Linden Lab have added Oculus Rift support with an alternative second life viewer. The company that launched the online virtual world Second Life (developed in 2003), has been experimenting with the Oculus Rift for the last couple of weeks. By using a limited beta version of the second life viewer they have been able to provide a Project Viewer that improves the experience of virtual world enthusiasts whilst benefiting from the wave of excitement about the Oculus Rift.
Using a Virtual Reality headset with second life will add to the experience by providing a level of realism that has not been possible to date. The User Interface is not yet fully enhanced for Rift users but Linden have made adjustments to the UI with what they are calling ‘head-mounted display’ mode or HMD for short. Second lifers using the project Viewer can expect to see something very similar to what they would normally experience without the Oculus Rift.
The User Interface supports full functionality through the Oculus, enabling the wearer to access the full features of the Second Life HUDs while in Oculus Rift mode. They have also provided a fully customisable AI, so settings can be personalised for the VR headset and tailored to the residents personal preferences.
Avatar Head motion is supported by using the Oculus Rift tracking capabilities, by mapping this data to the avatar being controlled the resident is able to share the viewpoint of the Avatar. A new first person view has also been added allowing users to enjoy ‘mouse-look’ mode whilst freeing up the mouse to be utilised to control the cursor. The mouse can now be used for interaction with the UI and objects in-world due to the Oculus Rift integration. Due to minor adjustments, such as the ‘Align to Look’ which allows residents to move in the direction they are looking, Linden Lab is now enhancing the User Interface towards what will surely be a fully immersive experience in the future.
Oculus Rift headset owners who would like to try it with Second Life, can get the Project Viewer Here.
Future developments are promised for the Oculus Rift and a new category in the Destination Guide has been added so that Oculus Rift users of Second Life can find locations that offer a 3D experience that is particularly enhanced on the Rift. The VR headset can be used anywhere in Second Life, so try it out and share your experience!