Oculus Rift DK2 – real virtual reality


LED blinking light was replaced by a blue color to orange. Removing DK2 and leaning back in his chair, I smiled. The last two days have stood incredibly entertaining. Thoughts that virtual reality even more and does not come to us, but it certainly is on the threshold – after two days of using Oculus Rift DK2 firmly “stood up” confidence.

It is difficult to describe the sensation that you experience the first time wearing a helmet. Putting aside the technical part and forget about the resolution and the remaining shortcomings and improvements (talking about them, I certainly will, but a little further) in the second model Oculus Rift – you start to smile looking around, it’s “baby” feeling of joy experienced by all, regardless of age.

Who knows where the same will eventually lead us to the end, this rabbit hole VR? But I can say that the beginning of the trip on it – a fascinating thing.

Oculus Rift DK2 Equipment

Unlike its predecessor, Oculus Rift DK2 not supplied in a carrying case, and a cardboard box with a plastic handle. The compartments for accessories and wall reinforced foam cover for the safety of contents during shipping or transportation.

Due to the plastic handle and small size, it is quite convenient to carry and does not cause desire to throw it away or throw away, as soon as the content is removed.

The DK2 kit includes the following:

  • Helmet with detachable cable for connection (USB, HDMI)
  • 2 sets of different focusing lenses (A and B). Initially installed in the helmet A set of lenses and box separately are only B.
  • Cloth to wipe the lens from dust. (Although according to the latest reviews, it creates small scratches)
  • Camera for position tracking.
  • USB cable to connect the camera.
  • Sync cable to connect the camera.
  • Adapter DVI to HDMI.
  • Power supply for extra USB on the helmet with 4 types of plug (US, UK, AU, EU)
  • Note 2 Development Kit – Quick Start Guide


Oculus Rift DK2 Connection

In the instruction, the connection is planned for 11 stages, but since we had some difficulties in the process – I will describe the steps of the connection with the amendments that we know after the use of the helmet.

Set Oculus Software Development Kit (SDK)

The software part of the helmet for connection to a computer is taken on the official website OculusVR.

Coming in from the link and https://developer.oculusvr.com/ registering you will have access to the Developer Center.

The required software is part of the subsection Downloads.
At the moment, the latest version of the SDK v0.4.1 Beta
In section download you will find 7 files:

  • Oculus Runtime for Mac OS- installer for Mac OS
  • Oculus SDK for Mac OS – SDK for Mac OS
  • Oculus Unity Tuscany Demo – demo Tuscany Manor to Unity for Mac OS
  • Oculus Runtime for Windows – installation program for Windows
  • Oculus SDK for Windows – SDK for Windows
  • Oculus Unity Tuscany Demo – demo Tuscany Manor to Unity for Windows
  • 4 Unity Pro Integration – a program for the integration of Unity Pro 4

Oculus Rift DK2 What files are needed?

If you want to use a helmet for games and various applications, then you are only interested in the installation program for your operating system.

SDK is only necessary if you are going to engage in the development of content for the helmet Oculus Rift. In another case, the files in the archive will be useless to you.
After installation Oculus Runtime you will OculusConfigTool – application for setting up and connecting the helmet.

The important point. After installation Oculus Runtime you can not run independently or OVRService_x86 OVRService_x64 (depending on the version of your OS). As a result OculusConfigTool will not identify the connected helmet and you can not configure it. If this happens, then you need to close the process and manually start OculusConfigTool OVRService (by default located in C: \ Program Files (x86) \ Oculus \ Service \). Then restart OculusConfigTool.

Along the top of the belt for fastening the helmet is held coaxial cable for connecting to the USB and HDMI.

USB can connect both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 – but pay attention that some problems with power slam. If you will like, try switching to a USB helmet of another type.
It is also recommended in the Device Manager to remove the ability to turn off the power to the USB connectors to save power.

HDMI is connected directly or via an adapter DVI to HDMI, which comes in the kit. Visible differences in the use of the helmet of a connector – was observed.

Oculus Rift DK2 Connecting the camera

USB sync cable, and connected with the side of the camera and to a small connector which is located on the wire helmet.

Place the camera on top of the monitor cabinet in front of you or in another convenient place. The recommended distance to the user 1.5 meters. The camera has a special attachment, which greatly simplify the process of fixing.

After connecting, on the helmet must light indicator.

Orange indicator – indicates that connected the helmet but nepostupaet video signal to it.

The blue color of the indicator – meaning that the helmet is connected to it and the video signal is sent.

Next to the indicator is on and off button.

Oculus Rift DK2 Setting up the helmet

Another important point. In our case, for unclear reasons, the helmet did not receive a video signal in Direct HMD Access from Apps mode – but worked fine in the mode Extend Desktop to the HMD. But according to the recommendations, just the second mode of connection is preferred and many applications for the helmet Oculus Rift only run in it.
Once your helmet camera and decided to OculusConfigTool. (The camera also has a display), you can run the demo scene to calibrate by clicking “Show Demo Scene”.

