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The ghost howls

A blog of virtual reality, startup and stuff

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gear vr

How to fix the USB issue of Samsung Phone continuously disconnecting from PC (useful for GearVR devs)

Today I want to talk about a really annoying issue regarding some smartphones. It is slightly off topic, since it’s not directly a VR topic (and this is a VR blog), but since I use my Samsung Note 4 to do mobile VR… we can say that this is absolutely a VR-related post… can’t we?

The issue is the following: you connect your Samsung phone (in my case a Samsung Note 4, but the issue happens also with the S7 and other models) to a PC and everything works fine. Then you try maybe to move some data (e.g. backup your phone photos to your hard drive… or you try to deploy your APK for an awesome VR game) and suddenly the phone disconnects from the PC. One second later, it reconnects. And then it goes this way, with a connect-disconnect schizophrenia that makes you become completely mad. Even because there’s no exact reason because this happens: sometimes it stays connected more, other times less… but anyway you can’t use it in peace. And for me, during continuous deploy of big APKs of VR applications, this bug has meant an enormous waste of time. Continue reading “How to fix the USB issue of Samsung Phone continuously disconnecting from PC (useful for GearVR devs)”

How to play Cardboard apps with Gear VR

A little article to talk to you about a small trick that may be useful in your virtual reality innovator’s life. You have a Gear VR and you have a Cardboard (no, I’m not making something like Pikotaro…) and suddenly you start wondering: why can’t I use my Gear VR as a Cardboard? Gear VR is super-comfortable, super resistant and has an awesome design… so why should I use a crappy card headset to live Cardboard experiences? You’re right… why?

The answer is: you have not. Since a Cardboard is just a hmd with two lenses, Gear VR is like a deluxe Cardboard. But there is a big problem: once you put your phone inside the headset, Oculus runtime detects that you have connected a Samsung Gear VR and launches Oculus Home and all other Oculus stuff. There’s no way to escape from that: with my Gear VR Innovator Editor there was still the possibility to put the phone so that the hmd plug didn’t enter completely inside the phone USB-C port, so that Oculus runtime wasn’t triggered (but you had high chances of your phone detaching from the headset and falling to the ground), but with new Gear VR versions this is not possible anymore. So how to do that? Continue reading “How to play Cardboard apps with Gear VR”

Just Relax (relaxation GearVR app) inter-review

I’ve been contacted by Paul, of Mostly Human Studios, to try his virtual reality relaxation tool: Just Relax. I was happy, because I’m super-stressed due to my startup life, so I just wanted to relax a bit. With DK2 I was a huge fan of Guided Meditation, so I was eager to try its app. But life is a b**ch and his app is not compatible with my phone (I’ve a Note 4 and the first GearVR… I feel so old) so I’ve not been able to try it.

So goodbye to my idea of a review and welcome to the idea of an interview. So I made Paul some questions about the Just Relax relaxation app and his experience in developing it. I found his answers very interesting… in a sense I’m more happy with this article than with a review 🙂 Continue reading “Just Relax (relaxation GearVR app) inter-review”

Gear VR 2017: remote is the new mouse

2 days ago with a post on its blog, Oculus announced the launch of the new Samsung Gear VR. As always, with respect to the older version it is more powerful, more comfortable, more epic, it has more compatible content and blah blah blah. Honestly despite all the marketing words, I’ve not seen that much innovation in the different versions of Gear VR: the only thing that truly changes is the phone that you put inside it and that gives more horsepower to the graphics you see inside virtual reality.

This year, finally, Samsung and Oculus have introduced a true innovation: the remote. Oh, well, actually this is not a true innovation, since something similar was already present inside Oculus CV1 and Daydream, but it’s surely an innovation for this headset. And you know, I love remotes: if  you’ve read my Daydream review, you know that I found it super-comfortable. Gear VR had to introduce it to not fall behind its competitor. Remote of Gear VR has 3-DOF so you can point objects and has 4 buttons and a touchpad to have super-easy interaction with the VR environment. If you’re thinking “it’s almost exactly like Daydream one”… yes, you’re right.

