The OSVR software platform is designed to encourage innovation and make it easier, simpler and safer to write virtual reality applications. Today, authors of VR applications have to decide what hardware they plan to support and then write to the specific API of these vendors. For instance, if you write to the Facebook/Oculus HMD, you need to use their API; if you want to use an Tobii eye tracker, you need to use their API; and so on. This approach carries a couple of challenges:
- Choosing to support specific hardware limits the number of users that can use the application
- If the API changes, you need to upgrade the application
- If new hardware, such as a new HMD, is released in the future, you will likely need to modify the application to support it
- If you develop an application (e.g. a game) on OSVR, you have access to a wide range of hardware
- If you are a hardware developer, by creating an OSVR plugin you can access all OSVR application. You don't have to go directly to the application developer to ask to support your hardware, just like a printer manufacturer does not have to ask Adobe to support a new printer in Photoshop.
- If you have a unique algorithm, you can test and showcase it with OSVR