Second Life: Oculus Rift Viewer Updated

I mentioned in the Third Party Dev article earlier today that the Oculus Rift Project Viewer updated. It jumped from version Second Life Project Oculus Rift Viewer version 3.7.18.295296 (like 2 years old) to version 4.1.0.317313 (7/1/2016).

The video is dated: Mar 25, 2016. – Remember. Unless you run the video through a VR headset, it is totally bogus when it comes what the experience is like… 

This update means we now have a usable Oculus Rift viewer. How many other headsets it will work with is still an unknown.

Inara is reporting on the viewer too. So, check out her reporting for more information. See: Second Life Oculus Rift viewer 4.1.0.317313.

She ran into security problems downloading. It is a matter of security certificates. Don’t expect that to get fixed before Tueday, 7/5. The 4th is a USA holiday. Just note the URL is ending in …secondlife.com/. So, you ARE downloading from the Lab’s repository. No big risk. Virus scan the download if you are worried.

Inara gets into the viewer settings panels. So, I won’t spend time repeating her work. I hope to have a hair appointment…

The release notes give tips on setting up your viewer with Oculus. Remember. This is a project viewer. It is NOT at RC quality yet. Read the fixes and known issues.

Jo Yardley writes about Trinus VR in her recent article titled: Using cardboard VR headsets in Second Life. Trinus is gaining a foothold because many were tired of waiting for the Lab to get its update out. It is only for Windows and Android users. But, the Lab’s viewer is also only for Windows users.

There is a free and a US$10 version of the app in the Google Play Store. I was thinking the reviews on the free version were not so good. But, the more I checked the harder it was to tell. They seem to run the free and retail version together in the ratings graph. So, the TrinusVR app has an overall rating of 4.5 from 982 people. Now tabulated as:

689 – 5* reviews, 174 – 4*, 21 – 2*, and 51 – 1*

Not that a company currently reported as biasing its search results and news coverage via AI would bias what it shows in the App Store to push people toward purchasing the retail over the free app… But, until I started digging and paying attention I certainly had the impression that the paid app was better than the free app. But, that could just be me… not that I believe that…

Eighteen months ago or so Trinus Gyre was the app, which appears to have evolved to TrinusVR. A Second Life™ Forum post indicates it (well… Gyre) works with Second Life. See: Real VR inside Second Life with Google Cardboard and Trinus Gyre. The thread is long, 4 pages as of today.

Earlier this year one of the more knowledgeable SL Answers Helpers, Madelaine McMasters, wrote:

Any 3D viewer will require your computer to render the entire SL scene twice per frame, once for the left eye and again for the right. The Intel integrated graphics of a MacBook Pro are not up to that task. Palmer Lucky (head of Oculus) has said there will be no support for Macs until Apple produces something with super duper graphics chips inside. I don’t think there is a computer in the entire Apple lineup (including the whizzy trash can Mac Pro) that meets the Oculus hardware requirements.

That is disheartening. But, it explains why the Lab only has Oculus support out for the Windows side of things. The Lab does plan on adding Mac support. But, expect that to only be for the newest operating systems and hardware using something other than Intel’s HD Graphics chips. 

Intel is building a graphics chip into the their CPU’s that will support VR. But, don’t expect it to work well with SL. Their idea of VR support is a VR movie (like the fist video here) not a real time rendered virtual world. Streaming pre-rendered verses rendering in real time.

"when thinking of you becomes an addiction..."

“when thinking of you becomes an addiction…”

I’m building my new computer and plan to try my S5 with it and this new viewer. But, I have an S7 in mind too. As time passes I may go with one of the VR headsets. Once competition builds prices should start to fall. I do see an Oculus Rift, used for 4 weeks, on eBay for US$470. Otherwise, there isn’t much in the way of deals for Oculus showing up.

eBay does have Samsung Gear for US$70. And VR Box is popular… well to sell. VR Box new from China goes mostly for $10 to $20 with free ePacket shipping. That often means 4 day delivery even when they advertise it as 2 weeks. Not bad but, uncertain.

Summary

We finally have an updated Oculus version of the viewer. It works with the latest version of Oculus. With the difficult core functionality now in the Linden base code, we can expect to see third party viewers adding the feature and, if there are enough users, improving on how it works.

I also expect us to start hearing about SIM Sickness. As more people use low end headsets with the SL‑system’s far from optimized content we can expect a load of complaints from people puking on their keyboards… That might suggest a good stock purchase…

The experience is not going to be optimal or top end. Quality is going to suffer. There will be lag that causes sim sickness (motion sickness) in some people. But, we will be able to look around and decide if the experience is something we want more of.

I’m building my new machine so that I can use it with VR. But, I’m not sure how much I want to spend on VR. The visual part has been where everyone’s attention is focused. That part is pretty awesome.

We aren’t seeing the thought being given to controlling things while using VR. What few are thinking about is that it means a new UI to learn. I tried that with LEAP. I like the LEAP. But, the UI on the SL Viewers for LEAP sucks. It requires learning and remembering a set of gestures to accomplish things. I have yet to see where it is any easier than learning to use a mouse with 3D and the standard UI.

The reaching out to pick up something with any kind of lag is horrible. It is nothing like picking something up in real life. FRUSTRATING, tentative… sucks and will be worthless for any kind of fast response play in SL like combat.

I am not yet sure that my new machine will improve on that. I expect this Quad Core NVIDIA GTX560 to be too slow for combat. It is OK for looking around… and I haven’t tried the latest version of the Oculus viewer. So, I may be wrong, but I REALLY doubt it is good enough for combat.

So, I can wait for those sensitive to simulator sickness to give up and sell their Rift headsets really cheap. Then I won’t feel bad if it sits on the shelf most of the time, like my LEAP does while I use my Spacenavigator.

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