Problems with the Oculus Rift and general questions about HiFi


For some reason, HiFi has terrible Rift implementation.

One of the more annoying glitches frequently occurs on starting Interface: the Rift’s sensor will disconnect itself from the PC, a small help balloon saying that a ‘USB device’ is not recognised. I then have to unplug the Rift’s USB cable, and then plug it into the control box again. This doesn’t happen with any other Rift apps, and I’m not a developer so I’m unsure as to why it happens. Regardless, it is annoying, because I then have to restart Interface to get head tracking. This typically happens after starting Interface for the first time since booting, or after a while.

Head turning causes odd distortion, and I’m not really sure how to describe it or why it happens. It seems almost as if the far edges of your vision compress. It’s hard to describe, a subtle effect.
Much more notable, however, is what happens when looking down, then turning your head. When in other Rift demos (or in Reality), this simply works as expected: you look at that side, from a low angle. In HiFi however, the view ‘tilts’ upwards.
I am guessing this is caused by your viewpoint in the Rift being connected to your avatar’s head. This is an imperfect system. I might be wrong though. It may be that the method used by HiFi to avoid the head clipping the body is causing this. I think it’s to do with the shoulders or something. Vision behaves kinda strange when looking up or down. Distortion also seems off.

I’m suspicious that HiFi doesn’t read from your Oculus SDK profile, that stores values such as player height, IPD and lens type. The distortion seeming slightly off could be caused by not using the correct shader for the lenses. I use C lenses. Does HiFi distort the image for C lenses, or for A lenses? Does it use your IPD, or just a general setting? Apparently, (I’ve already asked about this) it does read the SDK profile, but something just feels ‘off’. Again this may be caused by odd head-tracking. Depth and scale doesn’t feel as ‘real’ as in other Rift apps.
It might be a better idea to make the head ‘invisible’ to the user when goggled in. Then, you could make the camera for the Rift independent of the head, but still also sync the head to the Rift’s orientation. That way, other users see the head movements, but your head moves in a more typical manner. Mainly, fixing the weird head shift thing when turning your head sideways while looking down is pretty important.

The HUD is too small. It is somewhat similar to Minecraft. In Minecrift (Minecraft VR mod) the HUD is larger, it also can be configured to be attached to the head orientation, and occlude with the world. Minecrift’s HUD is not curved.

Okay… now onto the questions:
• What are the stars? Will they be real stars with websites around them at some point? Are they a representation of the data within the Internet?
• Why are we building in space?
• Will planets have fixed sizes? Can they be ‘infinite’ but appear small from orbit? Is that how it already works with the atmosphere bubble thing?
• Why are voxels the primary construction method currently? Some interviews suggest that voxels will simply be used to provide LOD and infinite draw distance things later down the line, and that the world will be made of meshes.
• Will text chat be removed?
• Websites will be linked by doors, like in JanusVR. However, they will also exist as planets? How will sites be ‘placed’ around stars or turned into planets. If I build a museum website, how does that become a planet? Is it just an atmospheric bubble/portal which leads into that site? Is the planet simply a ‘representation’? Or will it be like in Ready Player One, where planets are covered in thousands of instances of a single ‘thing’ (the Zork planet).
• Will there be a day-night cycle?
• Will non-Euclidian geometries be possible?
• Is the eventual vision of HiFi something like the OASIS, the Matrix/Future Internet from Neuromancer/Johnny Mnemonic or a mixture of the two?
• I’m guessing a lot of things are gonna be removed/turned off the further HiFi goes into development, like the always-on flight. However, the always on flight, with steadily increasing speed, brings to mind the ‘Future Internet’ mentioned above.

Sorry for being so critical towards what is effectively a pre/early-alpha thing! However, I find some part of the overall vision matching my own ideas of a Metaverse, and isn’t this what testers are supposed to do?
If you fix the Rift camera, I’ll probably find it more enjoyable using HiFi!


Hey @NETVERK, thanks for the informative post!

I have been spending a lot of time in the rift and you are spot on with these issues. The ‘USB device’ issue was something that I assumed was wrong with the DK1 I was using, but it appears that our software is to blame.

The vision compression is not something I myself have noticed, but I haven’t spent much time with the rift in other Rift apps so you are likely right and it is something wrong with getting the SDK profile or the distortion correction.

Currently, when looking too far up or too far down, your orientation is bounded to keep your head from turning around. This is the likely cause for that odd tilting, and I agree that when in the rift we need to disable this.

I added the ability to increase and decrease the size of the HUD in the preferences, could you play with that and let me know what seems right to you?

We will be upgrading our SDK from 2.5 to 3.2, ideally in the coming week or two, and hopefully in doing so we can fix some of these issues.

