About Oculus Rift

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Basics

The Oculus Rift is a virtual reality headset developed by Oculus VR. It is most commonly used for virtual reality gaming, simulations and spatial design. The Oculus Rift went through several prototypes such as the Development Kit 1 and the Development Kit 2, before releasing the most recent Consumer version. We currently have the DK2 at the Interaction Station available for use.

Compatibility

1. The Oculus Rift is currently not compatible with any Mac system.

2. The Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 is not officially compatible with Oculus Home, the distribution network that is packaged with the Oculus Rift Consumer version, which provides mainstream Oculus VR content. However, it is still possible to access and run this content from Oculus Home with the DK2, although small issues may arise and some content may not work properly. It is also still possible to download VR content specifically for the DK2 on platforms such as STV.RE, The Rift Arcade and Virtual Desktop.

3. The most common software used to develop virtual environments for the Oculus Rift are Unity and Unreal game engines. Both are installed on the computers at the Interaction Station and are also free to download and use at home (see Working with Oculus Rift DK2 and Unity 5.x about compatibility specifics for using Unity 5 with the Oculus Rift DK2). One typically uses Unity or Unreal in combination with modeling programs such as Maya, Cinema 4D or Rhino. You do not need the Oculus Rift headset to model or program the virtual environments - only to view them. See Tutorials below for entry-level tutorials on creating virtual environments for the Oculus Rift.

Alternatives

It is important to note the difference between VR headsets that come with a built-in display and require a host PC (such as the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive), and smartphone-based VR headsets that use the phone's display and operating system to run and display VR content (such as GearVR and Google Cardboard). We currently have several Google Cardboard and GearVR headsets (and Samsung phones) to use at the Interaction Station. More Info : Oculus Rift versus Gear VR, How Smartphone VR works.

Tutorials

1. Introduction to using Unity 5 with the Oculus DK2.
2. Introduction to using Unreal Engine with the Oculus DK2.