Oculus Rift DK2 Demo to adjust the helmet

Oculus Demo Scene – demo scene to adjust the helmet and camera. She VR and the first impression of those who have just started to use DK2.

By running the application you are in 3D space – ceiling and floor are blue (on the floor coated square mesh).

Here the air is OculusVR panel with the logo and the word “Start”.
He felt the arm on the table and clicking on the “Start”, you find yourself behind the desk, which is all in the same 3D space with a grid floor.


On the table in front of you a lot of items: 2 plants in pots, a few sheets of paper, a pencil, can with a drink (unmarked), a ruler, a desk lamp, a few cards scattered on the table, perhaps the most interesting thing – a house of cards.

Thanks to the camera to track movement in DK2 you can approach the things on the table and examine them more closely. But do not forget that the camera and limited viewing angle so if you are pumping you can low enough to go beyond the radius of the track, which initially causes a rather unpleasant discomfort. To avoid this – we recommend you to move away from the camera as far as possible within 1.5 meters.

Oculus Rift DK2 – Demo Scene

Plenty after watching things on the table, you will notice that on the panel with OculusVR logo, new items:

Position (Position) Sit | Stand (Sitting | Ctoya)
Camera Bounds (boundaries camera) On | Off (On |. Off.)
What are they needed for?
Position (Position) – allows you to choose your position relative to the desk in the virtual environment and the real world.

Camera Bounds (boundaries camera) – activates the grid denote the radius of action of the camera bounds.

After you run the demo scene and a helmet with camera work properly in them – the initial setup is complete helmet.

Oculus Rift DK2 Recommended settings

A few tips on how to facilitate the use of Oculus Rift DK2.
After you switch the helmet Extend Desktop to the HMD mode and you have it will start to work in extended desktop mode. We recommend to change the screen orientation to portrait Rift DK2 as the default image in landscape format will be reversed for you. This is due to the fact that the helmet is used in the display of the mobile phone (Samsung Galaxy Note 3), which is designed to scan a portrait image.

Also we recommend to move the screen layout for Rift as the extreme left. In many reviews – it avoids erroneous monitor screen capture, screen instead of a helmet when deployed on the entire screen.

Make sure that you run the application via Direct to Rift EXE (if it exists), even using the helmet in Advanced mode.

Alternatively, you can run the demo in windowed mode, drag it to the Rift screen, then press Alt + Enter or double-click the title bar to expand to fill the screen.

If the demo is not working, try something of the following:

  • Create a shortcut and add the -adapter 1.
  • Running the application as an administrator.
  • Launch of the “normal” the EXE file.
  • (This item appears when you install Virtual Desktop) by right-clicking and choosing “Open with Oculus Rift”.
  • Restarting Oculus service manually or with the help of manager Oculus Service Manager (additional program created by one of the users).
  • Create a shortcut and adding the -force-d3d11.

Oculus Rift DK2 Technical characteristics of the helmet

Oculus Rift DK2 Display

As we already know Oculus Rift DK2 uses the display of Samsung Galaxy Note 3:

  • Screen Type: Color Super AMOLED, 16.78 million colors
  • Diagonal: 5.7 inches
  • Resolution: 1080×1920 (Since Oculus Rift image is divided into 2 parts, we get 960×1080 for each eye)
  • The number of pixels per inch: 386 PPI
  • Frequency: 75 Hz

Screen-door effect – a visual artifact of projection technology, when the lines separating pixels become visible in the projected image.

Regarding DK1 screen door effect is significantly reduced, but still – using DK2 you will have the feeling that you’re looking through a very fine mesh (this is especially noticeable on a light background, and when considering distant objects). The truth eventually it stopped paying attention. According to the developers in the consumer version of the screen door effect will not be.

Oculus Rift DK2 Lens

Lenses in DK2 quite wide, but again with its shortcomings. As you learn to use DK2 look around without moving eyes are accustomed to the reality, first turning his head in the right direction. What caused this?

With its fairly large size in the lens is quite a small sweet spot (area of ​​sweet). This is manifested in the fact that the most clear and not distorted image seen in the central part of the lens. The closer the image to the edges of the lenses and outside the sweet spot area, the more it begins to divide in two and distort color. That is what sometimes makes you a hand to try to move the screen closer to the eyes, as if clinging to the inside of the space suit helmet in an attempt to see the vague outlines.


Once you understand the principle of the distortion and the normal image area, you begin to intuitively using head movements, rather than the eye.
Note that the lens B is not used as a set of A did not have any problems.

Oculus Rift DK2 The viewing angle

In DK2 less viewing angle of 10 degrees relative DK1. 100 against 110. According to the developers, they were forced to go for it for optimal rendering images even on low-end systems.

Feels significantly reducing the field of view is not seen. The boundaries of the screen become visible only when the lens zoom in as close as possible to the eyes. But at the same time, you can see the borders of lenses themselves, which does not help feeling that you look at everything through the glasses. We really hope that in the consumer version of the viewing angle is increased.

Oculus Rift DK2 The weight of the helmet and its mounting

If the declared weight of 440 grams helmet light enough for those who have not used before DK1, it will seem much easier than it looks. You will feel it even when unpacking. Accordingly, the question of how hard it is to be used no longer.

