Rift Updates at OC5: New Support and Core Software
Oculus Developer Blog
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Posted by Oculus VR
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September 26, 2018
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At OC5, we provided an overview of the latest Rift updates and a glimpse of what's next for the platform. We're entering year three and, with more developers building high-end experiences, we're working hard to deliver new ways to help you develop great content.

NEW - Mobile App Supports Rift

Today, the Oculus desktop app is the gateway to the Rift community and we want to give you more ways to reach your app audience. Starting today, the Oculus mobile app supports Rift! The mobile app allows Rift users to browse the store, buy apps and remotely install them to their PC. They can also see and subscribe to upcoming VR events and receive important event notifications directly to their mobile device.

The updated Oculus mobile app is available today on iOS and Android.

Core 2.0 exits beta; Home and Dash come to the Rift Platform

We're constantly working to create a foundation to help developers be more successful. After months of work, Core 2.0—Rift's new system software—is out of beta. This version delivers performance improvements, user interface changes, and a wealth of new features to help you build your app community, engage your audience, and bring people together across the platform. We've updated the static storefront to a new customizable social space called Home that allows users to share with friends and the new system interface, called Dash, brings all apps and PC displays to your fingertips across the Rift platform.

Home - Highlights

Home is now a personal space for users design and decorate to their heart's content. Throughout the beta we gathered feedback, tweaking everything from locomotion to the user interface, to improve the overall experience.

  • Performance: With dynamic lighting and physically-based rendering, Home packs a visual punch. To ensure optimal performance, we've retooled Home from top-to-bottom, ensuring a stable user experience on minimum and recommended spec machines.
  • Custom Asset Import: You can already import objects and files to make custom sculptures, and now you'll be able to import models with skinned animations!
  • New Decor: Home comes with hundreds of themed items and environments to customize your space, including our new Tropical Modern theme and summer decorations.

Custom Developer Items

Custom Items provides users with the ability to create a custom Home experience with items from their favorite games and experiences. Today, we announced Custom Developer Items so that you can further drive engagement with your application and reach new audiences through Oculus Home.

You will be able to build 3D objects related to your games or apps, like animated objects, sculptures, trophies, avatar clothing, and beyond. These items can be used as a reward or competitive incentive attract users to your app, show off new content, and highlight new updates. Developer Custom Items also create a great way for your audience to celebrate in-game achievements and app activity.

We've launched Custom Developer Items to a limited number of Oculus developers and will open up the pipeline to the full developer community later this fall.

Expressive Oculus Avatars

Oculus Avatars form the backbone of social presence in Home and across the Rift and Mobile platforms. In today's keynote, we showcased our progress on Expressive Avatars. They've been overhauled with simulated eye and mouth movement and subtle micro-expressions. The end result is a blend of behavioral science and animation that lets you feel like you're really there with others. We've recently launched cross-platform support for Oculus Avatars; and can't wait to introduce these new updates to the SDK, and Oculus Home, later this year.

Dash

Since beta reveal, Dash has seen improvements and refinements across the board, making it easier than ever to access Rift apps and PC displays anywhere in VR. With the latest update, running Dash won't impact performance while running behind apps and is also improved when running in overlay, too.

We've also redesigned the Dash belt for better ergonomics and surfaced the most popular features. You can now glance at the clock, adjust sound, and check controller battery directly on the belt. It's also easier to manage and organize multiple windows, as well as tweak panels through a new menu of options.

With these new features, it's now more important than ever to integrate Dash support into your applications. Not only does Dash make VR more intuitive and convenient, it also allows users to multitask like never before—a huge plus for creators and developers who use VR while they work and users who want to share their in-app experiences with their friends.

Lastly, today's release introduces Experiments, a new way for us to test and iterate upcoming features. You can try virtual desktop pullout panels, wristwatch, and other experimental features right now. To implement Dash into your application, check out the Oculus Developer Center for the latest documentation.

An Early Look at Hybrid Apps

Oculus Desktop in Dash taps into the GPU to bring PC displays right into VR. This underlying technology sits at the core of a new project we're calling Hybrid Apps, designed to bring 2D desktop applications into VR with minimal UI and UX changes. We're firm believers in the power of Rift and Touch to transform workflows and deliver natural interaction to objects in 3D space.

But not all content creators can invest in native VR just yet. Hybrid Apps are a stepping stone—with a few code changes, desktop apps can incorporate a VR viewer enabling seamlessly transitions in and out of VR. There's no workflow to learn—it's the same UI they're accustomed to—but with the power of interactive 360 and infinite workspace.

To help demonstrate this, we worked with Allegorithmic Labs, the research team from the makers of Substance Painter, to create an experimental build. With Hybrid App support, a user can seamlessly move from 2D to 3D painting, instantly scaling and manipulating the model's colors and textures. You can imagine how the process of painting particularly complex objects, like concave surfaces and minute details, will improve in VR.

We think Hybrid Apps can greatly impact workflows across industries. A 360 video editor could review footage with instant playback with no export required; an illustrator could use a huge virtual canvas with zero limitations.

It's early days, but we're excited to offer a glimpse of where Dash—and Rift—can go. We're in exploration with a small group of partners, but developers interested in learning more can reach out to the team here.