Virtual reality has been an important topic of discussion at the CES. Different innovative products related to this technology were unveiled at this event. In spite of all the buzz surrounding virtual reality, the number of people buying or even trying out virtual reality headsets is minimal. Samsung Gear VR needs to be paired with a specific phone before using it and the Oculus Rift hasn’t yet gone mainstream. In this landscape, Razer, the PC game hardware manufacturer, has planned to bring its own virtual reality headset in the market.
OSVR Hacker Dev Kit
Razer unveiled the OSVR Hacker Dev Kit at the CES 2015. It is a hackable, open-source VR headset. The company claims that the kit will be compatible with Oculus DK2-level development kits and software as well as with any experimental VR software in Android and Linux. The cost of the kit is $200 which is quite less when compared to the Oculus Rift development kits which costs $349.
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Razer is a part of a large group which tries to put in all of virtual reality under one roof of open-source. The group is called Open-Source Virtual Reality Consortium or OSVR in short.
The OSVR Hacker Dev Kit has a similar look like Oculus Rift. The elastic headband and the foam around the eyes of the set are same as Oculus. Inside the headset, there is a 5.5 inch swappable display with 1920X1080 pixel resolution. It uses head-tracking technology like Samsung Gear VR. A gyroscope, an accelerometer and a compass complete the set.
The lenses in each eyepiece can be adjusted separately. The distance of the lens can be shifted to adjust with the difference in eyes or for narrower or wider eye placement. Razer has promised enhanced “minimal distortion” through its lenses. There are five screws which hold up the headset and by removing them, users can replace the optics or change the display into a more high resolution one.
The company is also planning to provide the details and the blueprints of the OSVR kit online through their website. This will allow users to 3D print their own models.
Availability of the Kit
The OSVR kit will be available in June. It is targeted at developers and hackers rather than everyday consumers. The idea of bringing in all of virtual reality together is definitely noble but it can prove to be a tough and complicated job. Companies like Oculus, Sony and even Google are already trying to create their own path in the virtual reality world. It remains to be seen whether OSVR can make this tough job possible.
The real test for Razer would be to see how the VR headset will handle actual games.
Do you think Razer can cause a significant effect on VR? Would you like to use this headset? Share your thoughts with us.