The answer to your virtual realty crave

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When we talk about Virtual Realty the name Oculus Rift comes to mind . The Rift been in development for a long time now but there is an appetite for VR that is not being satisfied . The Question now is do we have an alternative to the Rift that works and works now . Samsung is working on a headset , Valve and HTC are working on another headset and Sony is also working on another one. Unfortunately none has a VR solution that works now and compatible with the games and applications that we have and use . VR seems like an expensive commodity to many . Fortunately Google saved the day in its almost silly idea . The answer was Google cardboard , a headset made of paper . You simply slide your phone in and voila , behold a VR headset that costs nothing .

The smart mobile phone is the answer for mainstream VR . Almost all of us have one nowadays . The smart Phone became more and more powerful and with screens that have higher pixel density which we will see later helps the experience . Smart phones has excellent position tracking capabilities which is very important for a successful VR headset .

We will be looking today at a VR streaming software called TrinusVR . ENTER THE TRINUS :)

TrinusVR:

TrinusVR is relatively new and still in development . It looks very promising and so far it was compatible with many games/applications I tried . The principle is simple , it streams your application as long as it is in desktop mode and creates a stereo 3d image on your phone so you can see it through your headset lenses . There is 3 ways for this to happen :

- Your application supports stereo 3d out of the Box.
- Use a third party software to create the Image.
- Use fake 3D through Trinus Server .

Fake 3D is not as bad as it sounds . It does turn almost 100% of applications compatible out of the box . Fake 3D means you are not altering the image in any way to give it an effect but rather simply making a duplicate and streaming it side by side to your phone . Fake 3D works well and to be honest if you alter the FOV (field of view) in your game , you will get a similar effect to having a native stereo 3d image.

The cost :

5£ on Google Play store for the TrinusVR (you can try it for free ) . Also I recommend investing in good quality Google Cardboard compatible headset . Usually an OK headset will cost around 15£ .

The Setup :

First you need to download and install the app and the desktop streamer .

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Then you need to connect your PC server to your phone app . You can do it using WiFi or via USB tethering . Wireless is easy and works out of the box as long as both your PC and mobile on the same network. Unfortunately wireless does not work well with high bandwidth streaming so the best answer was USB tethering .

When using USB tethering I faced a problem Windows OS no longer connects to the web . Ideally I would like my PC to stay connected . Fortunately there was a fix which alters the default windows OS network behavior but it required messing with the TCP/IP settings and for many none technical people this is as if you asked them to preform a heart surgery on the spot :) .

The solution was to disconnect my PC from the internet (both turning off WiFi and unplugging the Ethernet cable ) , then turning off 4G data on my phone then connecting my phone to my WiFi . And finally connecting my PC to my phone via USB . When you enable USB tethering on your phone you will turn your Phone into a wireless card , this way both your phone and PC will be on the same network and still both have access to the web using your Phone WiFi .

Make sure to use a long USB cable , the one I had at the start was too short .

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This is what the Headset looks like with the phone in it .

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First you need to start the App then start you desktop application , we will start the desktop application in advanced mode because it offers us more control over the settings . Those are the settings that worked well for me and my generic headset . Note that some times the phone will not find the server or the image becomes frozen , simply change the ports .

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Now you need to prepare your game /application . Make sure it is in window mode and the aspect ratio is 4:3 or similar . My phone resolution is 1920 - 1080 . This translates to 960- 1080 and 960- 1080 . If your phone had a 1440p screen , the resolution would be 1280 -1440 and 1280 - 1440 . 1440p screen or a 2K screen is ideal for VR , because you can do 720P wide screen or 1280 - 1024 , 4:3 Aspect Ratio . We will be trying a classic game "Fallout 3".The recommended game resolution would be :

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here is what the game looks like :

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The game was very playable but because of my low resolution mobile screen the pixels can be seen which takes away from the experience . Overall for the 20£ total of investment I would say that was a successful experiment . I will be waiting for a better headset with better optics because the one I got did the trick but wasn't great . TrinusVR did its job but was a little fiddly to setup otherwise it was a solid experience . Unfortunately I do not see me using VR extensively yet but when the experience becomes more solid I will be a proud adopter .


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