you get when looking through a screen door. This was almost eliminated by both HTC/Valve and Oculus with their headsets, so likely much the same has happened with the OSVR headset.

Related: Acer puts its bets on open-source VR, touts support for Razer’s OSVR in latest gaming PCs

Everything else with the HDK2 is the same as the previous developer kit, though if you bought one a year ago it may be that the stock configuration has been upgraded by this point. It comes with version 1.4 of the infrared Faceplate which, when combined with the 100Hz infrared camera, allows for positional tracking and multi-directional movement. It can also be combined with a Leap Motion to add hand-tracking as well.

The HDK2 also comes equipped with the ability to adjust focusing for each eye to make it easier to customize the experience for the user, catering to between +4.5 and -2 for those who are long- or short-sighted.

Although not available just yet, the HDK2 will go on sale in July priced at $400. The OSVR face-plate upgrade with Leap Motion will set buyers back a further $75.

The developers hope that with the new HDK2 and an influx of $5 million in development funds from the likes of Razer, more companies will begin producing their own OSVR headsets, making virtual reality a much more open platform for development and innovation.


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