What are the pros and cons of open sourcing with an independent VR company like Pimax?

Hi Futurist,

Many of you have felt it, didn’t you? Open source is really on its way now~

But we seems never talked about the original question——Whether should we open source?What’s the advantages and disadvantages of this behavior for an independent VR company?

What are the pros and cons of open sourcing with an independent VR company like Pimax?

We have several topics talked about open source before, and some backers angry about our silence. We are not ignoring you, we just need some time to get prepared.

Now, let’s back to the very beginning.
@every futurist @Community
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Pimax Forum Group




Reserve for necessary two, and waiting for the first visitor of this topic

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I will be the first visitor.
Now you have a visitor now…

Now For the topic:
Some Copycat…( Specific Someone Ignore the license… “almost inevitable”)
Or let some one found: “Oh Pimax is an Copycat”
Some odd Code being seen…

Some reputation…
Every experienced programmer can fix the issue they encountered fast (crash / glitch / performance overhead / compatibility or something), and create an pull request direct to pimax’s repo.
People Can look into the hardware, and give some real useful suggest…


Yeah, welcome :hugs::hugs::hugs:


cons: Could be a flop, Pimax owners community is small and VR headset software is quite complicated, there is no guarantee that people with the right skills will respond to the call

Pros: May not be a flop. In this case Pimax would have very little to lose and much to gain, more time for hardware development, less distractions, less responsibility, more advertising, the opportunity to continue being different from each competitor.


I think there are a lot of suggestions and quite a few enthusiasts whose day job is related to software engineering - so there is a good chance that Pitool can be improved.

You’ll need to think about managing the repository in a controlled way though, pull requests and such, with coding guidelines well maintained. Also, you’ll need to publish some documentation on the software architecture and such to kick-start the effort, otherwise it’s just reverse engineering.

EDIT: Oh, forgot to mention it - I know it’s probably a cultural thing but I don’t think you need to call us ‘bro’ to appear friendly. It doesn’t translate well. Unless it’s a typo, but hey, you’re creating an official discussion thread, please take some time proof-reading it.


There are already excellent posts here.

Advantage :

  • Alleviate security concerns.
  • Bugs can be identified & corrected faster.
  • Larger pool programmers; can make crossplatform implentation happen sooner.
  • Features can be added easier (even obscure per use situstions)
  • Customized UIs


  • Need to have things organized & documented well.
  • Have folks with strong knowledge that underdstand how the licensing works to protect pimax needs.

@PimaxUSA @Sjef & @DrWilken are some of our members whom would have some deeper understanding with Opensource ins & outs.

Amd also does a lot in terms of Opensource. Linus Torvald has good insights. I know he prefers Gpl v2.0 as if I read right in certain uses one can fork code in Gpl v3.0 & not have to share code back to it’s origin.



The pros are basically what any other open source project hopes for = attracting other people to contribute to the codebase. Whether it happens or not is hard to tell.


The big risk is that you put a lot of efforts into open-sourcing the code only to find out that there are no volunteers. It is one thing to be vocal about OSS and totaly another to put the time into it (not to speak about the necessary competence one needs).

Another risk is a patent minefield. You need to make sure that your code does not violate anyone else’s IPs.


I would not probably call them “cons” but rather additional burden or requirements:

  1. You need to define rules for contributing and enforce them.
  2. You need to name the roles in the project and assign people to them, peers, managers, etc.
  3. Your peers should be competent developers able to stand by their word and steer the project.
  4. Your peers must be able to communicate in English.

In general there are technologies (e.g. github) which makes the OSS development much easier (from the technical point of view), but they will not help you with the human aspect.

You should ask yourselves, do you have the right people? Considering that you put up this topic here, I would say you don’t.



  • Doing OSS properly takes times and resources
  • Reveal trade secrets … and copy/pastes
  • Competitors can steal code


  • Free publicity and cool factor, give good image, shows confidence in your product
  • Translations, mods and even documentation can be enhanced by the community
  • Can get simple enhancements like UI, saves, quickly
  • Unexpected platform support: Linux, MacOS, Raspberry …
  • Public repos and bug tracking can get stuff fixed in advance, dev can help debug
  • You can hire best contributors
  • Be part of OSS conferences, collaborate with University research, even enterprises
  • Free backups of your repos :slight_smile:

Pimax, or the art of doing things in reverse order…

Like first make people pay for lighthouses, and only then have a look at how they could even source it…

What’s the point about making such thread asking to discuss pro/cons when the decision to go open source has already been made ?

