Virtual reality development in 2020

Looking to do a small VR project, fairly simple render to a headset, hoping to avoid using something like Unity or Touch or some other bloated development environment.

Something like ofxOpenVR looks ideal, but it appears to be well out of date, and windows only (I can do Mac or Linux).

All I really need to be able to do is draw my own 3d scene for both eyes, and send it to the headset. Hopefully the panning/head-tracking is done for me.

If anybody has a good solution for this, please suggest. Thanks!

For kicks I compiled openVR for mac and i worked fine with ofxOpenVR so I made a test addon

GPUs in mac are so crappy that this did not seem worth pursuing, but it did function on OSX.
Linux is probably a better bet, this process was not difficult, you could be running fast compiling the openVR as a lib and adding it to the project.


thanks for the tip! will look this over and give it a shot.

Thank you for this. The original ofxOpenVR wasn’t working on my machine and I had to make a terrible workaround. Ironically your version for mac also worked for Windows.

Hi Fred. I hope you don’t mind me reviving this topic from last year. Thanks for making a much needed update to this addon. Can you explain the steps you took to get an app running on a mac? I downloaded and built OpenVR for mac using Terminal. Beyond this I’m at a loss as to what I should do next. I noticed in the README that it is not possible to build the sample apps that come with the SDK. What do I need to do to get your sample apps to run on mac?

Hi, you need to have steamVR installed, it has been quite some time since I have messed about with this on OSX. I know that some versions of steam on OSX took VR support away. If you have steam and steamVR installed on your mac (wich I have a feeling is not so easy to do but can be done - SteamVR - Supported Platforms - Steam News) then when you run these examples they will launch steamVR and pass textures to the headset. However this was never well supported on OSX and is much much easier with windows.

Thanks for your reply. I saw that SteamVR had been discontinued for mac but thought OpenVR might be an alternative option. I just managed to install SteamVR on my mac from here but it will not open due to a missing executable, so I expect it is probably not possible via this route. All I need to do is use the tracking system to take the matrix data from a single controller so I can pass this data to an app running on my PC and I only have a mac with which to do this. I wonder if there is another way to achieve this other than installing boot camp. Running a simple OF app using ofxOpenVR on the same PC as my other app causes a bit of a performance hit to my main app.