Stew sent in this summary of the Relativity project- an open source VR headset.
Yip, it’s supposed to be ~$100 in parts.
It uses the OSVR HDK (hacker’s developer kit) which appears to be a Windows shim for Steam VR.
Quickly browsing the docs, my guess is that OSVR “tricks” SteamVR into rendering side-by-side stereo, probably with pre-distortion for the fresnel lenses, onto a second monitor. This signal is then feed to a small panel in the DIY headsets.
As well it must be doing some sensor fusion and feeding positional data to SteamVR. E.g. relativity is using a MPU-6050 accelerometer and gyro. So absolute position and orientation is a double integral problem… noise will compound and may lead to drift. BUT it may not be enough to be a problem for most VR experiences.
This could be an amazing project!
Note: The OSVR compatibility page is a bounty of interesting links.
Some things to check:
- is there an HDK driver for Linux or Mac?
- down the rabbit hole, looking at some of the source repos names, and looking a bit into the Steam compatibility layer, tentative yes
- what does it cost to get the materials in Courtenay?
- eg there are lots of cheap VR headsets for phones these days- are those fresnel lens compatible?
- build a prototype, demo it, and do a group buy & build?