Google Daydream vr headset
This handsome guy is trying a VR experience using Daydream and its 3DOF controller…

Continue reading “Gear VR 2017: remote is the new mouse”

Can Vive Puck be the positional tracker for GearVR?

After Vive announcement of the Tracker (the “Puck”) at current CES, there has been a lot of hype surrounding it. Everyone has started thinking about possible applications, fantasizing about awesome Vive installations with lots of Trackers. I love enthusiasm of VR community.

One thing that people has started thinking about is using Trackers to implement positional tracking for GearVR. So one person could have a positional tracked GearVR with just the simplicity and the little cost of a puck: $50-100. And imagine using this Puck-tracked-GearVR with VRidge and use GearVR as a wireless replacement for the Vive. There are 5 millions Gear VR in this world and even more Cardboard headsets… and having now a simple solution to offer them positional tracking is huge! Continue reading “Can Vive Puck be the positional tracker for GearVR?”

Mirror GearVR with ScreenBeam Mini 2

One of my Christmas Gift has been a ScreenBeam Mini 2. What is that? Well, it is a little device that lets you stream movies from laptops or smartphones to and HDMI screen through Wi-fi. If you’re thinking “Woah, it is like a Chromecast!” well, yes, it definitely is. And if you’re thinking “Woah, so I can use it to mirror GearVR content to an external monitor!“… well, yes, you’re right!

This is another piece of hardware that you can use to stream GearVR / Cardboard content to an external monitor so that people can see what the user is seeing in virtual reality. If you missed my article about other possible methods… what are you waiting for? Follow this link and read it!

ScreenBeam Mini2 is a little device by ActionTec that lets you stream content from any device to an external HDMI screen. Main advantage over Chromecast is that it is not an Android-dedicated piece of hardware. It works also with Windows ecosystem (even Windows Phone!). Continue reading “Mirror GearVR with ScreenBeam Mini 2”

Leap Motion goes mobile

With a post written on its blog, Leap Motion has made a huge announcement: Leap Motion will go mobile.

This should not sound as something completely new: Leap Motion already had some kind of Android SDK and some kind of mount that you could use with Cardboard.

DODOcase advanced Cardboard viewer: as you can see, there is a strange Leap Motion mount in front of it (image credits: Road To VR)

The problem of this solutions was that they were far from being complete: you had somehow to connect a PC-dedicated device to the USB port of your smartphone and somehow mount it on your headset. In some cases, like with my Gear VR innovator edition (with no external USB ports), you were unable to use Leap Motion at all. Continue reading “Leap Motion goes mobile”

How to mirror Gear VR or Cardboard to PC

Tomorrow we will be at the WTT to make a talk about the differences between AR/VR/MR and on how to use our ImmotionRoom system. We’ll take with us a laptop and a GearVR and so we’ll need a technique to stream Gear VR content to my laptop or to an external screen (or a projector) to make people see what my buddy Gianni will see inside the virtual world (otherwise, from the audience standpoint, he would just look like an idiot waving hands and feet like a zombie). But… how to make it? How to let people see what you’re seeing in your mobile virtual reality headset? Continue reading “How to mirror Gear VR or Cardboard to PC”

Oculus Rift vs GearVR

After having talked you about the headset you should buy and having made a detailed comparison of GearVR vs Cardboard, today I want to highlight the difference between Oculus Rift and Samsung GearVR.

Both headsets are high-end ones and both are produced with Oculus technologies. The key difference is that the first one is a high-end tethered headset, while the second one is a high-end mobile headset. That is, the first one has to be connected to a VR-ready PC (through HDMI and USB port), while the second one is a piece of plastic that works when you put your Samsung phone inside it.

samsung gearvr cv1 vr
Samsung GearVR and its companion phones… if you use Note7, game explosions have never been so real!(Image by Oculus)

Continue reading “Oculus Rift vs GearVR”

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