Oculus Open Sources DK2 HMD Designs

On the eve of Oculus’s annual Oculus Connect developer conference, the company threw a bone to the open-source hardware community by releasing documentation for the Rift Development Kit 2 (DK2) headset.

The documentation includes detailed schematics, board layout information, mechanical CAD drawings, artwork, and technical specifications of the DK2 hardware under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license, which means you are free redistribute and adapt the information for your own purposes so long as you give Oculus the appropriate credit for the work.

If you’re interested in learning more about the display and how Oculus got it to operate at 75 Hz, check out the Headset/Mechanical repository. The Headset/Electrical repository and the Headset/Firmware repositories feature detailed information about the LED circuitry and the STM32 microcontroller. And the Headset/Optical repository includes information about the bi-convex lenses.

Oculus moved on to a more refined tracking system for the retail Oculus Rift headset, but the DK2’s camera is still effective for seated experiences. To learn more about the global image sensor and the IR emitter used for the DK2’s tracking system, see the Sensor/Electrical repository. You can also find a CAD model of the tracking system components in the Sensor/Mechanical repository.

Oculus said that some of the components that it used to build the DK2 are likely difficult, if not impossible, to source these days, so it doesn’t expect that individuals will be able to scratch-build DK2 kits, but it hopes the knowledge can be applied to other projects. Oculus said the most relevant information would be the documentation about the headset cable.

It further stated that the cable is “actually one of the most complex parts” of the whole configuration because it had to deliver power, video data, and positional data over long distances without interference. You can find the details about the cable in the Cable/Electrical and Cable/Mechanical repositories.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.