“Virtual reality (VR) is a computer technology that uses virtual reality headsets or multi-projected environments, sometimes in combination with physical environments or props, to generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that simulate a user’s physical presence in a virtual or imaginary environment. A person using virtual reality equipment is able to “look around” the artificial world, and with high-quality VR move around in it and interact with virtual features or items. The effect is commonly created by VR headsets consisting of head-mounted goggles with a screen in front of the eyes, but can also be created through specially designed spaces with multiple large screens.” -WikiPedia
Hello and welcome, in this blog titled VR Development using AOSP and HiKey960 we will be taking a look at a collection of guides and instructions to develop VR Applications using the Hikey960 & Neonkey Mezzanine for our hardware, AOSP (Android OpenSource Project) as out platform and Unreal Engine 4 as our game engine. And at the end a small demo of a VR App running on our setup.
Step 1: Setting up a custom AOSP build
As discussed in one of our previous blogs titled “Implementing Neonkey Sensor Mezzanine on AOSP”, we need to compile AOSP from source to enable the Neonkey mezzanine. We need the Neonkey mezzanine to provide all the contextual and environment sensing capabilities required by VR applications for head-tracking.
In AOSP, this is how the neonkey functions: | Neonkey | –> | Nanohub + Contexthub HAL | –> | Sensor HAL | –> | Android App |
Step 2: Setting up Unreal Engine 4 Editor
To build a good VR Experience, we require a decent gaming engine backing it to take care of all the hard work so that creators can concentrate on the content.
Google officially supports Unity and Unreal Engine 4 for its VR SDK. Since I am not a Game developer, I am unbiased towards both of them, but the part where Unreal Engine 4 stands out for me is the support for Linux on its UE4 Editor tool making it possible for me to develop VR Demos on my workstation.
AOSP VR Project: In this project guide hosted at the 96Boards Project Org repository, I go through all the basic steps and process included in setting up a VR development environment based on the Unreal Engine 4 and deploying it on the Hikey960
So we are at the end of the VR Development using AOSP and HiKey960 blog post. The demo explained here is very basic and there are a lot of things to improve. Since all of the instructions and source code is open source, you can enhance it and share with the 96Boards community.
Please take a look at the Contributing guide for more info. Stay tuned for the next part!