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USC starts a web hub for DIY, open source virtual reality projects


For the sheer variety of virtual reality headsets available, there's been few resources available for those who want to craft their own devices. USC wants to save us the effort of searching around. Its MxR Lab has just launched a showcase of creations and modifications that DIY enthusiasts can build, including open source code for both the devices and integrating full-body motion control through Kinect for Windows or OpenNI. The most ambitious is Socket HMD, a complete 1,280 x 800 headset that involves a 3D-printed shell and custom-assembled electronics. If your own ambitions don't stretch that far, you can still build the VR2GO viewer, which uses iPhones and iPod touch players as the eyepieces, as well as mods for the Oculus Rift developer kit that add stereo cameras or increase the field of view. Yes, you'll need a 3D printer and a knack for programming to get most of these projects going, but you won't have to wait for someone to make them for you -- a big help when many ready-made VR displays are either in development or priced out of reach for the average person.

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