I have a new purpose in life. Sure, I’m still mild-mannered Information Technology consultant Daniel Buchanan with GetMorePC, a small IT Consulting firm in Fountain City, Tennessee in north Knoxville. But I’ve taken on another passion as of lately. I’ve become obsessed with the Oculus Rift, a Virtual Reality headmounted display with persistent head tracking. It is the coolest piece of technology I’ve seen in a long time and I want to do nothing more than play with it all day.
Sometimes its amazing to see just how far following your bliss can take you. Since I started working with David Denton after his presentation at the Knoxville Museum of Art, I’ve been inspired by David’s work and decided to take up his mantle and help evangelize the Oculus Rift. David has done extensive work with Second Life and I’m glad he asked me to help be his technical support on this project.
Applications for Virtual Reality
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a gamer, so of course I think gaming is coming for the Oculus Rift. However, I think the commercial applications will precede this technology by offering affordable Virtual Reality to the masses. The first field I think might be influenced is Architecture. Architects go through extensive work to be able to bring the ideas in their head to life. I want to make that process easier for architects by giving them a virtual world to build their models in that clients could walk around inside of.
Imagine instead of buying a house based on flat plans on a piece of paper, blueprints, you could instead strap on the Oculus Rift and virtually walk through the house before the first hammer is ever lifted. It is also hard to imagine where roads and bridges might go on a landscape, so to be able to lay out big civil projects in a virtual world is useful. Any project that could be imagined in the real world could be execute in the virtual world for a lot less money and far less time. This is but one possibility in a multitude of possibilities. The only limit is the developers imagination, of which I happen to have a surplus.
Oculus Rift with Second Life
I’ve been successful as of 12/8/2014 at getting the Oculus Rift to work with Second Life. I think I took too many offroads on the way there and got all turned around, it seems like the working version I had the best luck with was right there all along: on the Oculus Share site.
However the “official” version on the Oculus Share Site doesn’t work with all computers. I couldn’t get it working with an HP Beats audio laptop owned by a client, but I could get the Ctrl Alt Viewer from Control Alt Studios to work. It seems like they detect hardware a little differently and allow for more of the visual effects that 3d Head Mounted Displays require.
Of course, you can’t get either application running without the official Oculus Runtime, which includes drivers for the camera and Oculus Rift display, as well as the software development kit. I wanted to write an article to share my findings with the Internet so that we might be able to further test the Oculus Rift on Second Life. Follow my blog posts by subscribing to this blog for further updates and events when we might be organizing demos.
And let me know if I can come out to your business for a demonstration I love to brainstorm ideas about how technology can make or save you money. I can be contacted at (865)406-4015 or daniel (at) getmorepc.com.