SteamVR Home: New Collectibles

June 21 - Lawrence
It's that time again! New SteamVR Home collectibles are now available for Moss, Apex Construct, Nevrosa: Escape, and Trains VR. As always, play these games to unlock their collectibles in SteamVR Home.

Vive users now have access to the Vive Pro headset avatar, and we also have a special guest in SteamVR Home: a Steam Summer Salien!

Introducing SteamVR Skeletal Input

June 21 - Victim0

In May we announced the new SteamVR Input system to allow developers to more easily support existing and future controllers, enable gamers to more easily customize their controls, and empower hardware makers to continue to innovate on VR input. But there’s another aspect to controller input unique to VR that we did not address at the time: extra information from the controller about what the player’s body is doing. Current hardware can tell us a lot about where the user’s hand is and the pose of their fingers, and that information is only going to get more accurate and detailed as the industry continues to innovate. To facilitate this innovation, we’re proud to announce the release of the first beta of SteamVR Skeletal Input.

The Skeletal Input system will allow controller makers to capture the pose of the user’s hand as accurately as their sensors are able, and provide it as a stream of animation data to the running app. App developers can then use this stream to animate the hands of the user’s avatar on its own or in combination with their own animations.

What this means for users is that they will be able to get the full benefit of their investment in new VR controllers in their favorite games without the need for the developers to release a patch to support the new controller. App developers will not need to create unique animations for each controller they intend to support when their game is released, or issue patches to support new controllers. And hardware makers can continue to innovate in this space, and write their drivers so that their controller will work with any game that supports the new Skeletal Input system.

Controller drivers will be able to provide two animation streams to apps for each controller: one stream intended to track the estimated pose of the user’s hand as accurately as possible, usually meaning with the controller in-hand. The second stream is intended to provide a range of motion for the hand as if it was no controller in the way, ideal for cases where the user’s avatar is not currently holding anything in-game. The app developer can then choose which of these streams to sample based on the current context of the game.

SteamVR Skeletal Input will also provide the option to convert either data stream to additive animation. Additive animation can be useful to app developers because it can be layered on top of other animation to provide additional, more dynamic motion. For example, you could use the additive finger animation from SteamVR Skeletal Input as a layer on top of an artist-created pose of the hand holding an object, to allow users to appear to adjust their grip or gesture while holding an object.

We also wanted to ensure that multiuser experiences would be able to take advantage of this new system, but networking an entire animated hand skeleton can require too much bandwidth for many users. So we have included as part of the API support for compressing the animation down to a size that is more practical for networking.

This initial beta release is intended as an opportunity for developers to try out the API in their games and provide us with feedback. Vive Wands, Oculus Touch, and the new Knuckles EV2 are already supported, and we invite other input makers to work with us to add support for their controllers during the beta as well.

A full SDK for all developers will be released soon, but for now Unity developers can access the Skeletal Input API with this early release of the SteamVR Unity plugin. The documentation is available on the OpenVR GitHub Wiki. We look forward to hearing your feedback!

HTC Vive Wands

Oculus Touch Controllers

Knuckles EV2

SteamVR Home: Steam and Desktop Panels

June 12 - Lawrence

Today we are excited to introduce two new spawnable panels to SteamVR Home: Steam Big Picture and Desktop. These are the same overlays that are accessible from the SteamVR Dashboard, but with the convenience of placing and saving them in your SteamVR Home environment.

Both of these panels are accessible under Things > Panels in the content browser. Simply click to spawn, then reach out and grab the panel to adjust its location and position.

This feature is currently only available in the SteamVR Beta. To opt into SteamVR Beta, find SteamVR under Tools in your Steam Library. Right click to bring up Properties, then select 'beta' from the dropdown in the Betas tab.

As always, we'd love to hear what you think in the discussion boards.

Controllers Controllers Controllers: Introducing SteamVR Input

May 14 - Programmer Joe

SteamVR supports a lot of different controllers, and it can be difficult for developers to keep up with all of them. Today we are excited to release the first Beta for the new SteamVR Input system.

SteamVR Input allows users to build binding configurations for their favorite games, even for controllers that didn't exist when the game was written. They can adapt the controls of games to take left-handedness, a disability, or just personal preference into account. And once they build a configuration they can share them easily with other users of the same game via the Steam Workshop.

This new input system also allows developers to adapt their games more easily to diverse controllers. Developers control the default bindings for each controller type, and can offer alternate control schemes directly without the need to change the games themselves. When using SteamVR Input, developers expose high level "actions" in their applications that control how the binding UI presents their game to users.

All of this support is built right into SteamVR. It also works on every SteamVR application even if the developer of that application hasn't updated it to the new system yet.

In addition, with the introduction of SteamVR Input, hardware designers are free to try more kinds of input. They can expose whatever input controls exist on their device and then describe that device to the system.

All of this is accomplished through an easy to use UI that is available in-headset under the Settings menu.

SteamVR users who would like to try out the new system just need to opt-in to the Beta build of SteamVR. Look under properties in Steam.

Developers should view details on our OpenVR SDK 1.0.15 page and the documentation to see how to enable native support in their applications.

Hardware developers should look at the driver API documentation to see how they can enable this new system for their devices.

We would love to hear what you think of SteamVR Input. Please give it a try in the beta and leave a comment below or in the SteamVR forums to tell us what you think.

SteamVR Home: New Collectibles

April 4 - Lawrence

Today we are making SteamVR Home Collectibles available for Skyrim VR, International Space Station Tour VR, and Payday 2: VR.

In addition, we've made the two Ready Player One themed props from the Vive Creative Labs Driftwood environment available for all players in SteamVR Home.
Upcoming Windows Mixed Reality Support on Steam