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Open source VR headset to offer unrestricted hardware, software

Market news |
By Rich Pell

VR metaverse Somnium Space has announced that it has partnered with next-generation virtual and mixed reality pilot training systems developer Vrgineers and 3D printer manufacturer Prusa Research to further enhance the development of a new cutting-edge open-source (standalone & PC wired) headset. The new VR headset, says the company, aims to change the restrictive politics in the virtual reality market in general, which was established by big corporate and centralized entities.

The Somnium VR ONE headset will be built on as open a platform as possible, and aims to provide a superb immersive experience while working in both standalone and tethered modes without any restrictions. It is planned to be sold under an unlimited commercial license using Android as an open-source operating system.

Thanks to the fact the source code will be openly available, says the company, the solution will be perfect for VR enthusiasts and the commercial sphere.

“Each user deserves to fully own hardware they buy and be able to customize, repair and enhance it anytime,” says Artur Sychov, Somnium Space Founder & CEO. “We would like to provide an unrestricted hardware and software environment to all VR enthusiasts around the world. 3D models of the headset parts will be available so that any user with access to a 3D printer can print them out. Android OS source codes will be in a public GIT, this is the freedom for metaverses, where we plan to spend much more time in the future.”

CEO Prusa Research, Josef Prusa adds, “We would like to see other products, such as virtual reality headsets, follow the same open-source, community approach as our Prusa printers. Anyone will be able to download a 3D model of the Somnium Space headset from Printables.com and print them at home on their printer.”

In order to be cost effective, the electronics and proprietary lenses will be mass manufactured in partnership with Vrgineers and sold by Somnium Space online. Anyone wishing to build their own headset will be able to purchase these components and build the headset by themselves, says the company. On the other hand, all customers will be able to purchase a fully assembled Somnium Space headset directly.

“This project,” says Marek Polcak, Vrgineers CEO, “is based on a solid foundation of Vrgineers technical expertise in manufacturing virtual and mixed reality headsets for professionals and backed by direct investments into Vrgineers by Somnium Space and Prusa Research.”

Key features of the Somnium VR ONE headset include:

  • CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2
  • 8 GB RAM LPDDR5
  • 512 GB UFS
  • Wifi 6e
  • Display 2x 3.2inch 2880RGB*2880 Fast LCD
  • Horizontal FOV 120°, Vertical FOV 100°
  • MiscroSD card extension
  • Wireless PC VR Streaming
  • Tethered USB-C PC streaming
  • Native wired PC Mode (lossless)
  • HMD Native SteamVR support (working on native SteamVR tracking and controllers)
  • Integrated high quality stereo microphones
  • Headphone jack
  • Inside-Out 6DoF tracking Support for controllers
  • External battery pack using USB-C (no accumulator inside)
  • 2x USB-C 10 Gbps for external accessories (USB 3.2 Gen2) +1 charging UBS-C (USB 2.0)
  • OS Android 11 AOSP port opensource Direct open access to sensors and cameras

Somnium Space previously announced plans to release a standalone VR headset late last year at its own ‘Connect’ event with plans to ship the first headsets sometime in Q4 of 2022.

Somnium Space
Vrgineers


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