Taking advantage of recent improvements in our cross-platform rendering techniques, and our plug-in architecture, we were able to implement support for Oculus Rift on Mac OS X. This is now available for Mac users with an advanced GPU. Some thoughts on why we did this:
As a company, High Fidelity is committed to supporting the broadest possible use of Virtual Reality. To achieve this goal, we’ve designed our platform around the three pillars of: user generated content, cross platform support for a diverse array of hardware devices, and open source.
Rich experiences come from the creativity of community members, building and controlling their own virtual spaces. We’re constantly working to improve the visual quality of user content no matter what hardware or platform it is viewed on. Experiencing virtual worlds in stereo in a head mounted display like the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive is an incredibly rich experience, and so we’ve worked hard so that as many people as possible can enjoy them using an HMD.
Development of High Fidelity began on the Mac OS X platform. In order to support Mac, Windows, and Unix systems we started with a design based on cross platform code using plug-in device drivers for each HMD.
We also believe that the best ideas are worth sharing, and that we can learn from the community, and so from day one High Fidelity has been open source. We believe that’s the best way to support the rapid development of solutions for VR. The more people are contributing, the better everything gets.
Currently, of course, things are still early and, as is always the case in technology, that means today’s VR solutions can be brittle, although we’re seeing extraordinary improvement with each update from the hardware and software providers. One area where innovation seemed to have stalled, however, is support for VR on the Mac. Oculus even suspended active Mac support about a year ago. We think this is particularly unfortunate given the long and illustrious history of visual creativity on the Mac platform.
With that in mind, we recently revisited our Mac support. We were able to implement support for Oculus Rift on Mac OS X. If you have an Oculus Rift DK2, and a Mac with an advanced GPU (like an AMD Radeon R9), check out our latest beta, grab the Oculus Runtime for OSX, and enjoy!