Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Desktops (Apple) Displays GUI Apple Linux

Ibex Virtual Reality Desktop Beta For Mac Released 52

New submitter Hesh writes "Ibex, the first cross-platform VR desktop of its kind, was previously released for Linux, and has finally been updated to work on Mac OS X Mountain Lion. Running at a silky smooth 60fps, it is nearing final release and awaiting delivery of the developer Oculus Rift kits for final integration testing. A Windows version may be released in time. The source can be found on bitbucket for the Linux version and iPhone orientation sensor client while the Mac source is to follow soon at the same location."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Ibex Virtual Reality Desktop Beta For Mac Released

Comments Filter:
  • Unix (Score:5, Funny)

    by binarylarry ( 1338699 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @10:27PM (#42631611)

    This is Unix, I know this!

  • ...oh yeah, it's at the bottom of the lake.
  • Virtual reality on a Mac? As far as I understand, VR is really only going to be used for 2 things. Games, and, uh, Adult Games.

    I suppose that's a good fit - OSX is a small but rapidly expanding gaming ecosystem. Just like the "adult gaming experience".

    (Nevermind that this is really a window compositor - and until we get excellent haptic feedback working on a "gaming" platform, I'm disinclined to be interested).
    • It's not even a compositor. It's just a workspace switcher that let's you work with two workspaces from an in-between perspective. It looks like you can choose your own QTVR style background, but the windows are limited to full desktops. I wish OpenCroquet weren't both awful an abandoned, it had a lot more potential than this.
      • by Hesh ( 449135 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @11:13PM (#42631819) Homepage

        On Linux it is actually a compositor. On the Mac you use the built-in compositor to render the desktop to a virtual desktop then allow full interaction with it from the virtual world.

        It also adds the ability to work with the Oculus Rift ( so that you actually look around and the companion iPhone app (and as it is open-source any other platform really) will let you navigate. The plan is also to add support for the Leap Motion ( so that you can navigate the world using gestures, look around anywhere you want, and if you want, still get work done.

        Imagine you are on a plane, instead of using your puny laptop screen you can use a giant virtual one (or many giant virtual ones). This is just the beginning.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          So, what you're saying is that it isn't a compositor, rather it's a compositor?

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) *

          Okay, two questions for you. I notice in the video you are editing some code on screen. It seems like if you move the viewing position back and start twisting it around small text is going to become very hard to read. Things like sub-pixel anti-aliasing will be broken as well. The only solution would be to make text a lot bigger. How do you plan to get around that?

          Secondly how is having to move your head around better than just pressing a key to switch desktops? It seems like it would be quite annoying if t

          • by Hesh ( 449135 )

            Honestly, I don't have a good answer as to how well this will work in practice. I think we'll need much higher resolution VR glasses for this to be of any use, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be slightly useable with the first iteration. This is more of a proof-of-concept in that it lets us even try out a virtual desktop and see what it looks like on consumer hardware, who knows what systems if any exist for research or military headsets? certainly not Linux and OSX. If this is found to

            • by fyngyrz ( 762201 )

              I think we'll need much higher resolution VR glasses for this to be of any use

              FTFY: We'll need a no-glasses 3D display and high quality haptic feedback for this to be of any use. All this is right now is eye candy that reduces system functionality and ease of use.

      • Yeah I looked at Croquet but just getting it to build seemed like a lot of work. In the end minecraft did just about everything I needed.

        • by Hesh ( 449135 )

          I've looked at Open Croquet as well, but it is much more complex than what I need and isn't as cross-platform. One of the cool Open Croquet features is remote desktop sharing for example, I'm actually going for compositing your local desktop for as much speed as possible.

          Also, if you check out the pictures and descriptions on you'll notice that it supports 2 3D engines in addition to the simple one from the screenshot: Irrlicht and Ogore3D which means you will be able to load up more

      • by SQLGuru ( 980662 ) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @01:18AM (#42632265) Journal

        I watched the video (linked from the home page) and wondered why it was just a flat desktop in a 3D world. I would have expected being able to move windows around in 3D space or at least to be independent of the desktop "square" that was floating there.

        • by Hesh ( 449135 )

          It is a flat desktop because that is the most reasonable and quickest way to get up and running productively. I can scale it up and let users work as usual without inventing a new way for them to interact with their windows. Also, X windows and OSX don't give us the full tree of Windows so we can't accurately associate popups for example with their parent, so you'd have to have new windows and popups show up somewhere else. I did initially render the windows individually, so it is doable, but we'd still

          • by SQLGuru ( 980662 )

            That's fair in terms of technical hurdles, but then running it is no different than watching unscaled SD content on a 4k TV. You have a huge window but only take advantage of a small sliver of the capabilities.

