Search on Google to find out whether the Oculus dev kits are alive or dead, and you’ll be none the wiser. Like all gaming and hardware topics, opinions are very much divided, but in the case of the DK1 and 2 it’s genuinely hard to tell who’s doing what with their old Rift gear.
But it’s still a fascinating journey trying to find out. Along the way we found some very cool endeavours that the more adventurous side of the VR community is doing with the dev kits, so here’s a list of the top mods and hacks we’ve found for the beloved DK1 and DK2.
Vive Controllers with Rift DK2
Redditor dSpect did some sterling work in adding trackable controllers to the DK2 experience after encountering a fault that rendered a Vive headset defunct. The Vive controllers were then combined with a DK2 and SteamVR and were encouraged to play nice together!
Virtual Reality on the Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi is everyone’s favorite single board computer, and for good reason. It’s ultra-affordable and has an awesome global community of makers, hackers, coders and enthusiasts putting it to incredible use. The Bubbleworks team managed to get VR running on the Raspberry Pi coupled with an Oculus DK2 and a very clever Python called VR Zero.
Adding Inter-Pupillary Distance Adjustments to the DK2
The DK2 (and DK1, to be fair) casually blew our minds when VR first resurfaced, but a very minor hardware feature did sour the experience for some during those embryonic days. You couldn’t adjust the IPD (inter-pupillary distance) to adjust the screens to fit your eyeballs. It’s a small feature that has a massive impact on a VR headset’s clarity, to this YouTuber shows you how to add it retrospectively.
Link: DK2 IPD Hack
How the Oculus DK2 Works
For the more electronically inclined, this highly detailed four-part post deconstructs the Oculus DK2 and reverse engineers how the headset actually works. A viral resource for anyone who might have an interest in modding or hacking the hardware, but also a revealing insight for the whole VR users community to see just how complex and impressive this tech really is from an inside perspective.
Modding a DK1
VR accessories are taking their time appearing for the current generation of HMDs, but the likes of the DK1 never received any despite the community yearning for them. Fortunately Caleb Kraft took up the challenge and designed a clip that allows you to mount accessories such as web cams or Hydra trackers directly on the DK1, and the best news is that you can 3D print your own.
Raspberry Pi VR Telepresence
Another excellent Raspberry Pi project from Wayne Keenan (of Bubbleworks) that mounts dual cameras on a pan and tilt motor, with the video being fed back to an Oculus DK2 headset. The idea behind this work-in-progress project is that you mount the cameras — which follow and mimic the motion of the DK2 headset so you can look around — in a remote location that can then be viewed stereoscopically in virtual reality.
Bringing DK Experiences Back to Life
A bit of shameless self promotion here, but whatever; it still fits the theme nicely! The WEARVR Remastered competition is still running, which encourages early VR development pioneers to go back to their original DK1 and 2 demos, games, apps and experiences, and bring them back to life for the current generation of virtual reality headsets and the new audiences that come with them. There’s $10K in cash prizes up for grabs along with this remastered content, too! Entries must be live and working on the WEARVR app store before May 1st to enter.