Oculus VR has been working with Samsung to make mobile virtual reality a reality, and just today Samsung detailed launch information for the Gear VR Innovator Edition for its Galaxy Note 4 handset. The Gear VR set is power by Oculus Mobile software, and so Oculus is launching the official Mobile Software Development Kit today to help prepare some apps for the new platform.
Gear VR in its ‘Innovator Edition’ form is still very much a development and early adopter devices, and this initial release of the mobile SDK is designed specifically to meet its needs. The SDK has been in development for over a year with Samsung, Oculus says, and supports a number of fancy-sounding features which no-doubt mean something to the fine developers who are actually able to understand this stuff:
- Asynchronous Timewarp
- Direct front buffer rendering
- Clock frequency locking
- GPU context priorities
- Real-time, fine-grained GPU context switching
- Real-time CPU threading
- Direct warped content
Yes, those things are all there for you to enjoy. The SDK also contains the full source code for Oculus Cinema, Oculus 360 Photos and Oculus 360 Videos under an open software license, which represents the full suite of first-party apps available on the new mobile VR platform. It also bundles in a Unity 4.5 integration that makes it easy to get your existing Unity VR program up and running on the new mobile headset.
Oculus Home is the distribution channel for Gear VR Innovator Edition hardware, and will house apps submitted by developers building with the mobile SDK.
Mobile VR has a long road to travel before it’s friendly for the average consumer, but the faster developers get cracking on building and iterating on software experiences designed to be used with smartphones and non-desktop hardware, the better.