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Global HUD Overlay (released in Oculus Showcase forum)

bp2008bp2008 Posts: 256
Art3mis
Hi all.

I have been thinking. When you play a game on the Oculus Rift, you enter another world. (That is kind of the whole point!) But this means you are likely to miss important things going on in the real world. Like bed time. Or a person at the door. Or even someone in the room with you, tying your shoes together.

So I am thinking about putting together a simple application to overlay information onto the screen of the Oculus Rift. For example, you could have the current time of day at the edge of your vision so you don't have to take off the rift to glance at the clock. Or you could plug in a USB or network camera and have a live video thumbnail appear for a few seconds when motion is detected. All of this without interrupting whatever you were doing (as long as whatever you were doing was in windowed mode!). The only part of this that I expect to be really tricky is handling the Rift's optical distortion for the individual elements that make up the HUD.

Before I get started I'd like to gauge the interest. Is this a good idea? A bad idea? Any suggestions?

Perhaps this type of thing has already been built and I should learn to search better?


Update: Version 1.0 is finished. http://developer.oculus.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=2070

Comments

  • treytechtreytech Posts: 243
    Art3mis
    Until the rift has dual cameras on the front, how can a UI overlay tell you if someone is at the door? Right now the best solution is just to take off the rift.

    Having said that, it would be nice to have a home screen that you could pull up inside a game. It could have the time, email notifications, hell, even communicate with your cell phone via your computer's Bluetooth interface to display incoming calls or text messages. It would have to be something like the fraps overlay, and not a separate window that would cause a window switch, and kick you out of your fullscreen game and burn your eyes with your desktop.
  • SawersadamSawersadam Posts: 49
    Great idea!
    Maybe a timed webcam view, something that shows your external environment for 5 seconds once every ten minutes for example.
    You could also choose to display notifications for email, calendar reminders, SMS. Needs to be user configurable because it would be annoying / immersion breaking when gaming but totally welcome if using the Rift for work (eg architectural visualisation). Infact, being able to take a call from within the rift may also be very useful.
  • SawersadamSawersadam Posts: 49
    Snap!...
  • bp2008bp2008 Posts: 256
    Art3mis
    treytech wrote:
    Until the rift has dual cameras on the front, how can a UI overlay tell you if someone is at the door? Right now the best solution is just to take off the rift.

    Via a camera mounted outside the door, of course. Lots of people have them so they can tell who is outside, when a package arrives, etc, without actually getting up and moving. Woohoo laziness!!
    Sawersadam wrote:
    You could also choose to display notifications for email, calendar reminders, SMS. Needs to be user configurable because it would be annoying / immersion breaking when gaming but totally welcome if using the Rift for work (eg architectural visualisation). Infact, being able to take a call from within the rift may also be very useful.

    While all of these things would certainly be nice, I'm shooting for something more along the lines of a simple clock overlay with a [small] live camera box appearing when motion is detected. Integration with 3rd party apps for email, calendar, SMS, phone, etc. is more than I have time for. I'm sure that someone will build a much bigger and nicer notification system for the rift sooner or later. But I'm impatient and I just want to build *something* at least slightly cool for this thing before everything easy has already been done :)

    I've already been able to create a basic XNA overlay application capable of rendering images with transparency anywhere on the entire desktop as would be necessary for this to work. As long as nothing in genuine full screen mode, it *should* work without causing lag in games and without any fancy directx or opengl injection. However I have been completely unsuccessful so far trying to add an Oculus Rift distortion shader. Not only have I not found a shader that separates colors like it should, but I have zero experience with shaders or advanced rendering so I really don't know what I am doing.
  • EveniosEvenios Posts: 28
    I think some sort of unified HUD is a good idea. The problem is now with games like Skyrim its really hard to see some of the menu elements and other things using the perception drivers with the Rift so..yeah another issue is that you do not really see the entire image as displayed on the computer screen with the rift at once, its sort of cropped a bit so they need to work on pushing hud elements towards the center. I think Minecraft minerift mod did really well with this, and the menus are easy to see too as you can use headtracking to look around the menus which is really nice. Things like that in vr games will really help. :-) also honestly it seems it really is best if most games work with a gamepad. It really is hard...to find the keys you need to press while inside the rift!
  • bp2008bp2008 Posts: 256
    Art3mis
    Evenios you must have a newer version of Minecrift or something - for me the menus are locked in front of my face. Not that it is bad that way -- Minecraft was designed for super low resolution and it works really well in the rift.

    I found an excellent 3-part tutorial on learning shaders with XNA and thanks to that I think I have enough of a handle on what is going on that I can integrate the distortion shader from vireio perception.
  • usb420usb420 Posts: 291
    definitely do the live video thumbnail thing. it sounds like a good ap. I'd even be willing to run that separately before going into a long rift session.
  • bp2008bp2008 Posts: 256
    Art3mis
    And here it is! Version 1.0.

    I created a new thread for it in the Oculus Showcase forum: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=2070
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