Reader poll: Most say OpenSim needs VR

Adapting OpenSim to work on virtual reality headsets will require a substantial amount of work on both server and viewer code. Is this something that OpenSim users want to see happen?

(Hypergrid Business data.)

(Hypergrid Business data.)

According to a survey conducted on this site this week, 79 percent of OpenSim users think that VR is “very important” or “somewhat important” to the future of OpenSim.

Only 7 percent said that VR is a passing fad, and 10 percent said that OpenSim has its own strengths and would survive on its own.

A full quarter of OpenSim users said that VR is the future of technology, and OpenSim risks becoming irrelevant without VR support. And another 20 percent said that with VR support, OpenSim has the chance to become the foundational technology of the virtual reality metaverse.

The plurality of respondents, 34 percent, said that VR was somewhat important, but that having VR support will attract more users to OpenSim.

Based on this survey, there is interest in the OpenSim community to get OpenSim working in virtual reality.

This will involving back-end work on the server software to improve the framerates, as well as a new viewer that will work on virtual reality headsets.

If anyone is interested on working on this, please email me at [email protected] and maybe we can get a coordinated campaign going, and get some prizes, bounties, or crowdfunding support behind the project, or respond in the comments below.

(I’ve just run a random generator and picked three of the respondents to get a VR headset — keep an eye out for my email asking you for your mailing address.)


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Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

14 Responses

  1.' Carlos Loff says:

    It would b very ironic if one of the NOs got the headset, lol, anyway the question is not about liking VR or not, or if it is cool to mix it with OS, is about OS needing it or not

    •' TribeGadgets says:

      Yes. As I don’t really have a clue if the two (as currently available) are even on the same planetoid 🙂 From what I have read, start with adequate frame rate and…. huge job I expect. But would be fun to see what could be done – aframe has piqued my interest as a start to play around with for one especially with a low end computing rig. Tie that into something like Processing as a generator. Seems to have possibilities.

  2.' Gunnar Schwede says:

    I truly believe VR support will boost some additional interest in OS. It is currently fairly expensive to get into VR, due to the hardware cost as well as the need for a high end graphics card.
    Once prices go down, more people will adopt the technology, then it would make more impact on OS if it does support VR. In any case, OS programmers should work towards VR support. Without it we stay where we are, with it, there could be new interest in Opensim.

  3.' WhiteStar Magic says:

    VR Headset prices are dropping like a rock and more product is hitting the streets at a record pace. This is no “Flash in the pan” and the PC Manufacturers have stepped up with new laptops, netbooks, pads & phablets that have the required capabilities. Even the new USB-C -> HDMI interface is to connect to TV or Headset.

    So many laughed at John Dworvak when he predicted in the late 80’s that VCR/CD/DVD, TV, PC, Cell Phone would converge into one simple package… well… it’s in your hand every day and nary a thought as to everything that went into that itty bitty piece of tech.

    The dedicated viewer model must go in favour of HTML-5+ browser viewer capability. What ever happened to Pixie Viewer ? and don’t say it can’t be done, remember Cloud party before Yahoo bought it to kill it.

    Can OpenSim pull it off ? MAYBE. A change would have to happen in the team and working cooperatively & collaboratively with MOSES & the Halcyon team they may be able to pull it off… MOSES Team will I am certain. I wonder if Revolution Smythe is still coding for In-Worlds… Another person shoved away from OS that was a great loss to the project.

    BTW: Check out Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon VR820 all in one headset…. Holy Moly ! and it’s just heating up now with all players into the game…. There’s another with OLED the Xiaomi VR Headset with full field view. two OLED displays with screen resolutions of 1200x1080p processing at around 90Hz which is easier on the eyes so less strain and at 90Hz no triggering of epileptic attacks.

    •' TribeGadgets says:

      Nice to know there is no ‘triggering of epileptic attacks’. With less strain also, a bonus. Was there strain before? And is it ‘around’ 90 Hz or actually at 90 Hz? Fascinating and thanks for all the product names too.

      •' WhiteStar Magic says:

        60hz refresh can & often does trigger epileptic seizures so higher is better. Cell phones are not intended nor designed to be so close to eyes which does cause various strains. I am not aware of any real “formal studies” as yet, it’s happened kinda fast and the researchers have lead feet. There are some articles pertaining to it and some of them in Medical Journals / Articles more related towards VR Movies due to duration. I cannot provide links as they are not open to general public access, but I am sure that something could be found publicly.

  4. Do we need be? Would be nice to have but the real issue is getting a web based viewer. Thats the thing that seems to be missing. But luckly with my VirtLife website all poppy thnx to a laravel update I’m going to start looking into trying to make a web base viewer. As for these be headsets. What do they have that firestorm doesn’t have other then putting a virtual world litterly in our faces

  5. There are a couple of related discussions and a poll on Google Plus.

    Alex Genesis started a discussion on what should be fixed first:

    And Talla Adam ran a poll on the topic —

    As of today, 61% said they want to see an advanced viewer for OpenSim, and 25% said they would contribute money or coding time to the project.

    (The U.S. Army’s Douglas Maxwell said that MOSES will have an HTML5 browser-based viewer for OpenSim this fall and will release it to the public shortly afterwards. Yeay!!!)

  6.' LordNine says:

    RealXtend has made a web based viewer for their Tundra platform, and has a history of helping with viewer technology for SL and OpenSim…why not take a look at what they did and see if it can be applied similarly to OpenSimulator ?