Draxtor and I have just finished an interview with Widely Linden, a senior producer at Linden Lab who works on the Oculus Rift implementation.
Only yesterday Linden Lab announced that their Oculus Rift viewer was ready for Beta testing and today Oculus VR let know that their headsets are now officially out of stock.

So, plenty to talk about!

You can hear the interview tomorrow in the Drax files radio hour but I couldn’t wait to share some of what was talked about.

  • Viewer has full integration.
    “We support the entire Second Life experience and that includes building, chatting, every bit of UI (User Interface) is accessible when you’re in the Oculus Rift.”
  • There is no solution (yet) for not being able to see your keyboard, you may want to consider using voice chat more often or get better at typing blind.
    There isn’t a virtual keyboard at the moment, I suggested this a while ago and hope that they are going to experiment with this option as not everybody is able to touch type.
  • The present SL UI has been projected “onto a 3 dimensional space that follows you and hovers in front of you and you can completely customize it “.
  • It works in a similar manner to the huds inside the helmet of Tony Stark in the movie Ironman.
  • Development started at the end of August and it worked pretty quickly in a very basic way but then they decided that the viewer would have to be able to offer everything the regular viewers offer as well.
    “It became very clear to us that we have to make this work and we weren’t just going to slap dash something together and get it out there just to be first.
    We wanted to do it right.”
  • “People who are familiar and comfortable with the Second Life UI and how Second Life works, will take to this no problem. There is not much of any kind of a new learning curve for them to get over. You’re in and running if you have a Rift.”
  • The viewer supports a third person view, a first person view and mouselook mode.
    Third person is as we’re used to having in the regular SL viewer.
    In “mouselook HMD mode” (HMD = head mounted display), the mouse no longer affects your camera view, buttons still work, etc. Your head direction will steer your avatar.
    First person mode has the camera where your head is, the UI is visible on demand and you have a cursor.
    In this mode where you look will not change the direction your avatar is going.
    It is like walking around in the real world.
  • People may still experience some nausea while using the Oculus in Second Life, but Widely Linden reminds us that a lot of people say that the next version of the Rift is already makes the ‘sea sickness’ a lot less and most people attribute it to the original developers kit.
  • Beta viewer supports the Mac.
  • A destination guide list has been created of places that look fantastic with the Oculus Rift.
  • “Second Life is particularly well suited for the Rift.”
  • “In a way Second Life was build with this hardware in mind, just the hardware didn’t exist yet.”

I’ll end with my own conclusion;
Second Life & Oculus Rift, meant to be together, a marriage made in heaven.

Please make sure you listen to the actual interview on the Drax files radio hour tomorrow.

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The Oculus Rift Test area in 1920s Berlin

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