Virtual reality glasses on Linux

Second Sight

Article from Issue 164/2014

For decades, gamers and geeks have dreamed of virtual reality. Thanks to the Oculus Rift, this dream could become a reality for Linux users and developers as well – even though the whole thing is sponsored by Facebook.

The producers of the Futurama cartoon (who also produce The Simpsons) must have sensed this: When protagonist Fry tries the Internet in the year 3000, he ends up in a virtual 3D world – the future Internet. Before he can succumb to its fascination, however, a horde of noisy banners pounces on him: "My God, it's full of ads!" is his horrified cry [1].

Many fans could see the future of virtual reality this way since the acquisition of Oculus VR [2] for US$  2 billion by Facebook. Oculus is the company behind the Oculus Rift (Figure 1), the prototype of a VR "glass" that catapults the old science fiction vision of VR into the present day.

Figure 1: The current Oculus Rift from Developer Kit 1 together with controller box.


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