There were so many great new dev tools and platform updates announced at last week's fourth annual Oculus Connect (OC4) along with roadmap disclosures for Avatars, Rift Core 2.0 and our newest product and first standalone headset, Oculus Go. And there's more! Our software and tools teams have released the following new packages in this month's tech updates.
Major updates include our newest PC SDK with the release of version 1.19, our newest Mobile SDK with the release of version 1.9.0 and new tools.
PC SDK 1.19
The PC SDK 1.19 release provides four notable updates:
- Oculus Dash functionality—New API support has been added so that you can begin to prepare your applications for the upcoming release of Oculus Dash. See API Changes for more information.
- Cubemap support: A new cubemap layer has been added. A cubemap consists of six rectangles, with the user positioned inside as if sitting in a cube-shaped room, where the walls are at infinite distance. Each wall is a texture that your application can submit.
- Octilinear rendering: This feature implements NVIDIA® lens matched shading. This approach avoids the need to render a lot of pixels that would otherwise be discarded before the image is output to the headset. Octilinear rendering is essentially a way to compress the screen buffers. In general, it is necessary for the application to draw a larger image than is actually displayed on the VR headset. It takes extra time to draw these larger images. So lens matched shading allows an application to draw a smaller image, because it draws a pre-compressed image. An octilinear image appears as follows:
- New graphics submission APIs. A more flexible set of graphics submission APIs is now available: ovr_WaitToBeginFrame, ovr_BeginFrame, and ovr_EndFrame. Note that ovr_SubmitFrame has been deprecated. ovr_SubmitFrame was equivalent to calling all three of these new functions consecutively. The ability to split apart this functionality enables more sophisticated performance optimizations, especially in multi-threaded environments.
- ovr_WaitToBeginFrame: Waits until surfaces are available and it is time to begin rendering the frame.
- ovr_BeginFrame: This function should be called from render thread before application begins rendering.
- ovr_EndFrame: This function should be called from render thread after application has finished rendering, in order to submit the rendered frame to the Oculus compositor.
Mobile SDK 1.9.0
This release provides support for a new frame submission path which allows for new layer types such as Cylinder, Cube, and Equirect, enables you to specify a user-defined tracking transform, and adds support for a new performance API. The new frame submission API adds support for flexible layer lists and now requires only one completion fence to represent the entire frame. Performance parameters are no longer specified through this API, and should instead be specified through the new Performance API. For additional information, see Migrating to Mobile SDK 1.9.0.
Oculus Utilities for Unity - This release provides support for the Dash UI (expected to ship in early December).
Unreal 4 Integration - This release provides support for the Dash UI (expected to ship in early December) and Mixed Reality Capture.
Oculus Spatializer DAW Win and Oculus Spatializer DAW Mac - The updated packages includes three notable new features:
- Optimized 2D graphics to allow for multiple instances of plugin windows, which previously caused performance issues.
- Randomized the color of instance locations when new instances added, making it easier to see and utilize them.
- Randomized the location of instances when they are added, enabling easier selection in both 2D and DAW.
Share to Facebook
Share to Facebook is now available for Gear VR. With our new API you can easily allow people to post image content from your app straight to Facebook, from selfies to pieces of art. See Sharing for more information.
The Rooms and Matchmaking Debugger
The Rooms and Matchmaking Debugger can help you identify the connections and interactions of users or Rooms to debug matchmaking pools. See the Matchmaking Testing and Tuning page for more information.
Lost Frame Capture Tool
In the 1.19 runtime, Oculus released the Lost Frame Capture tool for Rift applications to help you better diagnose and fix dropped frames to meet the Rift Virtual Reality Checklist (VRC). See the Lost Frames documentation for more information.
OVR Metrics Monitor
OVR Metrics Tool provides performance metrics for Oculus mobile applications, including frame rate, heat, GPU and CPU throttling values, and the number of tears and stale frames per second.
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