Mounts are quite comfortable, but we advise you to tighten the belts, because they are slightly loosened with use.

Along the edges of the material softening touch the helmet and the face has a small mesh. Most likely for ventilation, thus avoiding fogging lenses.

Separately, it is worth mentioning that these filters can be seen through the light that comes from outside, so a sufficiently bright light it can be distracting.

Oculus Rift DK2 Camera

The camera tracking movements is convenient and does not require any additional configuration other than checking in Oculus Demo Scene. Installed, ON, test coverage of a tracking and forgot about it. Everything is so simple.

The use of the helmet Oculus Rift DK2 and impressions

Constant reminders about safety precautions for comfortable use, which appear in front of your eyes when you run the demo are not accidental. He is a man of passion and remember that our readers want to know about the helmet as soon as possible. I confess, cast aside numerous warnings about the gradual and unhurried helmet use, for the initial appearance of calm in the demo without movement “VR feet” (in other words, addiction to VR environment), which can be run over time in a more active applications. As a result, I have a few times a little seasick during these couple of days. But thanks to the Second Council for an immediate cessation of the use of the helmet as soon as you feel the first signs of sickness – I was able to reduce the discomfort within a few minutes – 1 hour, in contrast to those who have tried to overcome these feelings and then “enjoyed” the consequences for several days.

In this case, the feeling of motion sickness was caused by sharp movements in the demo. If smooth unhurried movement creates a strange sensation, sharp and quick movement of the instantly generated a sensation of heat waves from the back and a gradual increase in discomfort. It is not recommended during the first days of use, combining movement and at the same time to turn his head.

That’s probably all the unpleasant aspects of initial use. Camera tracking, possible to avoid the most unpleasant sensations when the image stays in place while you move. I deliberately tried to do this several times in applications that do not yet support DK2 and tell you – it’s crazy and rather unpleasant feeling of literally 10 seconds to feel an irresistible desire to say goodbye to recently eaten food. Many thanks to the developers for this camera.

Oculus Rift DK2 What starts and impressions

To begin enumerate everything that happens at the review. And then talk about each demo or game separately.

  1. Sightline: The Chair
  2. My Neighbor Totoro
  3. Helix Coaster
  4. Titans of Space DK2
  5. Quake 1

So it was still a lot of small demo and the standard for all of Tuscany which has been told many times. But these 5 I decided to focus specifically.

My Neighbor Totoro

Made great, especially if we take into account that the establishment of a one person operation. Sudden movement causes discomfort, so I advise you to move slowly, or turn a blind eye when you want to walk or turn around using a joystick or mouse.
In general, the environment and the sound made perfect.

My Neighbor Totoro VR Gameplay on Oculus Rift

Sightline: The Chair

In this demo, you are all the time in one place, but move in different locations. The environment changes to the extent that, as you look around. We strongly recommend that as a first VR experience, as the situation in one place and the interaction with the environment using only your eyes, greatly simplifies the addiction to VR.
Overall a very interesting demo, except that for some reason during a turn of the head, the image moves in small spurts. In the video, it is not noticeable.

Sightline: The Chair | Oculus Rift MIND-EXPLOSION!!

Helix Coaster

Roller coaster – to try on an empty stomach. But seriously, it is very funny demo – chill in the stomach is not caused by the speed, but my head starts spinning when the coup. I strongly advise not to look around when the truck enters into another peak.

CRAZIEST ROLLERCOASTER | Helix the Next Level with the Oculus Rift

Titans of Space DK2

Scoping demo in education and astronomy. But that does not make it less exciting. One of the most memorable among those that I have looked at the first couple of days. I recommend to all – regardless of age.

You are considering smaller versions of the solar system planets and several types of stars. Everything looks very good, even with a fairly simple graphics. It is in this demo is best feel the use of the scale of the objects in the virtual environment.

Titans of Space 2.0 for DK2!!! Spacegasms in the Oculus Rift


In this game, of this I was struck by the ability of its virtual reality immersion in a familiar atmosphere. If the previously mentioned demo VR was an unusual experience, then immerse it in a game in which you have been many times – it’s incredibly cool. Why I chose the Quake first part? Maybe because 13 years ago, I loved it to play and the game was one of the first shooters, which I really enjoyed and remembered. But in any case – it was incredible in virtual reality.

Oculus Rift – Quake 1 | Gameplay

Aiming at VR version implemented using look. We need to get used to – but definitely it is very convenient.

The main drawback – the relatively high rate of displacement as a consequence of possible discomfort. When my “VR feet” get stronger, I’ll definitely be back in the Quake.

What can we say about VR and Oculus Rift DK2 in particular? Virtual reality is already here, that’s for sure. Yes, it is still not entirely polished and sports a loud names of projects and multi-million selling – but the first two days with the Oculus Rift DK2 finally convinced me and the whole team Rifting.ru – it is inevitable to change everything.

If the developers really Oculus Rift will be able to remove the most significant disadvantages of this DK2 – they will achieve their goal and swallow the market.

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