Imagine a wearable portable all-purpose computer that has, not a small flat home screen, but a 3D home world that surrounds you. Imagine being able to do all your computer activities, from work to play, from the mundane to the sublime, with intuitive control in a mixed reality environment. Imagine how this computer would empower you to be more productive, be more creative, and have more enriching experiences than you could with a PC or smartphone.
This new computer experience is possible by combining VR hardware with the right operating system. The necessary hardware – a VR headset with video passthrough and hand tracking – is already available, but there is no operating system that produces this new computer experience – at least not yet. Current general purpose operating systems, such as Windows and Android, are not designed for mixed reality and so don’t take full advantage of the environment. The operating systems that are specifically for VR, like Oculus Quest’s fork of Android, are not general purpose and exist primarily to facilitate standalone VR experiences. Even the few attempts to bring a general purpose workspace to VR, like Windows Mixed Reality and vSpatial, ultimately emulate traditional computing with point-and-click interactions replacing mouse input.
That’s why I’m developing a purpose-built open source operating system called Kros for wearable portable computers with immersive display, natural input, full positional awareness, and a seamless transition between reality, augmented reality, and virtual reality.
I began full-time work on Kros in May of 2017. Since I knew I probably couldn’t produce a complete operating system working alone, I set an initial goal of creating a proof-of-concept program to, hopefully, wow potential backers and investors so I can raise the money needed to hire other software engineers to make Kros a true operating system.
During the past 3 years, I’ve made a lot of progress, and the proof-of-concept is almost complete. A large portion of the work has been on the user interface since I believe that to be the most important part of this proof-of-concept.
But I’ve done work on some operating system services and demo applications as well. And now, three major tasks remain before the proof-of-concept is complete and I start seeking funding:
- Improve performance by overhauling widget size layout.
- Finish porting the code to the Nvidia Jetson AGX Xavier, which I’m using as the computer unit of my portable computer for my proof-of-concept.
- Switch to hand tracking code running locally on the Jetson so that I don’t have to tether the proof-of-concept to a second computer.