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How to convert your Oculus Rift CV1 in a fully functional Santa Cruz

Since the first time we have seen the Oculus Santa Cruz prototype during Oculus Connect 3, we want to put our hands on it. The Oculus Connect 4 made us eager to have it and finally this year we will be able to buy it. But what if it would be possible to use your Oculus Rift CV1 as a completely standalone 6 DOF headset with two 6 DOF controllers? What if your Rift could become your Santa Cruz? This would let you play awesome wireless virtual reality without having to spend hundreds of Euros to buy a new device. Ready to discover how? Then go on!

I’ve found this tutorial on the deep web, were a former Oculus employee (that has been fired and is angry with the company) has revealed that actually the Oculus Rift CV1 had been designed to be a device able to work both as a tethered device (as we normally use it) and as a standalone device. That’s why inside the headset are embedded a battery, some extra circuits and some IR cameras (they’re behind the IR-transparent lid, that’s why you can’t see them). Then, months before the launch, Oculus engineers understood that the inside-out tracking was not working perfectly, had some jitters, and so they aborted all this ambitious idea and resorted to a tethered headset with Constellation tracking, that at the beginning had so many problems for room-scale because it was just a fall-back solution.

GDC 2018 roundup oculus santa cruz
Look how much the Santa Cruz is similar to the Oculus Rift CV1… this is a proof that at the beginning they were the same device (Image by Oculus, taken from Road To VR)

For some reasons obscure to this employee, Oculus started the production of the Rift CV1 without removing all this special tracking hardware. Maybe its circuitry was completely interwoven with the other one making the headset work with a PC and it was too late to re-design everything, maybe Oculus planned to launch inside-out tracking in the future, who knows. Anyway, the “Santa Cruz” part of the CV1 is still there in all the headsets we already own. And according to our informer, it is possible to re-activate it with a special procedure and use our Rift as a standalone device. The only warnings that I have for you are:

  1. The procedure is not very easy and you must be tech skilled to follow it;
  2. The procedure is risky and you may also die while doing it;
  3. The headset you’ll obtain is like a Santa Cruz, but of course, it will be like an old version of a Santa Cruz: old lenses, less comfort, less tracking accuracy, etc…;
  4. Activating the Santa Cruz mode will probably make you violate Oculus license. So, go on only if you are brave enough. Of course, Zuck, Barra & the others do not want you to apply this procedure, because if all Rift owners won’t buy the Santa Cruz, this will make them lose a lot of money.
oculus rift to santa cruz
This is the face Zuck will have if you follow this procedure (Image from Business Insider, by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Ok, now that you have been warned, you can follow this secret procedure!

  1. Connect your Oculus Rift to the PC and open Oculus application;
  2. Open the system registry (Win+R, then type Regedit)
  3. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > Software.
  4. Right click on the Software folder > New > Key and name the new folder “Oculus”
  5. Right click on the Oculus folder > New > DWORD 32bit Value and name it SantaCruzMode
  6. Set the value to 1

    oculus rift to santa cruz
    This is the settings you should have in the system registry after you followed this procedure (click to enlarge in a new tab)
  7. Restart your PC for the new settings to take effect
  8. At the system restart, you should see the Oculus application opening as always, but this time an S.C. writing will appear in its upper left corner. This is an indicator that your PC now has activated the Santa Cruz circuitry inside the Rift and is uploading its updated firmware (that offers an improved tracking wrt the one that was problematic at the beginning) and Oculus software. This will also charge the internal battery;
  9. Wait for approximately 30 minutes for the setup to finish. At this time you should see the SC label becoming blue. Now we almost have a fully functional 6DOF Santa Cruz headset, but we have still to fix some details;

    oculus rift to santa cruz
    My Oculus Home, Santa Cruz ready. Notice the blue writing in the upper left corner, next to the Oculus logo
  10. First of all, there is a part of the controllers tracking technology that has to be activated. This is the “magnetic photonic inductor”: to charge it, you have to apply to the headset a quadrionic waves field. It is a well-known phenomenon in Physics and you can watch a lecture about it on Youtube if you are curious. On the practical side, this would require a professional equipment, but you can simulate it by:
    1. Turning on a Microsoft Kinect v2 close to the headset;
    2. Activating the Bluetooth connection on your phone and putting the phone on the Kinect;

      oculus rift to santa cruz
      The Kinect is directed towards my Rift and has on it a smartphone with Bluetooth enabled
    3. Turning on a microwave oven next to this setup;

      oculus rift to santa cruz
      My microwave operating next to my VR setup. You surely know that next to a working microwave there is a high electromagnetic field
    4. Shaking the headset while all these waves pass through it for at least 5 minutes. When you feel that the headset has become a little warmer on the inside upper-left corner, it means that the procedure has succeeded. Otherwise, continue shaking. Beware that if you shake it for too much time, the headset may overheat and even explode in the end. So be careful.
  11. Now the last step: we have to launch the Oculus process on the device. Since the internal hardware mounts a modified version of Android, we’ll use “adb” to command it (as with the Vive Focus mirroring). Remember that to use ADB you have to own the Android SDK Tools installed on your PC and their directory inserted inside the system PATH environment variable. If you’re not at this stage, look on the web how to do that;
  12. Open a command line console (Win+R, then type “cmd”)
  13. Type this exact line
    adb shell monkey -p com.oculus.exp.SantaCruz -c android.intent.category.LAUNCHER 1
  14. Now open on your PC screen this Palmer Luckey image that Oculus has chosen as the initial marker for the tracking technology. Point your headset towards your screen so that everything can initialize correctly;

    oculus rift to santa cruz
    They chose this image because it is the best photo of Palmer ever (Image by GDC)
  15. Detach the headset from the HDMI/USB cable. To do that you will need to gently pull the faceplate, detach the connector and then re-inserting the faceplate. You will notice that strangely the headset will remain lit. This is because now it has Santa Cruz mode activated;

    oculus rift to santa cruz
    Notice that I’ve pulled out the faceplate from my Rift. It is quite easy. Then you have to remove that cable to use it wirelessly
  16. Put on your head your new standalone headset and have fun!

I was skeptical at the beginning, but in the end, when I saw that this procedure worked I was really delighted. I still can’t believe I can experience full 6 DOF virtual reality with the hardware that I already own. That’s awesome! This is a video of me playing in the garden to make all of you envious!

After you’ve verified it by yourself, spread the voice about this secret feature by sharing this article with all the other VR enthusiasts. Everyone has to know! And then subscribe to my newsletter to show your appreciation for my efforts.

See you tomorrow, when I’ll publish my next post with some exclusive photos of the Yeti wearing Magic Leap glasses and playing full body AR thanks to his Sixense STEM tracking set.

And before I leave, I want to wish to you, from the bottom of my heart, a wonderful Easter and a beautiful 1st of April! 😉

The post How to convert your Oculus Rift CV1 in a fully functional Santa Cruz appeared first on The Ghost Howls.

This post first appeared on The Ghost Howls, please read the originial post: here

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How to convert your Oculus Rift CV1 in a fully functional Santa Cruz


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