VR OpenLab – VetVR

October 19, 2018


This was a quick demo put together with free or very inexpensive models for Veterinary Science to show their students. Something I did use here for the first time was something I had bought in the Asset Store a while ago, Mesh Baker. It combines meshes and materials to reduce draw calls. I filled the shelves full of items which killed performance, using Mesh Baker it reduced the draw calls and it was super smooth again.


VR OpenLab – Demo for Veterinarian Students from jkafkaris on Vimeo.


VR OpenLab – Motion Simulator

October 10, 2018


At the OpenLab we are very fortunate to have a lot of equipment to experiment with. One such setup I recently configured was a 6 degrees of freedom (6DOF) motion platform.

The platform was made by CKAS Mechatronics. It was previously used for other experiments, but we wanted to now hook it up to VR.

1 PC controlling is controlling the platform and 1 PC is powering a HTC Vive. Software provided by CKAS enables communication between selected games and the platform.

The game I chose was Digital Combat Simulator – The makers say, “Our dream is to offer the most authentic and realistic simulation of military aircraft, tanks, ground vehicles and ships possible.” They have done an amazing job and it is free!

One of the “gotcha”s is dealing with the motion cancellation on a moving platform. If this is not done it can be very nauseating. To basically explain this, movements without motion cancellation you would be jumping in and out of the aircraft with sudden movements in VR, with motion cancellation the movements are inverted and cancelled so you are always in the chair in VR and get the g-force effects of the motion platform.

To do this, I found OpenVR-InputEmulator, and used a Vive Tracker. attached to the top of the chair and set it up to use the Motion Compensation mode.

We hooked up some loud speakers to and invited a colleague to take it for a spin!



VR OpenLab – Curator SVV

August 30, 2018

“Curator SVV allows you to measure visual-vestibular biais in Virtual Reality. 10 tilted famous paintings are presented on a black background. With a remote gamepad, you will adjust the painting to straighten/level it, as you would do with a painting on a wall.”

This is the description given for the research app I developed for the OpenLab. There is an actual physical test used in hospitals that places people in a pitch black environment and asks them horizontally align an object using a remote control. It’s quite a setup and not portable at all.

This app aims to replicate the usage of the hospital setup using a standalone VR headset that can be used anywhere. Currently the app works on Gear VR and Oculus Go – you can find it here – Curator SVV

The results of the test is output to a CSV file, this includes, in degrees, the starting position of the painting, the final corrected position from the user, the users head position, the time taken for each painting and a few others.

The app has been slowly evolving since it’s original release. There are several “conditions” that can now be applied to the scene instead of it being all black. A rotating sphere of dots rotating in either direction and at alternative speeds is one and surrounding the painting with a tilted frame in either a positive or negative rotation is the others.

It’s very interesting watching people use the app, for example, with the rotating dots, almost always people start to lean the direction of the rotation. Also when rotating the painting the same direction as the dots, there is a dot rotation speed that almost matches the painting rotation speed – people swear the painting is not rotating… until they realise it has!

Being the first app I’ve put into the Oculus App Store it was a learning experience also – there is a lot of documentation online, you will find most of it on the official site – but you will have to dig for it.


Virtual Republic – Home Virtually

June 26, 2017


This is a Virtual Reality project built in Unity for the HTC Vive.

Purchasing a property off-the-plan can be a risky proposition, the objective of this project is to allow the potential buyer the ability to step into the property before it exists via Virtual Reality.

Virtual Republic – Home Virtually from jkafkaris on Vimeo.

The buyer has the ability to visit areas of the property, configure elements such as floors and walls, see a running budget of such changes, take photos that will be sent via email after the experience and save their custom configurations for quick comparisons. Using room-scale, the user can walk around the area within the confines of the Vive’s play area.

Configurations can be saved and quickly compared.


The seller has the ability to show exactly how the property will look as it has been based of the architectural plans, users dwell times and preferences are all track and the analytics of such data can help for current and future projects.

View from the kitchen


View from balcony in the evening


The project is built using the StrangeIoC framework, as it is built for Vive it uses the SteamVR plugin, also from Valve “The Lab Renderer” has been used and for the controllers VRTK.

Also mixed reality has been looked into to showcase the app further – here are a couple test shots.