I’m afraid I am not informed enough to comment on your other questions.


I think this may also be the cause of the other ‘vision compression’ thing, now that I try it with that in mind. I guess that isn’t the right way of describing it, it’s more akin to a forcefield or something, yeah. I don’t know why I chose the word ‘compression’, the forcefield thing also causes more of a ‘stretching’. (This stretching happens when turning my head very far in one direction, but still looking ahead rather than down.
So maybe if you fix that thing mentioned above, the other thing will be fixed too? It seems as if they are connected, the head-turn whilst looking down thing and the head-turn whilst looking ahead thing… The HUD size thing is cool, though being able to also reduce the spherical effect on the HUD would be also cool!

When implementing SDK 3.2, will you be adding some of the perks like Timewarp?
Also, are you guys getting a DK2?


We should be getting some DK2’s in July last I heard, and yes we should also be able to have Timewarp with the new SDK :smile: As for reducing the spherical effect, would the ability to map it to a cylinder or plane be useful options? I have tried those implementations and the cylinder approach isn’t bad, though at the top and the bottom it can be hard to read text. The plane approach isn’t very good at all though. I removed those implementations because I figured that the hemisphere was the best approach.


A cylindrical HUD would be useful, yeah!

Do you have any idea why the Rift sometimes disconnects yet?


Currently I don’t know, hopefully it gets fixed with the upgrade to 3.2. It seems so strange, it’s not something that seems like it should happen. Since windows stops recognizing the USB, it almost seems like its the fault of windows, but that must not be the case if it only happens in HIFI and not other apps.


Do you have other USB devices plugged in too? I have noticed that the pc has some usb power management issues but gives you no warning. So, if you have a mouse, the Rift and say the Hydras plugged in, without warning, one will stop working.


I just upgraded to a new PC with a 550W PSU in it. The only other devices I have are a keyboard, mouse, webcam and microphone (blue snowball). No other rift apps do this. I’ll see if unplugging the microphone does anything, but I doubt it.


@NETVERK I am getting pretty close to finishing upgrading to the 3.2 SDK, and I am noticing that I still get the USB issue. In fact, I sometimes get it when hifi isn’t even running, so it has to be an issue with the DK1 according to what I am seeing. To remedy this, I will add the ability to reinitialize the oculus without restarting the client, probably with the space bar or something.


What about the camera thing? Is that a larger thing, to do with the engine itself?


From what I can tell with the new distortion rendering, chromatic aberration correction, and timeshift, it looks smoother and better. But after these changes go live I would love to hear your feedback on whether it feels any better or not. The weird thing with the camera angles messing up when you look too far to the side is still there since that’s an engine thing, but I should be able to fix that soon. I think I can further improve the apparent latency but I will have to play around with it a bit more.


The distortion seems generally better, as does the latency!
The chromatic aberration correction also makes it look nicer.

The weird camera is now the most prominent flaw.


I have my Oculus Rift DK2 now. Anything special needed to get the Interface (currently at Windows build 928 to work with the new headset?

“View” -> “Enable VR Mode” does not seem to do anything?


Im having the same problem got the DK2 this morning and i cant seem to get it to work in HIFI


we received the DK2’s yesterday. We are getting them setup so will be getting an update out shortly.


Great, thanks @Chris. This needs to be set to work in the “Direct HMD Access” mode. Its a total pain to try to use the old style extended desktop or mirror with the DK2 as the primary display…

See some of my own first day with the Oculus DK2 at


Is anybody else with DK2 having an issue with bad judder and low frame rate, i tried several options to fix it with no joy. Seems to be a few people with this problem on the Oculus forum.


VR Mode in DK2 is kinda broken. The images are ‘pushed’ under the bottom of the screen, filling the top half with black.
Also there’s no positional tracking.

As it goes on, what exactly are your UI design plans for HiFi in VR? It is currently very monitor-centric.
Also turning on Visage with the DK2 camera plugged in seems to crash Interface? Could that just be standard behaviour when turning on Visage without a webcam, though?


@NETVERK @Derric_Foggarty @Ai_Austin , we have not shipped the DK2 update yet, also the MAC DK2 SDK update has not been released by Oculus. We do have a Pull Request for the PC version that should hopefully go out soon, you can see it here:


Thanks for the update @Chris. Is that pull for a quick fix that uses the extended desktop old compatibility mode?

Good to see this progressing… but extended desktop with DK2 is a pain. As I understand it, you need to configure the DK2 as the primary display, which since is portrait and all sorts of flipping takes place, trashes your desktop layout. Okay for one off test, but impractical for launching every time.
Direct mode use of DK2 really is required when the code can be added and the system recompiled for direct mode access.