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The ghost howls

A blog of virtual reality, startup and stuff

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tutorial

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 make WebVR work with Chromium and Oculus + Google WebVR experiments review

WebVR is a technology that will have a bright future, we all know it. Since it gives the ability to develop VR applications once and then make them available for every kind of headsets, it is a powerful framework. This is why I covered WebVR various times in my blog, like when I talked about Rodin, a framework to make WebVR development easier.

But I’ve also complained because I couldn’t manage to make it work. I’ve never been able to try a WebVR demo with my Rift… until today.

To try WebVR with Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, the community advices to use Firefox Nightly (Firefox version that includes continuous updates, even not-so-stable ones) or Chromium (the opensource version of Chrome). What I’ve obtained until today was that these two browsers recognized the headset, but they never offered me the ability to see the content inside VR (only rotational data was detected, so I could see the images following my head on the computer screen, but inside the headset everything was black).

WebVR Chromium oculus rift touch setup
Chromium logo: is like Chrome one, but more sad

Luckily a reddit user told me how to fix this issue with Chromium and so I’m going to tell you the secret. I don’t remember his username, but, whoever you are, unknown hero, I wish you the best! Continue reading “How to make WebVR work with Chromium and Oculus + Google WebVR experiments review”

Getting started with Oculus Touch and Avatar SDK in Unity

Welcome to 2017! I wish to you all that this will be an astonishing year!

In 2016 I left you with this video showcasing my first experiments with Oculus Touch, Avatar SDK, in cooperation with our ImmotionRoom full body system. As you can see in the video, there are female full body avatars made with ImmotionRoom (so, basically, made using a Microsoft Kinect) and epic-bearded blue avatars made using Oculus Avatar SDK. Then there is some firing, because firing in VR is always cool!

This demo took me more time than expected, due to some problems I had in using the Avatar SDK. That’s why I’m writing this article: to help you in developing using this SDK wasting less time than me. It will not be a step-by-step tutorial, but I’ll give you some detailed hints. So, ready… go! Continue reading “Getting started with Oculus Touch and Avatar SDK in Unity”

How to reduce motion sickness in virtual reality

Today I’ll talk about another one of the most frequently asked questions on reddit: after having talked about about if you have to buy a VR headset, which one you should buy and how to start developing with it, today I’ll talk about how to overcome the motion sickness in VR.

The typical scenario is this one: some smart guy reads a lot about VR and feels the urge to try this awesome technology, so he/she buys a brand new PC, a brand new headset (like Oculus or Vive), starts using it and… he starts feeling bad: nausea, dizziness, headaches. In short, he/she just spent 2000$ to buy some illness… it isn’t that cool!

Continue reading “How to reduce motion sickness in virtual reality”

How to select Oculus Rift audio output device

Oculus Rift CV1 comes with very handy integrated headphones. That’s great, but they may cause some problems about where to output stuff, especially games designed to be played with Oculus.

Yes, because, from a Windows standpoint, the Rift headphones are just like any other audio output device, while when it comes to playing games involving the Oculus Runtimes, things can become a lot more strange. These days we were organizing for the DTC event and we had hard times trying to output our Unity demo audio to the surround speakers of the conference room. All other audio (like from VLC, Windows volume, etc…) was correctly reproduced, while the Unity audio was always sent to the Rift. Then I navigated to the Oculus support and found the solution to the problem (ah, the old and dirty RTFM!). Continue reading “How to select Oculus Rift audio output device”

Virtual reality games: The Affected (+how to make it work with Oculus CV1)

The Affected is one of my favourite virtual reality games of all times. At the moment it’s just a small demo that was made for Oculus DK2 (so lots of time ago), but it’s really awesome. The developers say that they’re developing a version for Oculus CV1 and other episodes, but I’ve never found them anywhere. But I hope that’s true, because I’m really eager to try a new version of this game!

The Affected is a horror virtual reality game, divided in 3 small episodes: The Manor, The Hospital and the Carnival. Every episode is scary as hell, so this is not a game for the faint of heart! Continue reading “Virtual reality games: The Affected (+how to make it work with Oculus CV1)”

How to use VRidge with Kinect

Yesterday I’ve told you what VRidge is and wrote a review about this cool product that lets you use virtual reality PC experiences with your Cardboard mobile headset.

Today I want to focus on one of its features: the ability to use a Microsoft Kinect to emulate positional tracking of the headset: this way you can have what mobile headsets really lack, that is the positional tracking, the room-scale functionality. The system works in a very simple manner: they use the head position detected by the Kinect as the position of the headset in the virtual world, in a way very similar to what we do in our ImmotionRoom solution. But how to make it work? And is it really working well? I’ll try to answer these questions in this article.

UPDATE: I’ve written a new article that offers a more elegant way of using VRidge with Kinect using ImmotionRoom system. You can find it here. Otherwise, go on to keep reading on how to use the standard way involving opensource software like OpenTrack.

Continue reading “How to use VRidge with Kinect”

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