OSVR has launched a display upgrade kit for the HDK headset which allows users to swap a new, higher performance panel into their existing HDK headsets.

The $220 screen upgrade kit, sold at the OSVR Store, offers HDK 1.3 & 1.4 owners a way to upgrade to the same display found in the recently launched HDK 2 headset. The upgraded OLED panel has a resolution of 2160×1200 and refresh rate of 90Hz, bringing the screen’s on-paper specs up to that of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The display found in the HDK 1.3 and 1.4 is 1920×1080 running at 60Hz.

See Also: OSVR Announces $399 HDK 2 Headset with 2160×1200 Resolution

OSVR says that upgrade should take as little as 15 minutes, but notes that inserting the new display will mean the loss of an auxiliary USB connector on the side of the headset. No specialized tools are needed; the 10-page instructions appear simple enough for anyone who has opened up their desktop computer to replace RAM or other components. You’ll be exposing the inside of the headset, and could do damage if you aren’t careful, but it isn’t anything unexpected for a product bearing the name ‘Hacker Development Kit’.

This is good news for HDK 1.3 and 1.4 owners who were promised an open, modular device. From our understanding of OSVR’s open-source nature, this display could even be used (and sold) in other VR headsets made by other companies.

Availability of the HDK screen upgrade kit brings hope for further modular upgrades for the headsets, like the Leap Motion-embedded faceplate which the company announced more than a year ago, and forward-looking upgrades like the possibility of a Lighthouse tracking upgrade (now that Valve is licensing the technology).

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Disclosure:​ At the time of writing, OSVR is running advertisements on Road to VR.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • DiGiCT Ltd

    Yes hopefully they add lighthouse tracking too.
    For leap motion there is no need as the already have on which ewasy mounts on any HMD

  • Charles

    Pretty cool that the screen is upgradable. If they release a screen upgrade that’s higher than 1200p I might consider selling my Vive.

  • Bob

    Open source is great. Everyone and their mothers can work on it which means it’s only a matter of time before an OSVR headset will surpass the current closed systems (Rift, Vive) unless these companies come up with something absolutely amazing. By the end of next year OSVR will most certainly have better technical specifications than the current offerings which forces the major VR companies to work much harder to deliver something which hopefully is even better than what open source can come up with. Good times.

    • William A. McDonald

      It’s a year later, what’s your opinion now? I own an OSVR 1.4, it ‘s 180 degree tracking, still no room scale options, it’s basically an improved HDK 2, worse the upgrade to HDK 2’s screen cost 2/3 of what the device itself originally cost me. I have bought a used Vive about 6 months ago and the quality, the ease of use and the development environment is light years ahead of what Razor has to offered. A great device is nothing without support (as history shows with the Atari Jaguar) and a device that fails at feature parity with it’s competition without support is DOA. I really had high hopes for OSVR, hell I even went to their Seattle Developer Dream Spark VR event and saw their seminar! Heck I even bought one, but they never got around to making it work with at least 2 cameras, and they never did release the wireless motion controllers they had promised to replace the Hydra and now they are pretty much out of the picture as far as the mainstream is concerned. We have full feature parity units coming from Lenovo and Microsoft at the same price of the OSVR and no one uses the OSVR SDK in the development world, so what hope does it have?