Open Source Virtual Reality or Razer OSVR is a project to produce a virtual reality head-mounted display that is open-source hardware and uses open-source software.
The project is primarily sponsored by Razer Inc. and Sensics
Razer OSVR has two main and independent parts: open-source hardware and open-source software.
The first hardware, a Hacker Development Kit, was released in July 2015. Partners in the project include game developers Ubisoft and hardware manufacturers Vuzix.
The open source software platform allows virtual reality developers to detect, configure and operate virtual reality devices across a wide range of operating systems. It is provided under Apache 2.0 license.
The easiest way to explain Razer OSVR is to compare it to Android. It’s an open source platform which aims to inspire developers and big name brands companies to push VR tech forward. Its objective is to be a software framework that sets new standards for virtual reality.
Like Android, it’s an open licensed ecosystem (in fact, on the same Apache Software License 2.0 as Google’s mobile OS) that developers can use to create VR experiences – or more specifically, VR games – across any operating system, including Windows, Android and Linux.
Razer’s OSVR isn’t a rival to the likes of Oculus Rift, Project Morpheus and Samsung Gear VR. It’s designed to make it easier developers to develop for any VR hardware – without technical (software and hardware) limitations getting in their way.
Luca Di Fiore, director of R&D at Razer – the chief hardware company working with OSVR said:
“Oculus say they are open source, but they are not,” said Di Fiore. “They have done a fantastic job of getting VR on the front pages and their SDK is open source, but only for things that work on its hardware. On the device side they are locked.
“We don’t want to compete with Oculus, we want to support Oculus. If a developer wants to use our platform to support Oculus, he can – already today you can do that.”
For more information visit the OSVR Page on Raserzone’s website.