Connecting HTC vive with 3D slicer

Can I connect 3D Slicer with HTC viv via a module ?
Where can I find this module ?

Hi @Huda_Al_Mubarak,

We are finalizing a Slicer extension integrating the vtkRenderingOpenVR module. Once we are done, you will be to install the extension on windows.

This should allow you to:

  • represent the Slicer scene in both the 3D View and the OpenVR
  • update fiducial, model, volume rendering in Slicer and have the OpenVR updated
  • move Slicer objects in OpenVR and have the Slicer scene updated
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That’s great !
but is there another one that I can use now?
I need an available module for my Senior Design Project

You could try to build the extension and report feedback, in its current state it should still allow you to load object in the OpenVR context.

But note that it is still work in progress, we expect to have a version of the extension available for download ideally in the next 2 weeks.

Cc: @jbvimort

This is good.
From where can I try it ?

Thanks Christophe,
I want to know if your module development is completed. I have some questions about the viewer:
1- Does it support dashboard overlay for GUI inside VR.
2- I heard Microsoft MR headsets support OpenVR, Can I use them with this module. (or Rift)
3- Based on your experience, is it fair to say visualizing medical images is faster with VTK implementation vs Unity implementations?
I appreciate your help,

Not yet. It will be added later.

I tried to make it work with Windows Mixed Reality, but I had very limited success. The problem was not with the hardware, but with how the WMR application “hijacks” the VR view, so maybe after a few updates it will work.
Oculus Rift works, the only problem is that the controller cannot be used yet (it is different from the Vive controller, and the Oculus events are not handled in the VTK layer on OpenVR)

Probably similar performance. However the question is not this! The question is what do you want to do with the image? Because Unity is a game engine with zero medical image computing capabilities, so if you want to add “that one feature”, it will quickly turn into “just this other one”, and this process could take years while being completely redundant. At the same time, Slicer contains a wide range of processing and visualization features that you will need in your medical application.

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Thanks Csaba for your response,

Is it possible to draw ROI with the controllers on the images.
When the GUI feature will be added, is it possible to work with all extension user interfaces inside VR as in the desktop application?

Not right now but it’s also in the plans. The idea is that once we have implemented the Slicer VR interactions layer, it will be quite easy to do simple freehand segmentation, and after that if we can come up with a nice VR menu then we can use most Segment Editor effects within VR. Simple “sphere-brush” drawing may happen in a few weeks, but the full “SegmentEditorVR” will take a while.

Still to be decided. If you have a stake in it, then I advise to keep pushing, and if you can contribute, then please check with us about which components you could help with.


where can i try the module and how to build it. i want to use 3D slicer with oculus.


SlicerVirtualReality module is available in the extension manager in recent nightly builds - and it is awesome! We’ll make an announcement soon.


Please note that the oculus controller is not supported by VTKRenderingOpenVR. What this means for now is that you cannot use it to move in the scene. You’ll need to initialize the reference view (which you’ll see in the Virtual Reality module) and VR will match that when started. You can also synchronize it yourself anytime.

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can I use googles’ Cardboard for a VR view. Or dose any software of android to apply…

All OpenVR compatible headsets should work. There are several OpenVR/Google cardboard bridges out there that makes a cheap phone-based VR goggle appear as an OpenVR device, see for example this one:

It would be great if you could give them a try and let us know if they work.

@lassoan this sounds interesting - did you guys confirm Slicer works with Google cardboard? I wanted to give a demo to kids in my son’s class, and if it works, I would actually just buy a cardboard device, but if it’s something that needs investigation, I will leave the VR part for better times.

Ah, never mind - just discovered my phone is not “advanced enough” for the google “daydream”. In any case, if anyone tried using Slicer with Google cardboard/daydream, please share your experience!

I’ve tested this with a Samsung S8 phone and RiftCat VRidge VR viewer worked perfectly with SlicerVirtualReality extension.

I’ve used Windows 10 and USB connection. Installation takes 5-10 minutes, as you need to install a companion app on the desktop computer, and on your phone the VRidge app and a VR sideload app. All the steps are very clearly described though. You also need to install Steam and SteamVR, if you haven’t installed those before.

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That’s great! I can’t seem to find SlicerVirtualReality in the Sicer 4.8.1 extension.

SlicerVirtualReality extension requires VTK9 and therefore it is only available in nightly builds.

I installed it. But Slicer crashes right away when I clicked on the VR button. Memory issue? Running on a latop w/ 16RAM.