Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Dev Update #51 - Oculus Quest release.

We have decided that it's time to go out of Beta for Oculus Quest. All changes that were available at the Beta channel will now be deployed for everyone.

We tried to get VRidge into an official Oculus Quest store but due to their content requirements we will have to keep our current installation process described here. We did our best to make the process as easy as possible so it shouldn't cause too many troubles.


We hope that VRidge for Oculus Quest will provide you with hours of awesome experience :)



Your RiftCat client should automatically update. No mobile update is required to get the new changes.

Changes

Button mapping for Oculus Quest
All button mappings should now be correct. Oculus Quest experience shouldn't differ from normal Oculus Rift S experience when in comes to hand tracking and input.

Controllers 3D model

Whenever you will use Oculus Quest with VRidge, your controllers will now appear as Oculus Rift S controllers in 3d space. Their physical appearance is basically the same as those of Oculus Quest so your experience with VRidge should be more comfortable.
iOS USB Tethering
With updates RiftCat client, you will now be able to connect iOS phone via USB cable. To learn how to connect VRidge for iOS via USB, read our guide.

Languages update

We have deployed Serbian language (thank you for your translation effort!) and updated existing languages with your fixes. Thank you for all of your contribution.

Minor changes:

  • Added Oculus Quest installation instructions to connection screen.
  • Improved headset type detection within games for better input and 3d model recognition.

Enjoy the new update! As always, let us know if you'll have any issues with updated version. You can reach our support team at support@riftcat.com

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Dev Update #50 - Oculus Quest Beta version and iOS update.


Hello RiftCats!

We have an update for you which we hope will make your VRidge experience even better. To make use of these changes, you'll need to use RiftCat Beta client. To learn how to try out the Beta version, simply follow this guide.


VRidge (Beta) for Oculus Quest

As many of you already know, we have released an Oculus Quest version of VRidge as a Preview version. You can see how it works in action by watching this video:


The installation of Oculus Quest version is a bit clunky but we have written a guide to help you install VRidge Beta for Oculus Quest with relative ease:

READ MORE

If you already had VRidge Preview version for Oculus Quest installed, simply rerun the script described in the above article to update.

What's new

Controllers in SteamVR will now be visible as Oculus Touch controllers.

We are using Oculus Touch model to represent your hands in VR when using Oculus Quest. They have very similar shape and using them provides us the following benefits:
  1. Game developers that created PC VR games often had Oculus Touch controllers in mind when creating their games - ensuring that games will work reliably with this controller mapping.
  2. Oculus Touch controllers have 3D model which is fully animated (you can see button presses in VR).
  3. Oculus Touch controllers are physically similar to Oculus Quest controllers which allowed us to adjust them accordingly.
We hope that with this controller mapping you will play the games close to the native PC VR experience :)

Keybindings improvement and fixes

You should now be able to freely operate SteamVR games by using Oculus Quest joysticks. Also, we have fixed an issue with right joystick pressess not registering in SteamVR.

All buttons should now work properly.

VRidge for iOS

We didn't forget about iOS users - we have several improvements for you too.

What's new

USB tethering should now work with iOS

We have received many requests to make iOS version of VRidge work with USB cable. We have found the root cause of why it didn't work in the first place and now if you'd like to use VRidge tethered you can easily do so.

QuickSync encoder fixed for iOS

iOS version had issues with QuickSync encoder. It should work properly now when using it as streaming encoder.

Required iOS version lowered to 11

Some of you asked us to enable VRidge installation on lower version of iOS than 12. We thought that due to the most recent AppStore requirements it won't be possible but we found a way! If you have an older iOS version, give VRidge a try.

Various fixes and improvements for stability

VRidge for iOS received a multitude of minor fixes which should make it much more stable.


Final words

This update should bring iOS and Oculus Quest version to a state of which we are really happy about. We will continue to bring you improvements but as of now it should bring you a lot of fun time in VR.

Also, if you thought about making a video or streaming VR games with VRidge. We made a small article on how our little StreamView tool can help you. Read about it here: https://support.riftcat.com/hc/en-us/articles/360005933460

See you in VR!

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Dev Update #49 - VRidge 2.4 is LIVE - iOS released!

It's been a long time but we finally were able to finish what many of you have waited for. iOS version of VRidge is now LIVE! VRidge 2.4 is released to everyone - your mobile app and RiftCat desktop client will automatically update.

Deployment status:
Platform Version Status Link
PC 2.4 Deployed Link
iOS App Store 2.4 Deployed Link

iOS version released

Finally VRidge can now be used with iPhones so simply update RiftCat client and download VRidge from iOS App Store to have fun with PC VR!


Spread the news to all your friends that couldnt use VRidge before because of their phone model. Let them also have a try at inexpensive PC VR :)

AMD GPUs fixed

Specific AMD GPUs chipsets like Vega had an issue with certain resolutions which showed up as a pixelated screen with green lines. 


The issue is now fixed so AMD users with Vega cards should now be able to enjoy VRidge without issues :)

New languages deployed

With your tremendous help via CrowdIn we were able to bring in additional languages to VRidge. This time we are releasing 7 additional languages:
  • Estonian
  • Norwegian
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Slovakian
  • Ukrainian
  • Vietnamese
Thank you for your help. VRidge now supports a total of 22 languages!

