Somnium Space, Vrgineers and Prusa Research announce partnership to develop open-source, 3D printable VR headset

In Virtual Reality News

September 13, 2022 – Somnium Space, a virtual reality (VR) world that is built on the Ethereum blockchain and is accessible from any device, has partnered with Vrgineers, Inc., a provider of next-generation virtual and mixed reality (MR) pilot training systems, and 3D printer manufacturer Prusa Research to further enhance the development of a new cutting-edge open-source (standalone & PC wired) VR headset.

According to the companies, the new VR headset aims to change what they consider to be restrictive politics that exist in the virtual reality market at present. As a result, the ‘Somnium VR ONE’ headset will be built on as open a platform as possible, and aims to to provide a leading immersive experience while working in both standalone and tethered modes without any restrictions.

The device will be sold under an unlimited commercial license using Android as an open-source operating system, meaning the device’s source code will be openly available. The companies believe that as a result, their VR product will provide the perfect solution for the commercial sphere.

The Somnium Space VR ONE headset’s current development design.

“Each user deserves to fully own the hardware they buy and be able to customize, repair and enhance it anytime. We would like to provide an unrestrictive hardware and software environment to all VR enthusiasts around the world. 3D models of the headset parts will be available so that any user with access to a 3D printer can print them out. Android OS source codes will be in a public GIT, this is the freedom for metaverses, where we plan to spend much more time in the future,” explained Artur Sychov, Somnium Space founder & CEO.

Also commenting on the device’s open-source nature, CEO at Prusa Research, Josef Prusa, said: “We would like to see other products, such as virtual reality headsets, follow the same open-source, community approach as our Prusa printers. Anyone will be able to download a 3D model of the Somnium Space headset from and print them at home on their printer.”

In order to be cost effective, the Electronics and proprietary lenses will be mass manufactured in partnership with Vrgineers and sold by Somnium Space online. This would mean that anyone with the ambition of building their own VR headset would be able to purchase the required components and build the headset themselves. However, customers will still be able to purchase a fully assembled Somnium Space headset directly as well.

Vrgineers has experience in manufacturing VR headsets. Pictured above is the company’s ‘XTAL’ HMD.

“This project is based on a solid foundation of Vrgineers technical expertise in manufacturing virtual and mixed reality headsets for professionals and backed by direct investments into Vrgineers by Somnium Space and Prusa Research,” added Marek Polčák, Vrgineers CEO.

Somnium Space VR ONE Specs and Key Features

According to Somnium Space, the device’s specifications and key features will include:

  • CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chipset;
  • 8 GB RAM LPDDR5;
  • 512 GB UFS;
  • Wifi 6e compatibility;
  • Display 2x 3.2inch 2880RGB*2880 Fast LCD;
  • Horizontal FoV 120°, Vertical FoV 100°;
  • MiscroSD card extension;
  • Wireless PC VR Streaming;
  • Tethered USB-C PC streaming;
  • Native wired PC Mode (lossless);
  • HMD Native SteamVR support (working on native SteamVR tracking and controllers);
  • Integrated high quality stereo microphones;
  • Headphone jack;
  • Inside-Out 6DoF tracking Support for controllers;
  • External battery pack using USB-C (no accumulator inside);
  • 2x USB-C 10 Gbps for external accessories (USB 3.2 Gen2) +1 charging UBS-C (USB 2.0);
  • OS Android 11 AOSP port opensource Direct open access to sensors and cameras.

For more information on Somnium Space and its open, social and persistent virtual reality platform, click here. To find out more about Vrgineers and its virtual reality hardware solutions, including its XTAL VR headset, click here.

Image credit: Somnium Space / Vrgineers

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.