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OpenVR is a software development kit (SDK) and application programming interface developed by Valve for supporting the SteamVR (HTC Vive)[1][2] and other virtual reality headset (VR) devices.[3][4] The SteamVR platform uses it as the default application programming interface (API) and runtime.[5] It serves as the interface between the VR hardware and software[6] and is implemented by SteamVR.[7]

Although OpenVR is the default SDK for HTC Vive, it was developed to have multiple vendor support.[5] For instance, a developer can design OpenVR-based trigger button functions for controllers of Oculus Rift or Windows MR because these systems are both supported by the SDK.[8]

Valve has announced that they will be cooperating with the Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR) project,[9] although the extent of the cooperation is unclear.[10]

See also[edit]

  • OSVR, an open-source library with similar goals by Sensics, Razer and a community of partners and contributors
  • OpenXR, an open, royalty-free standard for access to virtual reality and augmented reality platforms and devices


  1. ^ Alex Wawro (30 Apr 2015). "Gamasutra - Valve launches new OpenVR SDK to expand SteamVR development".
  2. ^ Peter Smith (1 May 2015). "Valve releases OpenVR SDK to the masses, says there's still time to apply for a free HTC Vive Development unit". ITworld.
  3. ^ Road to VR (20 July 2015). "Making Valve's OpenVR Truly Inclusive for VR Headsets - Road to VR". Road to VR.
  4. ^ "Valve launches OpenVR dev kit for virtual reality hardware makers - GamesBeat - Games - by Dean Takahashi". VentureBeat. May 2015.
  5. ^ a b Macdonald, Mickey (2018). Mastering C++ Game Development: Create professional and realistic 3D games using C++ 17. Birmingham: Packt Publishing Ltd. p. 308. ISBN 9781788629225.
  6. ^ Egger, Jan (2017-03-12). "HTC Vive MeVisLab integration via OpenVR for medical applications". PLoS ONE 12(3): e0173972. Retrieved 2020-04-22.
  7. ^ Lang, Ben (2019-01-08). "HTC Confirms Vive Cosmos Will Support OpenVR/SteamVR". Road to VR. Retrieved 2019-07-18.
  8. ^ Linowes, Jonathan (2018). Unity Virtual Reality Projects: Learn Virtual Reality by developing more than 10 engaging projects with Unity 2018, 2nd Edition. Birmingham: Packt Publishing Ltd. p. 135. ISBN 9781788477185.
  9. ^ Matt Porter (19 May 2015). "Valve's OpenVR Signs Up to Razer's Virtual Reality Standard". IGN.
  10. ^ Peter Smith (19 May 2015). "Report: Valve OpenVR joins OSVR (open source virtual reality) initiative". ITworld.

External links[edit]