Opensource VR Headset



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?


Please let me know if a group parts purchase goes ahead. I’d like to try vr, and I think I have one windows box that might be able to power it


Am hoping the person that forwarded me an email re relativity takes the notes I’ve added a runs with it… I’d love to do this, but I can’t take on more things for a while :slight_smile:

But I can see helping with logistics and organizing. Here’s hoping we can get this off the ground- especially with things like: