AR Functionality Comes To Vive Pro With New Front-Facing Camera Tools

The Vive Pro gets new SDK tools unlocking advanced AR capabilities.
The Vive Pro is one hell of a VR headset. A combined 2880 x 1600 pixel resolution, dual AMOLED 3.5″ diagonal screens, a 90 Hz refresh rate, high quality integrated headphones, the list goes on. However one feature in particular, the stereo front-facing cameras, have been generally overlooked since the headsets initial release earlier this month. That is until now.

Announced last week via an official update to the Vive developer blog, Vive Pro developers now have full control of the headset’s front-facing stereo cameras to develop their own mixed reality experiences. In addition to updating the OpenVR camera’s API, developers will also receive access to the VIVE SRWorks SDK, opening up a range of possibilities limited strictly by one’s own imagination.

According to HTC, the SDK breaks down into three primary modules that allow developers to focus solely on their content: a depth module, see-through module, and a 3D reconstruction module. Utilizing these three components, the SDK opens access to advanced techniques such as depth detection, spatial mapping (static and dynamic meshes), placing virtual objects in the foreground or background as well as live interactions with virtual objects and simple hand interactions. The SDK also supports native development with plugins for both Unity as well as Unreal Engine 4.

Needless to say the list of possibilities for this new SDK is virtually endless. Combining stereo camera technology with the spatial tracking capabilities of the Vive Pro allows developers to create immersive experiences in VR, AR or even both. Some of the most interesting examples of the SDK have so far revolved around linking augmented with virtual, allowing users to step in and out of reality at their whim.

Along with the SRWorks SDK, Vive also revealed two new audio SDK’s: The VIVE 3DSP SDK which introduces a Unity compatible, audio spatialization plugin featuring higher order ambisonics and acoustic distance effect with real-world modeling, as well as VIVE Pro Audio Mode, which allows users to toggle between audio modes such as “conversation” and “alerts.”
You can download these SDK’s yourself over at http://developer.vive.com/resources.
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