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Poor man's VR

Author Topic: Poor man's VR  (Read 463 times)

Online Joe

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Poor man's VR
« on: June 11, 2017, 08:02:19 PM »
So I had a quick go on a Vive the other day in Harvey Norman which was my first time trying a VR headset, then that afternoon spent some time looking up VR related stuff on the interwebs.

I came across this app called vridge by riftcat (https://riftcat.com/vridge) which promised to bring PC quality VR to your smartphone. There are plenty of headsets that allow you to use your smartphone in them, but I found Samsung have just released the 2017 model Gear VR which comes with a controller. These are being given away with new S8 phones at the moment so I hopped on Gumtree and plenty of people selling them, so I went and got one today for $100 (RRP is $199).

My expectations were low, it's cheap, it's a phone... well... I have no idea what AC is like to play on a Rift or Vive, but I got Riftcat set up, launched AC, chose open VR and I'm seriously impressed. I was sat in the Lotus and did some laps of Spa. The immersion was awesome and it looked far better than I expected it to.

I've only had a quick play with it so far, so not sure how it would go using it in an actual race and have read the phone can get hot and start to throttle when using it for longer sessions. I wanted to experience what AC could be like in VR though and it's definitely given me that and it's pretty awesome.

Gear VR has some pros and cons. It has it's own sensors for head position that are more accurate than ones in your phone but that means you can't USB teather so the stream for Riftcat is over WIFI. I put it up to the very high preset on my 5ghz WIFI and didn't notice any problems but without 5ghz there could be. Any other headset is going to allow you to teather but you'll use phones sensors. The other plus was that the Gear VR is powered by Oculus technology and has its own Oculus app with a store full of apps and games.

Online Wally

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Re: Poor man's VR
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2017, 09:54:05 PM »
It sounds impressive for $100. How did the graphics look for clarity and resolution?
“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”

Online Joe

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Re: Poor man's VR
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2017, 12:48:47 AM »
It looks pretty good. Riftcat has a heap of settings I'm still playing around with for resolution, bitrate and scaling. Stuff in the distance is a little blurry but ive heard thats also the case with oculus or vive. There is also an openvr app that appears in ac where you can set superscaling settings. I cranked that up and it looked better but lost frame rate. I have a gtx 970 so assume with a better card could get it looking nicer.

Online humper

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Re: Poor man's VR
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2017, 10:50:38 AM »
Had a quick look and the Riftcat instructions and it looks like you need to create an account to set it up on the PC. Everything is just over your local wireless network once it's up and running though I presume. So once in game you can play without the need to have your internet connection up? Do you login every time you start Riftcat or is it only the installation that requires login?

Poor mans VR. Music to my ears :)

Online Joe

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Re: Poor man's VR
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2017, 12:41:32 PM »
Had a quick look and the Riftcat instructions and it looks like you need to create an account to set it up on the PC. Everything is just over your local wireless network once it's up and running though I presume. So once in game you can play without the need to have your internet connection up? Do you login every time you start Riftcat or is it only the installation that requires login?

Poor mans VR. Music to my ears :)

I forgot to mention Riftcat was 15USD for the full version which I think is why you need the account. You can play for 10 minutes with the free version. As soon as my 10 minutes were up I bought it straight away. You need to log into the desktop app when you run it, but I'm unsure if you could then disconnect your internet.

If you really wanna do it on a budget just to try it out I found this Australian website that sells a cheap headset, then you'd be using your phone's sensors for the head movement:
https://www.austechvr.com.au/product/virtual-reality-headset/


Online Joe

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Re: Poor man's VR
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2017, 02:50:50 PM »
Had more of a play with this afternoon. Rolz suggested turning AA off and I read afterwards about how it can make things more blurred for VR headsets. I found this post with recommended settings which made a visible improvement:
https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/4jyjsc/assetto_corsa_best_vr_graphics_settings/

After applying these settings I was able to bump the supersampling in the AC openvr app up to 1.5 which improved the clarity of the text on the apps. There's still blur in the distance but it's playable and fun. I still haven't played with all the setting in Riftcat as that also has it's own supersampling and bitrate options.

Online Joe

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Re: Poor man's VR
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2017, 11:40:19 AM »
I found this video which is a good comparison between the Vive and the Gear VR with Riftcat.


The guy reviewing say the picture quality is actually better on the Gear VR with a good phone as the resolution is higher and it has an AMOLED screen. Looking down the road in the distance is a little blurry so I guess based on his comments this is the same with Vive or Oculus; can anyone here confirm?

In the comments he also told me he's making a video about a budget $20 head tracking system so I'll be able to get head tracking working too and not just the direction i'm looking in which would add to the immersion. I did a few laps in the La Ferrari with it at Brand Hatch last night and it's such a different experience feeling like you are sat in the car.

EDIT: Just to summarize, in this guys opinion the benefits of the Vive is the smoothness in looking around due to it being directly connected to the GPU and not streamed, and the accuracy of the controllers which is irrelevant for sim racing. He was actually using PS move controllers with some software to emulate them as Vive controllers which again is pretty cool!
« Last Edit: June 16, 2017, 12:36:12 PM by Joe »

Offline Dave O

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Re: Poor man's VR
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2017, 08:59:44 PM »
Yes Joe the distance does get a bit blurry on the Vive. Compared to a normal monitor nowhere near as clear & crisp, but it's
still pretty respectable, and the immersion factor is something else. I couldn't go back to triples unless I had to.  Dave O.
NEVER TOO OLD TO RACE ... being competitive can be a PROBLEM though.