OSVR academia program establishes public research portal

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– Tom Heath

Indie developers rejoice: you can now access research conducted by universities that are part of the Open Source Virtual Reality academic program for free online. You don’t need to be a student at one of the 49 participating universities to learn and innovate upon the results from studies into the possibilities of VR gaming.

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In a virtual world, we may finally see our fingers “fing”. (Source: Maurizio Pesce, copyright)

Announced at CES 2015 in January, the OSVR program is a joint effort by gaming industry members including Razer, Gearbox Software and Sixense, along with graphics engines such as Unreal Engine and Unity 3D. The venture’s goal is to supply their Hacker Development Kit to universities around the world to better facilitate VR research, rather than hacking as its name implies.

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The Hacker Development Kit. I’m probably now on an ASIO watch-list for just Googling it… (Source: OSVR)

The resulting papers are now being published over on the OSVR website, available for free and full of stories of how participants overcame VR pitfalls like motion sickness and motion tracking, and also includes studies into making augmented reality projects.

This is pretty good news for any indie developers out there keen to create VR projects but don’t have the means to take part in a course. Sure, you miss out on the student/teacher interaction, but if you can learn from or be inspired by someone else’s research paper and go on to create a cool VR experience, then great.

I look forward to all the underwear-soiling horror games that will come from people studying these papers!

Tom is yet to properly try VR, maybe you should tell him what he’s getting himself into over on his Twitter: @tomdheath. For more gaming news, follow LoadScreen on Twitter, @load_screen, and Facebook.

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