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Developer(s)Valve Corporation
Written inC++, C#, C
Included withSteamVR
TypeVirtual reality
LicenseBSD 3-Clause "New" or "Revised" License

OpenVR is a software development kit (SDK) and application programming interface (API) developed by Valve for supporting the SteamVR[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. ^ Wawro, Alex (2015-04-30). "Gamasutra - Valve launches new OpenVR SDK to expand SteamVR development". Game Developer. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  2. ^ Smith, Peter (2015-05-01). "Valve releases OpenVR SDK to the masses, says there's still time to apply for a free HTC Vive Development unit". ITworld. Archived from the original on 2017-05-10. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  3. ^ Road to VR (20 July 2015). "Making Valve's OpenVR Truly Inclusive for VR Headsets - Road to VR". Road to VR.
  4. ^ Takahashi, Dean (2015-04-30). "Valve launches OpenVR dev kit for virtual reality hardware makers". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2021-12-26.
  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. arXiv:1703.07575. Bibcode:2017PLoSO..1273972E. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0173972. PMC 5360258. PMID 28323840.
  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. ^ Porter, Matt (2015-05-19). "Valve's OpenVR Signs Up to Razer's Virtual Reality Standard". IGN.
  10. ^ Smith, Peter (2015-05-19). "Report: Valve OpenVR joins OSVR (open source virtual reality) initiative". ITworld. Archived from the original on 2017-04-10. Retrieved 2021-12-26.

External links[edit]