28 universities join Open Source Virtual Reality

Press release: Leading universities worldwide join OSVR

Open Source Virtual Reality hardware dev kits to be given to more than 20 higher education labs and research facilities

SAN FRANCISCO – Organizers of the Open Source Virtual Reality, a software platform designed to set an open standard for virtual reality input devices, today announced more than 20 research institutions are joining the OSVR development community as part of the OSVR Academia program.

The OSVR Academia program provides hardware development kits (HDKs) and related support to partnering universities and their research labs.

(Image courtesy OSVR.)
(Image courtesy OSVR.)

“The technologies that drive virtual reality are changing quickly, and a standardized platform like OSVR enables technology to adapt to that shift more quickly than ever before,” says Aaron Westre from the Virtual Reality Design Lab at the University of Minnesota. “We need to integrate new hardware devices and software techniques as soon as they’re available. The modular architecture of OSVR offers us an efficient platform to increase our agility and invent new VR experiences for users.”

OSVR includes an open-source hardware design and software framework. The HDK provides a high-fidelity, wide visual field and onboard video processing in an expandable, hackable form factor. The software provides a standardized way to discover, configure and operate a multitude of VR devices, as well as to add smart processing functions such as gesture engines, SLAM algorithms and more.

Both the hardware designs and software are now available to be downloaded at no-charge at www.OSVR.com.

“The inability to alter software to serve the research objectives of higher education is a roadblock that we’re now able to overcome,” says Nir Keren, Associate Professor at the Virtual Reality Application Center at Iowa State University. “OSVR empowers researchers, game designers and software developers to chart the landscape of virtual reality, gaming, and visualization in the most effective manner.”

OSVR is also currently being exhibited at the IEEE VR conference in Arles, France. OSVR HDKs are on display at the Sensics/Razer booth there. OSVR is also being showcased in the “VR middleware” technical session and will be discussed in “The Resurgence of Open-Source Frameworks for VR” panel.

“OSVR is an important piece of the emerging consumer VR ecosystem,” says Eric Hodgson, Director, Smale Interactive Visualization Center at Miami University. “The ability to make so many devices and software interfaces standardized, interoperable, compatible, and interchangeable has the potential to change the way people interact with their hardware and software.”

Additional universities are still being added to the OSVR Academia program. Applications are being accepted at www.osvr.com/join.html.

List of Universities:
Cracow University of Technology, Poland
Desert Research Institute, USA
Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany
Iowa State University, USA
Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Italy
Johns Hopkins University, USA
Nara Institute of Science and Technology, USA
North Dakota State University, USA
Ohio University, USA
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
Ryerson University, Canada
The Art Institute of Vancouver, Canada
Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy
Universitat de Barcelona, Spain
University College London, UK
University of California, Berkeley, USA
University of California, Riverside, USA
University of California, San Diego, USA
University of Central Florida, USA
University of Minnesota, USA
University of New Mexico, USA
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA
University of Portsmouth, UK
University of Texas at Dallas, USA
Vienna University of Technology, Austria
Virginia Tech, USA
Wichita State University, USA
York University, Canada

About OSVR

OSVR is a software platform designed to set an open standard for virtual reality input devices, games and output to provide the best possible VR game experience. Supported by industry leaders, the OSVR framework unites developers and gamers alike under a single platform.

For the full list of OSVR supporters and more information, go to www.osvr.com.