Blog about (Web-) Programming, Graphics and Games.


Back to VR, now mobile.

About 2 years ago I got the Oculus VR device DK1. It was great pixelated fun. VR apps could be written in the browser with the help of plugins or socket-connection to an external vr application. Today browsers start to make it easier by implementing WebVR (and deprecate plugins, but thats another story).
Now that I needed a new mobile phone to replace the trusty samsung s3 mini, it was a quick decision to get a s6 together with a gear vr device (by samsung & oculus). Its great fun again, less pixelated. Oculus home app starts as soon as s6 and gear vr are connected and has great apps and vr media, my current favorites are 'Dreadhalls' and 'Anshar Wars'. When I wanted to examine WebVR, there was the problem, that Oculus home app always autostarted and no browser would be visible through the VR device. First solutions, the internet offered, were to somehow disrupt the usb connection between s6 and gear vr or stop gear vr service with a rooted android or to switch to oculus developer mode, which only works, if you have (fake-) deployed an oculus vr app, else you only get the message 'You are not a developer!'. Didnt liked them solutions and thought to ditch gear vr and get a google cardboard (or similar universal vr device) instead. Also thought, this would be the worst vendor lockin issue ever. Then I got pointed to the app Package Disabler Pro, which is able to suspend gear vr service on a not rooted system (for 1.70 €). Now WebVR was possible, did test it with the spindex app, found on this WebVR tumblr. The spindex app uses WebVR and falls back to PhoneVR, if the browser doesnt support WebVR. I adapted this approach for the Wloom game environment:

► Simple gfx
► Complex gfx

      Finally a general thought about phone VR. I always wanted to do computer work outside (park/garden), but stationary hardware and sunlight make that difficult. There are notebooks/laptops, but sunlight is still a issue and you might want a bigger display or multiple screens. Phone VR could be the solution to mobile workplaces, phones have all the tech within and the power of desktop (office) pc's. Phone is always there, for the workplace only vr-glasses and maybe bluetooth keyboard is additionally needed. With VR, screensize is no issue (can be 360°). What is needed is VR workplace software, like VR desktop, but maybe utilizing not only the bigger field of view, but also the additional dimension that comes with VR.