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VR is here! Are you already infected?

9. April 2021








VR is here! Are you already infected?

Watching from the sidelines

VR has not just arrived, but it finally arrived for me and the masses ;)

I have been watching VR evolving from the sidelines for the past few years. Its been a fun ride, from the first prototypes to what we have now.

The biggest problem in the past, has been image quality and the huge upfront investment for me. With the latest generation all of this has completely changed.

As a developer …

I am constantly keeping up with new technologies and have been diving into WebVR for some time now.

Its so easy to export your own simple Unity VR project into WebVR and integrate it into your own web projects.

Unreal Engine also provides options to work on VR projects. Or build upon the WebXR API.

Microsoft also has a foot in the door, with MRTK (Allows to integrate teleporting easily / Releases).

Oculus Quest 2

With the announcement of the Oculus Quest 2 last year, I finally decided to dive in myself. Standalone VR allows me to concentrate on WebVR and experiment, while still having the option to expand into the linked PC-universe in the future as well.

PC Link / PC Rig / PC VR

I have no plans to invest into a beefy gaming rig yet, but have been trying out cloud solutions using Shadow and Paperspace Gaming / Paperspace $10 Coupon (KS4Q2TA).

Update: Latency is the biggest problem with these solutions and it can be a hit & miss! My Paperspace experience was close to perfect for pure desktop experiences, for VR sadly not :) Can not testdrive Shadow right now, as the waitinglist is already showing September 2021 LOL CRAZY! Local latency can be greatly optimized by using Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi Direct.

With the current GPU prices, building a machine makes hardly any sense. I would love to build a small form-factor PC with a Shuttle XPC for example ;) Maybe later this year ….

I invested in VR-Comfort for now ;) I transformed the Oculus Quest 2 into a FrankenQuest with the DAS-Mod (HTC VR VIVE Deluxe Audio Strap). Loving the new look, audio and perfect weight balance :) Perfect for longer sessions.

Building a VR READY PC in 2021

I am officially infected. I decided to upgrade an old computer to minimum VR specs, to at least tryout PC-VR :)
The final build is ghetto and really a tight fit, but it works perfectly :)

For 2021 and the current shortages, this is a big win! The whole upgrade was about 400 EUR, with 250 EUR for the new GPU.

Here are my current PC-VR specs:

AreaBeforeAfter / Comment
PCFujitsu P900 – i3Nice clean case. Mainboard D2990 (ultra small μATX). Really tiny! This would normally not be my dream mainboard, but I am using what I have :) Trying to keep costs low.
Power SupplyStockEVGA 600 W1. Better cooling and needed power for the GPU.
CPUi3 – 2120i7 2600K . Big change in overall performance.
CPU Cooler & FanStockBe Quiet Pure Rock Slim BK030. (Had to do some mods to install it)
RAM8GBEnough for now.
GPUNVIDIA 1030 GTX – Low profileNVIDIA 1060 6gb Inno3D. That card takes up all slots, had to add a riser card to play with some USB 3.0 cards :)
USB3USB2Inateck PCIe USB 3.0  – KTU3FR-4P , again connected via a riser card!
Make sure that the card gets proper power (green light on the card itself), that is why another Inateck card failed to connect or had random disconnects ;)
That card charges and connects perfectly with the Oculus Quest 2. I was almost giving up and glad I found a working solution ;)
USB LINKUsing a 3m long cable from KIWI Design, works without any problems and has secure fit on the Oculus Quest 2
BluetoothBluetooth 4.0 – Asus BT-400

All that is required, has been added and now the PC VR universe is open for exploration :)

Interesting Platforms

There are many new platforms providing access to new tools and often an easy access to a broader community. Some of them with nice build tools in VR.

Open Source

OpenXR is an open, royalty-free standard for access to virtual reality and augmented reality platforms and devices. It is developed by a working group managed by the Khronos Group consortium.“

You will find a bunch of efforts on the way, to build the next open multi-platform VR solution.

Building experiences in VR

Building with Unity is always an option, but not the best solution for those that are just getting started or for those that just want a simple starting point to experiment ;)

  • Zoe – Immersive 3D Creation Platform
    Create content directly in VR or using Unity :) Zoe is a perfect tool for Educators & Institutions.
  • A-Frame. A web framework for building 3D/AR/VR experiences. Make 3D worlds with HTML and Entity-Component For Quest, Rift, WMR, SteamVR, mobile, desktop
  • OpenSpace 3D – OpenSpace3D is a free and open-source platform, designed to create virtual and augmented-reality applications or games. If you are a 3D artist, a designer, a lab researcher, or just someone with a lot of passion and curiosity, you don’t need software development skills to use our platform.
  • Amazon Sumerian is a set of tools for creating high-quality virtual reality (VR) experiences on the web. With Sumerian, you can construct an interactive 3D scene without any programming experience, test it in the browser, and publish it as a website that is immediately available to users.
  • Mozilla Spoke – Create 3D social scenes for Hubs
  • Wonderland Engine is a development platform for web-based graphics applications. It comes with an accessible 3D editor application – the Wonderland Editor – and an efficient WebAssembly based runtime that runs in the browser.

VR Office

Another evolving area is the office space. Some of the platforms above already dive into that area, like XRDesktop. But Oculus / Facebook itself is working on its Infinite Office integration.

Other solutions help to mirror your PC within VR and open new ways for collaboration:

The biggest problem is the mirroring of the keyboard. As soon as that is solved, this might become usable. Immerse VR provides an option to overlay a virtual representation of your keyboard, by mapping your real-life keyboard in VR.

Communities

Always important to stay informed. Here some communities are frequently visit:

Tools

  • Oculus TrayTool – It’s a free application that helps you get the most out of your Oculus Rift & Oculus Quest, when connected via Link.

Here to stay

VR is here to stay, I would have never though it would take off 2020 / 2021. But we all face new challenges and technology is evolving to make space for new possibilities.

Not all gaming

While gaming / fitness / social are the entry point for VR currently, this whole market will expand quickly in 2021.

Really looking forward to new possibilities and another facet of my developer life.

Looking forward meeting some of you in the VR-Multiverse :)

Enjoy coding ….




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Alexander

Ich bin ein Full-Stack-Entwickler. Meine Expertise umfasst:

  • Server-, Netzwerk- und Hosting-Umgebungen
  • Datenmodellierung / Import / Export
  • Geschäftslogik
  • API Layer / Action Layer / MVC
  • Benutzeroberflächen
  • User Experience
  • Verständnis für Kundenwünsche und Geschäftsbedürfnisse

 

Ich liebe die Entwicklung, das Design und kenne mich auch mit Serverarchitekturen aus.  Ich würde mich nie vollständig fühlen, wenn einer der Bereiche fehlen würde.

Ich habe ein breites Interessengebiet, deshalb tauche ich ständig in neue Technologien ein und erweitere mein Wissen, wo immer es nötig ist. Die Technologien entwickeln sich schnell und ich genieße es, die neuesten Technologien zu nutzen.

Abgesehen davon bin ich ein friedliebender Kerl, der versucht, Leute um sich herum zu haben, die dasselbe denken.  Ich glaube wirklich an das Prinzip: "Wenn man jemandem hilft, wird einem jemand helfen, wenn man es braucht."

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