Valve Releases OpenVR SDK 1.0, Grants Devs Access To Vive Camera

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metathias

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While i applaud Valves willingness to be open, One cant help but wonder if their just announcing this to add fuel to Oculus's current DRM fire. Oculus is being quite Draconian with its content. So they deserve to be roasted. But im not gonna pretend that Valve, Through Steam dont impose their own kind of draconian behavior on developers as well. After all Steam is not Open, And Valve is its gatekeeper. For better, And worse.
 

kcarbotte

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Valve quietly released this. There's no announcement on the Steam webpage, and I couldn't find anything on any of Valve's websites.

Also, this is OpenVR, which is simply an API to make VR hardware interface with VR games. SteamVR is separate, and locked down.
OpenVR allows you to use the SteamVR API to access content, but it doesn't necessarilly need to be content from Steam. AltspaceVR is a good example of this. You can use the Vive, which lauches with SteamVR, but it doesn't launch the app through Steam.
 

bit_user

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I see Valve is a member of Khronos (https://www.khronos.org/members/), the standards body behind OpenGL and many other open standards. I hope they're working to move this through Khronos' process. It'd be nice to have an official, open standard that's implemented by most or all HMDs.

I wonder how closely Valve is tied to HTC's Vive effort. As a content developer & publisher, it would be in Valve's interest to have a standard API to simplify portability across different HMDs. So, there's reason to hope.
 

kcarbotte

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Valve IS HTC's Vive effort.
Valve did the research, build the prototypes and is building the APIs that the hardware works on. HTC is Valve's hardware manufacturer, for the most part.
 

bit_user

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Thanks for clarifying that.

Well, if you get a chance to ask anyone at Valve, it would be nice to get a statement regarding their intentions for OpenVR. Is their goal to establish it as an official standard, through a body such as Khronos?
 

kcarbotte

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I don't think they are build an official standard. OpenVR is there so that other HMD makers have an easy path to be supported by SteamVR apps. If your hardware supports OpenVR, then any app from SteamVR should work on it too, unless it specifically requires room scale tracking.

this is from the github repository:
"OpenVR is an API and runtime that allows access to VR hardware from multiple
vendors without requiring that applications have specific knowledge of the
hardware they are targeting. This repository is an SDK that contains the API
and samples. The runtime is under SteamVR in Tools on Steam."


OSVR (Open Source Virtual Reality) is doing more or less what you are asking about.
Valve is part of the OSVR group, and OpenVR is supported by the OSVR HMD.

 

metathias

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Your absolutely right, I stand corrected. I must have been projecting my own personal tribulations with Steam, and their APIs in general. Being an indie dev, I have somewhat of a hate hate relationship with their Steam model, And the restricted nature of building out title support before having a greenlit project, And the nature of the agreements forced upon devs just to be considered for greenlit support. Valve like most corporate parties these days is very interested in being politically correct, And not so much pushing the expressive freedoms of the developers using its platform, But thats all beside the point. Which is OpenVR (I did poke around the github codebase after your initial reply) is pretty much purpose made for delivering valve steamvr support by the looks of things, And not so much about creating an actual burden free open source vr middleware.
 

bit_user

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Thanks for your follow-up. I had also looked at the github project, and noticed the conspicuous absence of library sources.

That still doesn't indicate their intentions for the API, which could as easily be implemented by somebody else, on some other platform. But, I think you're probably right.

I guess we can still say it's a good thing if Steam supports other HMDs, but not as good as if OpenVR were a truly open, official standard.
 
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