We are trying something new. Beginning this month, all releases from the SDK, Integrations, Audio, and Platform teams will be coordinated. Instead of releasing various changes as they are ready, we will be pushing all our releases together —hopefully making development for Oculus a lot easier.
PC SDK Updates
Unreal Engine 4.16 includes a major change to the way the Oculus SDK is exposed to Unreal. IHeadMountedDisplay and IMotionController are now backed by an abstraction plugin. This unifies the code path for Rift and Gear VR and will make it easier to roll out support for new APIs and SDKs in the future.
This release drops Gear VR support for Android KitKat (API 19) devices. KitKat accounts for about 0.01% of Gear VR active users. Though Lollipop is still supported it represents about 1% of active users. We recommend Gear VR developers target Android Marshmallow (API 23). Note that targeting Marshmallow has some implications for user permissions.
Features and Bug Fixes In This Release
The big new features for our Audio package this month are near-field, volumetric, and a preview of ambisonic authoring in the DAW plugin.
HRTF is great at modelling sounds in the far-field (1 meter or more away from the listener) but can sound unnatural when sounds are very close to the listener. With the use of motion controllers sounds are very often close to the listener so we implemented near-field spatialization which provides a much better sense of distance when sounds are very close to the listener.
Spatial audio and HRTF are traditionally limited to only representing point sources, but not all sounds come from a single point. Oculus research have developed a novel method for allowing for volumetric sound sources, this allows sound designers to model objects large 3D sounds sources accurately. This is essentially the equivalent to “spread” in 3D panning but in the spatial audio domain.
Abisonic Authoring in DAW Plugin (Preview)
Our DAW plugin has been quite popular way to quickly try out spatial audio in VR, we’re taking it from being a preview tool to an authoring tool. This release provides the ability to render out your spatial audio session as an ambisonic file which can be played back in game. The DAW plugin is VR enabled so with Rift and Touch you can design your spatial ambience or music in VR and hear it the way it will sound in game.
Two new Discoverability features are now available for Gear VR apps via Oculus Explore—Announcements and In—App Content. Announcements and In—App Content are developer-specific stories about your app showcased along with photo and video stories and auto-generated trending stories in a stream of targeted content based on the user's interest. These are shown in Oculus Home.
Announce new changes or updates in your app, such as a new game mode, level, social feature, or character class. Announcements may be shown in Explore if the post matches a user's interests.
Preview self—contained experiences in your app, like a video, photo set, or standalone experience with In-App Content. In-App Content may be shown in Explore if the post matches a user's interests. In—App Content will be surfaced in Oculus Search. We can show users your In-App Content post in Oculus Explore if you provide a trailer video for the post.
To create a story, go to “Manage” in theOculus Developer Center. Click on your app name and then “Discoverability” to create an Announcement or In—App Content story.
Note: To have a trending app show up in Oculus Explore without creating an Announcement or In-App Content post, you'll need to have submitted a cubemap and a 2D video to the Assets page in the Oculus store.
And don't forget to create an Event. Check out our most Social Platform Series blog post.
- The Oculus Team