Oculus Open-Sources Original Rift Developer Kit's Firmware, Schematics, And Mechanics

Hayden Dingman | PC World | September 19, 2014

Kicking off the Oculus Connect conference in Los Angeles this weekend, Oculus's Nirav Patel announced that the original Oculus Rift developer kit (DK1) is now fully open-source, with the exception of the pieces that aren't actually in production anymore—for instance, the display, which is no longer manufactured.  "We don't want everyone to have to take the same risks we took. We just want to share the things we learned so you don't have to do that. We're all in this to build virtual reality together," said Patel.

Those risks were the focus of Patel's talk, which discussed the manufacturing of the DK1. "We found just about the roughest and quickest contract manufacturer we could find in China," said Patel. "We were a ragtag group of ten people nobody had ever heard of trying to create a product nobody thought was possible."

He discussed the different challenges the team encountered trying to get the original Oculus out the door, such as the trip where they spent hours rubbing different foam materials on their face to find one that was comfortable enough for prolonged use.  Or the last-minute panel change that almost screwed the project—"We initially started with this 5.6 inch panel in the Rift," said Patel, "But ultimately that thing ended up being end-of-lifed before we could get our hands on them, so we had this mad rush to switch to this 7" panel which resulted in this big lunchbox thing."...