Shall we read inbetween the lines that even if it has been announced Pimax isn’t in fact really sure they will do it ?

Or is it just another random thread idea to make people focus their attention on (like the 8KX thread…) to make them stop talking about KS accessories that are STILL not becoming true ?

My opinion: stop opening new fronts and focus on past and still not accomplished promises:

  • lighthouses
  • controllers
  • headstrap
  • face foams
  • eye tracking
  • wireless
  • hand tracking

And fix existing issues:

  • panel scanlines (horizontal lines)
  • cracked housings
  • latency
  • brainwarp

1- the lighthouses code source is proprietary to Valve will not be subject to open source by Pimax
2- one of the goal of open sourcing would be to accelerate the devs and does not necessarily contradict development of other undelivered promesses


Would also be nice before we discuss of the con&pro of open sourcing to know what pimax intent to open… hardware, firmeware, the rendered, only pitool?

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That & Eye tracking & Wireless are 3rdparty ventures. More Wireless & no real timeline was established.

I understand the aggravatiom on LHes but price was determined before KS prices & Valve altered a number of things on LH v2.0 on price & availability; moral of the story make sure contracts are Air tight or face likelihood of loop holes.

While many know the war between Valve & HTC; we also know additiinal detail on why. Valve’s plan to release their own minor upgraded headset.

Now Valve is even messing with HiD standards to try & limit SteamVR controllers to Valve only (last update causing a variety of issues due to valve harmonizing controller driver in LH dtiver).

At least HTC is continuing the the pressure with offering Oculus owners 2 free months of Viveport Infinity.

By sourcing it I meant supply it (like sourcing components).

All the manpower spent into making the open source will not be spent on improving pitool, finishing the damn controller firmware, etc.

Like the manpower spent on making the ruggerdized housing certainly played a role in the delay of the KS accessories made by pimax. The time spent on this should have been spent on the headstrap, the face foams, on investigating the cracks from the basic housing, on the controllers. Especially since we don’t benefit at all from this ruggerdized version as Pimax does not even offer to make it a replacement for all those who have cracks with the basic version.

Yes going open source could bring nice things, but I don’t think it is the right time for that.

Finish the KS first. KS payments have been closed 18 months ago and the only thing we got from this is a 3DOF HMD, this is REALLY FAR from the initial KS promise.

@PimaxUSA commented on this of sorts with the hire of more manpower in software team & other areas.

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^^this. Another aspect why I think this is just meant to keep people busy while not receiving the KS accessories. Not only we are asked pro/cons despite the decision is already taken, but we don’t even have a single clue about what would be open sourced…

How can people take anything of this seriously and not see what is behind ?

Go people, let discuss about pro/cons of open sourcing, let discuss and dream again about the 8KX (why not a deep discussion about aspheric lenses ?), let discuss about how nice it is to have sweviver onboard, by this time you won’t bother us anymore with your lighthouses, your controllers, your headstrap, etc…

We’re entering June. By reports we will likely see LHes & 1 of the controller types out July/August. Hopefully we might see something on Lighthouses hopefully for non controller backers before.

Aspherical lenses may come(or something better) but not imho with gen1 8kX.

During a process of going opensource it is good to discuss before going full steam ahead. Besides Opensource discussion & SweViver are good discussions to be a part of while waiting for remainder eggs to hatch.

I have a sneaking suspicion the delays for all the accessories are simply a waiting game. Once a critical number of headsets are out there then the orders for x amount of this and y amount of that can be made in numbers that won’t mean they lose money on the production runs and they have a good chance of off loading what is produced. Only scenario that makes sense to me.

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As far as the cons go, it’s mostly that you might be helping your competitors by exposing some of your secrets and advantages. On the other hand, it’s not too hard to keep those parts (say for instance brainwarp 2.0) under cover in encrypted/binary form.

For the pros:

  • Attract talent.
  • Bigger, free, manpower can help you develop your software faster.
  • Have people explore avenues that you might not have thought of or dared to do, without investment and risk-taking on your part.

Some people like @risa2000 have pointed out that opening your code will require some time to manage submissions. Although I agree that would be a good thing, I also think even a “lazy” approach (with minimal management effort on your hand) would be very valuable too.

One thing to be aware is that open source programmers can’t really be directed. They will work on what they think is valuable to them, at the pace that suits them. Don’t expect to be able to direct people you are not paying.

Also please be patient. It may take a while for contributors to get started and reach a point where they have something to show. Don’t give up after if nothing comes out of your open source initiative after, say, 6 months. We have jobs, families and video games to play.