Durovis Dive build

Last nights project was finishing off a Durovis Dive ( http://www.durovis.com/index.html ) head- mounted display.

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More specifically this is the do-it-yourself OpenDive which consists of a $9 parts kit (lenses and a strap) an STL file of 3D printable parts.  Here’s a few shots of the build in-progress:

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The results are frankly amazing .  I haven’t had a lot of experience with other HMD’s, but I’ve studied (and coveted) them since the late 1980’s so I’m familiar conceptually with the most common problems associated with other designs.  The Dive isn’t perfect, but it’s very good, and very clever as well.

Probably as important as the hardware is the software, which runs on the phone you strap into the headset.  Instead of writing a specific, all-inclusive (and proprietary) app for the device the developer instead chose to implement a component which can be used with the popular game development tool Unity to work with the hardware.  This is a quite clever approach as makes any existing game compatible with the device with only a small change made by the developer, and it makes creating new titles as easy as creating any other type of game with the Unity tool.

At first I was disappointed about this as I would prefer an open software solution (and one that works on Linux) but after looking more closely I think it’s a good trade-off.  There’s also no reason someone ambitious couldn’t go the open route as well, and the Unity approach lowers the bar for authoring content substantially.

That low bar is the next step for this project.  I started reading a Unity development book last night and other than it shackling me to our Mac, I don’t think learning the tool will provide too much of a barrier.

- Jason