The HTC Vive is arguably the more successful of the recent wave of virtual headsets; largely due to the amount of work put in by Valve. The developer of the Steam platform has been pushing VR games rather aggressively, and is now taking it a step further. The SteamVR platform has now gone open source, and is free for others to build upon.
SteamVR is the platform on which the HTC Vive is built. It essentially consists of the VR base stations to track a person’s movement in a 3D space and the technology to power it. The development kit will include a full complement of EVM circuit boards for rapid prototyping, 40 sensors for building a tracked object, and additional accessories for constructing custom prototypes.
However, there is a catch to picking up SteamVR as a platform. Valve is requiring that all devs attend a $3000 (about RM12,000) training course to learn how to do it right. That is $3000 per attendee, which means that this could run into an absurdly high cost for startups looking to get into VR technology. Of course, Valve is recommending that companies send groups of people at a time.
That being said, once the course is over, developers will be free to build and sell whatever they want. There are no licensing fees for building on the SteamVR platform, which may save potential developers a chunk of money in the long run.