            Interesting as a tech demo, but not something I would want or need in the near term.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Microsoft Bob had a lot of potential! Imagine a real virtual 3D fake oak desktop where you can pull out real virtual drawers with files with stuff! And talking paperclips.

    • by Hesh ( 449135 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @11:15PM (#42631829) Homepage

      Step one is to get a virtual environment that works, this works. Step two is to get a virtual reality headset, the Oculus will help with that. Step three is to write whatever programs you want that fit into that world rather than have every single VR program be its own separate entity requiring one to leave the experience just to even switch to another app. It is important that there be a beginning.

  • I wonder if you can run this on the Sandbenders?

  • Come on guys, put in the support for people glasses.

    Like.. there aren't a lot of nerds who wear glasses or anything.

    I'll even volunteer to test.

    • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Saturday January 19, 2013 @02:39AM (#42632489)

      The Occulus VR really isn't very exciting because it doesn't seem to have solved any of the problems that have been present in past "VR glasses" solutions. I think some people forget this idea isn't new and it has been done before.

      One of the problems is glasses, that it is somewhat difficult to make the headset in such a way that it easily accommodates people's glasses.

      Another one is resolution. Right now the Occulus VR is 640x800 per eye, so quite low rez, just a little over standard definition. With the display being so visually big, that equals really large pixels. They say the final version is supposed to be higher resolution, but with no details, meaning they hope they can do it, not that they have a way to.

      Now I'm not saying these, or other, problems are insoluble, but if they aren't solved, it'll really make this less useful and appealing. It also makes it not so different from the stuff in the past, which means it is reasonable to assume it won't succeed.

      I like the idea, but so far it strikes me as people who think VR is cool, and don't have any solutions to the problems it faces.

      • I started thinking about VR again and with occulus VR headset being hyped up at the moment I remembered one of the problems with VR headsets was the method of interaction was so clumsy then it occurred to me that maybe combining the headset with a device like a kinect could overcome the object interaction issues or at the very least make them a lot less cumbersome.

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        the resolution is limited by what's available commercially cheaply. those exist already.. but are expensive.
        anyways, the display distortion makes it use more pixels for straight forward than for the edges.

        it solves some problems by that. and wide fov. also the display isn't as miniature as in sony hmz etc solutions. afaik oculus has just cellphone type of displays so they don't need to do their own research to advance availability of those displays even.

        I just got my eyes tinkered with so I'm good to go wit

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Right now the Occulus VR is 640x800 per eye

        That's true, but that's 800 vertical lines, so it's a good deal more than standard def. In fact, it's more than 720p. AFAIK, they're basing it on a 1280x800 7" LCD (probably some tablet unit), but the effective horizontal resolution will depend on the application. You could probably use it like a standard 2D monitor, utilising the full 1280 horizontal pixels.

        • When you are presenting a separate image per eye, you have to consider the rez per eye. They like to talk about 1280x800 because it sounds better, but it is 640x800 per eye, quite low rez. If you want to see why, look at your screen, now close one eye. Does everything suddenly get blurry? No? There you go then.

          Rez is a major issue for this thing. They haven't addressed it because they do not have an answer at this time.

      • I like the idea, but so far it strikes me as people who think VR is cool, and don't have any solutions to the problems it faces.

        Never mind the problems it faces, I am still wondering what problem it solves..

  • Qt5 Wayland compositor looks much more impressive:

    • by Hesh ( 449135 )

      True, but Ibex also supports Quake3 levels on Linux and Ogre3D levels exported from Blender 3D on Linux so it doesn't seem that much more impressive visually honestly (eg: The Wayland compositor is more impressive due to the Wayland support on the backend that lets one individually separate windows and manage them separately as a group, something that can only be done as a hack on Linux and OSX (possibly Windows, not sure yet). I'

  • So why on earth do these guys think people want/need it when they're trying to write a document or surf the web? If the in-window content was rendered in 3D then it might have some vague 5 minute novelty value but it isn't, its simply the desktop furniture. So what the hell is the point other than to waste CPU/GPU cycles?

    • My guess is it's the same idiotic idiom that produced windows systems or text interfaces. It was so much nicer when I could just flip some switches on the front then check the binary output on the front light display. Whey we need all these advanced interfaces is stupid.

      Honestly I seem to run two-three interfaces any more, web browser and command line then what ever game I may be playing.

      • by Viol8 ( 599362 )

        Is the really the best counter argument you could come up with? You seem to be confusing flash features for their own sake with usability. Are you part of the Gnome team by any chance? They have the same blinkered approach to GUI design.

        • I don't understand what part of this was flash? It was no different than going from the one dimensional stream of text interface to a two dimensional windowing interface. Initially that was just used to provide multiple text consoles. This is just starting out by providing a 3d space initially to show two dimensional windowing systems until more can be developed.

At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.