One of the many nice things about PC-based VR is the ability to display what the headset wearer is seeing on a monitor. It can take what would otherwise be a solo experience and add a social element: allowing your friends to cheer (or jeer) you on. Today display mirroring makes its way to mobile VR, courtesy of Chromecast support for the Samsung Gear VR.
The update allows Gear VR owners to show off their experiences just by hitting the Cast button inside the Oculus app and choosing a Google Cast-enabled device – such as a Chromecast connected to the living room TV.
In addition to adding an audience to VR experiences, this could also be a handy way to introduce people to VR. Without a mirrored screen, it's tricky to guide a newcomer through the steps of playing a game for the first time. But now that you can see what they see, it's as easy as looking at the screen and telling them to "click that" or "walk over there."
It looks like the display mirroring will work across all Gear VR experiences, and will show a single video feed (rather than the dual-lens feed that's displayed on the smartphone screen). It should look very similar to what someone would see on a PC monitor playing the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive.
This is a more important update than you might think. Any type of gaming that cuts out the people sitting in the same room as you is destined to be a lonely and isolated experience. Display mirroring adds a social factor – one that seems more realistic in the short term than expecting all of your friends to suddenly invest in VR setups for online social play.
Gear VR owners who also have a Cast-connected TV or monitor will want to check their Oculus app today for the update.