The Oculus Rift’s Software Development Kit includes a very useful configuration utility which you should be aware of. In particular, it enables you to measure your eye separation (inter pupillary distance or IPD), calibrate your Rift so that its orientation sensors work properly, and update the Rift’s firmware.
To get the latest SDK, visit the “Developer” section of Oculus’s Web site: developer.oculusvr.com (registration required). Download the SDK from the “Downloads” page and unzip it. You’ll then find the configuration utility in \OculusSDK\Tools\OculusConfigUtil. Close any other Rift programs before using.
Click the utility’s “Measure” button then don your Rift and follow the on-screen instructions. Once complete, your eye separation is reported beside the “Measure” button. You can then enter the value, rounded to the nearest whole number, as the eye separation in the CtrlAltStudio Viewer’s preferences. This provides a good initial value, however you should try increasing and decreasing the value by 1 or 2 clicks to see what provides the most comfortable viewing.
To calibrate your Rift, press the “Calibrate” button then follow the instructions, rotating your Rift “in all directions” until the calibration bar gets to 100%. What this means in practice is: hold it in place at about the position it will be used in, press the “Start” button, and rotate the Rift 360 degrees about all 3 axes: e.g., rotate 360° about the vertical axis, then 360° about the left axis, then 360° about the forwards axis.
If the calibration bar doesn’t get to 100%, turn the Rift’s display off by briefly pressing and releasing the power button on the Rift’s control box — the blue light will go out — and try again.
The configuration utility displays the version of firmware currently installed in your Rift. The first Rifts were shipped with version 0.16. The latest Rift SDK, 0.2.5, includes firmware version 0.18 which has some improvements to reduce orientation drift. If you are finding your orientation is drifting a lot despite recalibrating, you may want to update your firmware.
Firmware update is straightforward: select “Update Firmware…” from the Tools menu and browse to the firmware file in the \OculusSDK\Firmware directory then follow the instructions. Recalibrate your Rift after updating the firmware.