A couple of months ago we were given one of the best news a VR enthusiasts could get. Oculus Rift was finally getting Motion Controllers.
Then a couple of weeks ago we got another awesome piece of news from Oculus, when they decided to significantly cut their prices on all their products!
Now we have another interesting piece of news, and it’s Oculus Touch’s Accessory Guidelines have released!
Oculus Touch Accessory Guidelines
What are they? And Why should you be excited?
The Oculus Touch Accessory Guidelines are basically a set of 3D models of the actual product. It’s purpose its pretty simple, make it easier for 3rd party accessories companies to work on the platform. Having these 3D models for free online, means that any company can have them and know the exact dimension of the Oculus Touch. Therefore any of them can develop peripherals for it perfectly.
It also includes the design of the Rockband attachment. This particular attachment enables the touch to be connected to a Rockband Guitar. And the design is included in case anyone can make use of it for other peripherals.
Oculus Rift Accessories Documentation
The Oculus Touch Accessories Guidelines is the last of this documents to have been released. However Oculus Rift has been trying to get third party peripherals for a while now. They have already released accessory guidelines for their headset, audio module and facial interface.
They advise to avoid the use of leds as it could cause tracking problems, to keep comfort as the Number 1 priority and to be aware of the fact that the motion controller defines how the customer experiences VR.
HTC Vive VS Oculus Rift
The rivalry that is taking VR forward… HTC Vive has also released documentation for the development of third party peripherals. However HTC does have an edge when it comes to these, as they have even shared their motion tracking to 3rd party developers.
Oculus promised to do the same but it hasn’t done so yet… This means that while Oculus Touch Accessory Guidelines can get us some cool looking skins or different grips, HTC Vive peripherals could be completely different motion controllers.
Third Party peripherals could be motion controllers in the shape of shields, swords or guns for the HTC Vive, they have given all the information necessary for it!
Why hasn’t Oculus shared their Motion Tracking API yet?
We can’t know for sure, but one theory comes from the fact that Oculus Touch has limitations when it comes to input and output options. Meaning that any peripheral would actually need to use the touch’s buttons rather than it being able to track the peripherals own buttons…
This obviously makes it harder for the peripherals to work properly…
However It’s not impossible to fix, maybe Oculus will use an independent connection for peripherals and touch controllers. Making each device track it’s own input and then let the pc drivers figure it out. It’s not particularly efficient but it would work.
Image Credit Rodolphe Courier