Mobile devices have rapidly evolved and have ample power to run fantastic VR apps. Over this time, PCs also have also evolved at a similar rate to mobile devices. However, the gap between the processing power of mobiles and PCs is still large and it does not seem this will reduce any time soon. As a matter of fact, our team has heard from many people that that they do not experience the same visual quality on mobile as they do using a PC.
On the other hand, we were surprised just how comfortable people are with the the GearVR given that its not equipped with any kind of cables at all. In addition, it can be difficult to move your head and body around using the Oculus DK series and other VR devices. This becomes even more noticeable as the detectable area of positional tracking gets larger.
What if one could see high quality images rendered on a powerful gaming PC, without any cables at all? AirVR has the answer.
How It Works
- The server begins playing content (game, experience or other forms of content created with the AirVR server SDK). Then it waits for a connection from a client.
- The Android client app on Note 4 - made with GearVR SDK - connects to a AirVR server.
- The data is communicated two-ways.
- Client -> Server: Through head tracking data and other input devices (touchpad, gamepad, etc.)
- Server -> Client: through rendered images
- GearVR App - https://vrjam-submissions.s3.amazonaws.com/signed/0bd4e4c17c9b/rq4Dxl2pTwqLaMdAvloX_AirVRClient_GloballySigned.apk
- Server App - http://contents3.clickedcloud.com/AirVR/AirVR_Server.zip
- Android Tablet App - http://contents3.clickedcloud.com/AirVR/AirVR_AndroidClient.apk
The requirements for the system
- Server App
- Windows 7 (or above) desktop with NVIDIA graphic card (Maxwell or above)
- Visual C++ redistributable for Visual Studio 2013 - http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40784
- (Optional) Bonjour for Windows, to use automatic server discovery
- GearVR Client App
- Samsung Note4 or Galaxy S6
- Samsung GearVR
- (Optional) Samsung Gamepad
- (Optional) Android Tablet App
- Android 4.4 (KitKat) or above
How To Use
- Execute a server app on your desktop.
- Launch a GearVR app on your phone and insert to a GearVR.
- You can connect to the server in two ways
- Connect Automatically : the GearVR app finds and connects to the server on the same LAN automatically (Bonjour for Windows required)
- Connect Manually : connect to IP address of the server directly
- Move around in a scene using GearVR touchpad or a Samsung Gamepad.
- Touchpad : drag upward to move forward. (downward to backward, left/right to left/right)
- Gamepad : left analog stick to move, button ‘A’ (one dot) to click
- You can see what the GearVR app sees using Android tablet app while playing with GearVR app. Like GearVR App, you can connect in two ways
- “Connect” button at the bottom : find servers automatically and connect
- “Enter AirVR server address…” button in the menu : connect to the IP address of the server directly
AirVR is essential if you want to experience a higher quality on GearVR.
During the development of AirVR we realized that this is a perfect system in which to share VR experiences in real time with other people. People can see what a GearVR player sees displayed through a sever and even guide the GearVR player using other Android devices which can control the server app. This technology can be applied to any field wherever a VR experience needs to be shared among people.
The apps we uploaded for Mobile VR Jam are just proof of concept. One will be able to develop fantastic apps using AirVR.
- AirVR Server/Client core components will be distributed in SDK form.
- Unity Plugins
- Windows/Android native API
- Other game engines
- Audio support. We are developing 3D audio framework on multi-user use cases.
- Improvements on video quality and latency
- Overall performance are largely affected by hardware spec. We've checked the apps work very well at almost 60 fps on Core i7-4790K + GTX 970.
- Many laptops use twin GPUs for power saving. Make sure that Server App use NVIDIA GPU.
- Make sure your graphic driver is the latest.