Wednesday, April 24, 2013

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Oculus Rift Integration Coming to Second Life, Linden Lab Staff Confirm (Both Officially and Unofficially)

Oculus Rift Second Life

Linden Lab intends to integrate the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset with Second Life, company spokesman Peter Gray just confirmed with me. "Yes," he replied, when I asked, "we plan to strongly support Oculus Rift. That means code, client, and server-side, to make the Oculus Rift experience excellent in Second Life." That's excellent news, because like I said last week, the Oculus could become Second Life's killer app, but only if Linden Lab is willing to go all in. Sounds like they are doing just that, in an official capacity.

Here's some more interesting news: several Linden staff are also working on integrating Oculus Rift with Second Life in an unofficial capacity, as some of them also confirmed with me.

Among Lindens, one said, there's "lots of interest" in connecting Second Life to the Oculus Rift; many of them are waiting on dev kits, and plan on experimenting with just that. My personal impression is that Rift fans in Linden Lab want to show how cool and compelling it is, to make integration a top priority for the company. (Upper management including Rod Humble might be waiting to see how well the Rift does commercially, when it's finally available in retail next year, before investing much resources in this effort.) When I asked Peter when we could expect an early build of Second Life integrated with the Rift, he said, "We can't share a timeline for that just yet."

So reading between the lines, it seems like we'll all get to experience Second Life with the Oculus Rift sometime in 2014 or 2015, when (and if) the retail version of the Rift comes out, as scheduled. But we'll probably see early experiments with integration this year, from Linden Lab staff and third party developers who own Rift dev kits. And I'm even more convinced that Philip Rosedale's new start-up is also working on another Oculus Rift-powered version of virtual reality, too. Given all that, we should be seeing a lot of virtual world/virtual reality innovations in the coming months.

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Adeon Writer

Pinch me I'm dreaming.

Whimsy Winx

Hi5 Linden Labs.

Jo Yardley

Already sort of knew it but still great to hear that it is now official! :)

Damien Fate

I didn't expect them to move on this, truly thrilled!

Tuna Oddfellow

I have been waiting for the tech to advance like this since before there was an Oculus Rift. I can not wait to tie VR in with my own projects.

I will reserve more excitement about LL support till the time comes by I have big visions of what comes next.

Jacki Morie

We have had the OR dev kit for a couple of weeks now and are nearly there with the SL integration. Linden Lab knows of our eraly efforts. We will post videos as soon as we can.

Michelle Leckrone

Glad to see them taking some interest just have to wait now This could refresh the whole virtual worlds with it is done right :)

Ai Austin

For now get out the red and cynan glasses and use Kirsten's Viewer set to 3D mode.

Wolf Baginski

I'm wary about how such things will work for me, with my vision, but on what i have seen, things are looking a little better on that front.

Apparently, a lot of the depth perception for distant objects doesn't depend on having two eyes. The inter-ocular distance, and the resolution of the retina puts a limit on what we can see. A lot of the perception of distant objects comes from movement, and from "aerial perspective", not from getting different images from each eye, and some of that perception can be trained.

Some of this can be seen in the a href="http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-078.htm">German Navy's use of Stereoscopic Rangefinders.

Some cameras used coincidence rangefinders.

Zarkinfrood Miami

Linden Labs, you may just get me to go back. This excites the hell out of me. now if only I can get the Oculus to sit on my head without interfering with the sensor pads from my Emotiv EPOC headset www.emotiv.com I'll be thrilled. This is another case where I feel like two technologies were meant to be married together.

Ajax MAnatiso

Finally, a new way to crash and/or totally lock up your PC! Who needs to fix the current instability when you can just pile on more features which makes the grid even more unstable?

Seven Overdrive

I wonder how long those can be worn before fatigue sets in. I have a rather bulky head set and can not stand to have it on my head for more than an hour.

Iggy

Best thing about the Rift: I'll never seen anyone wearing them while driving.

Bring 'em on.

pixeleen mistral

Hammie,

Do you think the Oculus Rift integration with Second Life might occur before or after SL is available in Steam? Will there be Coffee and Power?

I'm hoping to establish some sort of baseline calibration of the New World Notes definition of "soon". Based this story from last August:
http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2012/08/second-life-steam-gamer-platform.html
I have either missed a major announcement -or- NWN defines "soon" in an interesting way.

Can you enlighten me?


Metacam Oh

Soon in Second Life terms is code for next CEO reign.

Ian Pahute

Hi! I just wrote a huge post about this but it got eaten by the internet *sigh*... So here goes again! :-)

I have been an advocate of stereo 3D interaction for many years. Using the client developed using University of Michigan code a few years back I created a stereo anaglyph machinima. Hamlet featured it (http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2009/12/second-life-in-3d.html)! Its a bit dark in the render but does give glimpses...

As an artist I have continued to work with this stuff which last year culminated in a collaboration between Stelarc (performance artist), Joff Chafer (Avatar Rep Actor) and myself. The work, EXTRACT / INSERT was supported by Arts Council UK and the Linden Endowments for the Arts. For a month last November we exhibited in Coventry UK and LEA24 in Second Life. We used a small cinema screen and polarized stereo projection to create an augmented space where virtual and physical people could step into and share and interact within their respective realities.

True stereo immersion is a game changer. I am so enthused to see Linden Labs appear to engage with Oculus Rift!

That said, I am amazed that the lab has not engaged with what already exists now. Code, such as that created by the University of Michigan the developments in the Kirsten's Viewer and nVidia 3D Vision could make this stuff (albeit without head tracking) available now. Ok. It would take some development (especially the 3D Vision) but it is all so tantalizingly close...

We realized EXTRACT / INSERT using sophisticated software used more typically in the CAD industry. Far too expensive for consumer use. This sits between SL Open GL and an nVidia Quadro Card and intercepts OpenGL to create the two stereo images.

But the result was technologically transparent and enabled over 5000 people to step into a space many considered science fiction. That said, and usually within a few minutes, the disbelief turned to normal and people just started to engage. It was magical...

Immersive stereo spaces are a game changer and that technology is available here and now...

If you would like to know more about EXTRACT / INSERT check these out:

http://vimeo.com/53138494

http://vimeo.com/58571590

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxgS5V4ROwM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKanHILj6X4

Oculus Rift? Yay!

Rose

Hopefully this will be optional and not affect the experience of those who choose not to use this technology. This sounds like fun for certain situations like exploring an immersive landscape, a concert, etc. Doesn't seem practical for everyday building, shopping in crowded areas, or just chatting with friends. I'm just as geeky as the next gal but prefer to choose my tech.

Seymore Steamweaver

Before reading the comments, I hit Command+F and searched the word "fix" because at 17 comments I knew at least one person would be bitching about SL's random bouts of instability. Congrats Ajax. It was you.

Spruce Canning

@Jackie Morie I am a freelance writer who is writing an article about the Oculus Rift for the Second Life Magazine AVENUE. I would like to set up an email or in world interview, whichever works for you. I am in world between the hours of 12pm to 7pm during the week and can also be reached at SpruceCanning@gmail.com . I hope to hear from you soon.

Regards,

Spruce Canning

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