Using the Oculus Rift with Second Life

by Community Manager ‎05-21-2014 01:30 PM - edited ‎10-14-2014 10:56 AM

10.13.2014: UPDATE: Oculus Rift DK2 Project Viewer Now Available.

At Linden Lab, we’ve been very happy to see all the recent activity and interest in the virtual reality space - it's a sign of progress and innovation in the industry and helps validate the space Second Life has led for more than 10 years. Developments like the Oculus Rift hold great potential for Second Life, and we're very excited to bring the virtual world into the future with new technologies and partners.

 A few weeks ago, we began a limited beta test of a version of the Second Life Viewer that makes it easy to use an Oculus Rift headset with Second Life for a fully immersive, VR experience. From the outset, we’ve seen strong interest in the integration, not only from existing Second Life users seeking a new way to experience the virtual world, but also from virtual reality enthusiasts eager to explore the enormous quantity and variety of user-created 3D content and social experiences inworld.

 The early beta testers of our integration have provided some valuable feedback, identifying bugs as well as providing suggestions for additional features and options that would improve the experience of using the Oculus Rift with Second Life. Today we’re pleased to announce that our Oculus Rift integration is now available as a Project Viewer, the first step toward becoming a part of the default Second Life Viewer.

 The Project Viewer features:

  • Full Oculus Rift Hardware Support - includes automatic hardware detection and display calibration for quick and easy setup.

  • Full UI Support - users can access the entire Second Life UI and HUDs while in Oculus Rift mode, so there are no limitations on what a user can do inworld while using the headset.

  • Customizable UI - users can tailor the settings for Oculus Rift mode that work best for their needs.

  • Avatar Head Motion - Oculus Rift head-tracking data is mapped to the avatar, so users’ avatars look where they do.

  • New First-Person View - allows users to enjoy the immersion previously available with mouselook mode, but thanks to the Oculus Rift, the mouse is free again to control the cursor, allowing for interaction with the UI and objects inworld.

  • “Align to Look” -  allows users to quickly start moving the direction they are looking.

  • “Action Key” - interact with objects by pressing a key, works great in mouselook mode.

Like our initial beta release, this Project Viewer is more about making it easy to get started using the Oculus Rift to view Second Life than it is about optimizing the UI for headset users. We’ve made some minor adjustments to the regular Second Life UI in order to present it in head-mounted display (HMD) mode, but the UI headset users will experience with this project Viewer is still essentially the same as you’d see without an Oculus Rift.

If you have an Oculus Rift headset and would like to use it with Second Life, get the Project  Viewer here. Getting started is easy - the Viewer includes automatic hardware detection and display calibration, and we’ve created this brief video to help:

You can use the Oculus Rift for an immersive 3D experience anywhere and everywhere in Second Life, and we’re also creating a new category in our Destination Guide to make it easy to find places that are particularly compelling with the Oculus Rift.

It’s still early days for the Oculus Rift (the hardware isn’t yet available to consumers), and we have more planned for our integration with the Second Life Viewer as well. We’ll keep you posted as development progresses, and we look forward to hearing more about your experiences using the Oculus Rift with Second Life!