Virtual reality can already transport folks to some strange places, and new tech called ViewR will now enable their friends to go along for the ride. Billed as a window into virtual reality, the app allows onlookers to step into these worlds and observe all the action from close proximity, opening up some interesting possibilities that include the potential for interactivity between virtual avatars.
While single-player VR in its current form can be enjoyed as a spectator sport, observers will be left to enjoy the same perspective as the headset-wearer, only via a separate monitor. ViewR changes this by streaming the action to a mobile device that the viewers can position in the VR space as they wish, just like having their own camera in the virtual world.
By loading the app onto a tablet or mobile phone, the PC running the VR software will track the device's position and provide it with its own unique live stream of the game, depending on where it is in the environment.
As it stands, the makers of ViewR, a Brisbane-based startup called #include, have modified three VR games to include the functionality, Superhot VR, Beatsaber and Budget Cuts. But it is also freely available as an SDK so developers can build it into upcoming titles, while an installer enables it to be integrated with existing games, too.
This kind of tech stands to make VR a more social experience, rather than a solo one, and not just by letting friends experience the blows, bullets and zombie bites with you. Its software allows for touch and sensor input from the mobile device, so if the games are developed accordingly it can also allow for would-be spectators to interact in certain ways.
The app can be downloaded for free from today, though will only work with Android devices running 4.4 (KitKat) for the time being. You can see it in action in the video below.
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