Final notes

VRidge now works with basically every major mobile platform. Thanks to your support we were able to reach that point. We are very grateful that you helped us with VRidge improvements over the years. 

Let us know your feedback about VRidge 2.4. As always, reach us at support@riftcat.com - our team will be able to see it.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Dev Update #48 - iOS coming very soon


Hello everyone!

Today we have released a new Beta version. It doesn't contain a lot of changes but they are very important for our next big release. Read further to learn about what's coming :)

To learn how to join the Beta, read this guide.

This Beta update has an update only for Windows RiftCat client. It is already deployed on Beta channel.


iOS groundwork

This RiftCat client is compatible with iOS version of VRidge. We are in the process of iOS App Store approval.

As soon as we'll get approved on the iOS App Store we'll be able to bring this RiftCat client version to the public and we'll finally be able to use VRidge with iPhones :)


Unfortunately, there is no feasible method of sideloading apps for iPhones so we'll have to patiently wait for the approval. In the meantime, please try out the updated RiftCat client to check if we didn't break anything :)

Fix for AMD GPU's

Some AMD GPUs (especially Vega chipsets) had an issue that made VRidge unusable in certain scenarios. Usually it appeared as a pixelated screen with green lines.


We were able to narrow down the issue and fix it so if you have any AMD Vega card - let us know if the Beta version helped you.

Translations

Thanks to your help, we have additional languages ready to be deployed :) For now they are only available in the Beta RiftCat client but with the stable release they will get deployed fully.


You can learn how to join the translation effort by reading this Blog entry.

Final words

Thank you guys for your everlasting support! 

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Dev Update #47 - VRidge Controller and Tracking Update released!


It is time! VRidge 2.3 is released. Thank you for your relentless testing and feedback. Now everyone will be able to have fun with our new tracking options.

This update brings everything that was available on Beta channel to our live version. We also have an additional surprise for you.


Current deployment status:

Platform
Version
Status
PC
2.3.12
Deployed
Google Play
2.3.11
Deployed
Viveport
2.3.11
Awaiting approval
Oculus Home (Go and GearVR)
2.3.11
Deployed
Daydream store
2.3.11
Awaiting approval


VRidge Controller

Earlier last week we have released a trailer video for our new product - VRidge Controller. It’s an Android app that will let you turn your spare phone into a VR controller compatible with VRidge.
You can use two phones to have full 3-DOF VR experience or pair it with Daydream/Oculus Go/HTC Vive Focus controller and use them together.

You can check how well it works on our VRidge Controller trailer video:



The usage of the app is very simple. The straightforward setup process should get you up and running in no time but if you’ll get confused at any moment, our tutorial video might come in handy:


Currently VRidge Controller is distributed through Google Play and is being priced at $5. We hope that this neat add-on will bring you a lot of joy in VR!

Xbox and Mouse+Keyboard controllers

With this update, our new movement model is also going live. New integrations available in RiftCat will let you use Xbox controller or Mouse+Keyboard to move and control your hands in virtual reality.

Learn how to do it by watching our tutorial video:



This feature should let you fully play VR games that do not require very fast and precise hand movements. It is a perfect addition to what VRidge has to offer and it is completely free. You can find this option integrations tab in RiftCat client.


You can even pair these controls method with VRidge Controller app to create very interesting control schemes!

Lenovo Mirage Solo support

Daydream All-in-One headsets like Lenovo Mirage Solo had limited support. The controller was working but the headset positional tracking system was not. This update brings full support to Daydream WorldSense technology so anytime you use VRidge with device utilizing this tracking technology you will be able to freely move in a VR world!

Camera passthrough option

It’s not comfortable to constantly take off your headset whenever you want to look at your keyboard or monitor screen. This patch solves this problem if you have front facing camera!

Double tap your phone screen or capacitive button of your headset. You can also use Gear VR touchpad to do it and if you prefer keyboard shortcut, simply press: CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + S to to check what’s in front of you through your device camera.


Of course to use this option make sure that you have front facing camera on your VR device. If you are using phone inside a VR case, make sure that nothing is obscuring your phone camera view.

AR Core positional tracking

If you have an AR Core support phone, you can try out an experimental feature to track your head position with it. This option is hidden in RiftCat/Config folder. Simply change “ArcoreTrackingEnabled” to “true” in VRidge.cfg file which can be opened in Notepad.

New interface changes

We’ve made some changes to RiftCat GUI to make it more readable. Among various small convenience options like adding IPD / Scale slider values or creating an option to show login window on connection screen we have remade the integrations screen to be more descriptive.


We also have new SteamVR icons for VRidge!

New languages

Thanks to your great effort via our CrowdIn campaign we were able to deploy additional languages and update previous ones! Released languages:
  • Greek
  • Japanese
  • Swedish
As always, there is always something to improve with these translations so don’t hesitate to use CrowdIn to provide your feedback!

We also received the last minute translations to Estonian language which is 100% complete. Unfortunately it missed the deployment window, but we’ll make sure to release it with the next update!

Updated VRidge API

We’re opening up a way for you to also remap your 3DOF DIY controllers in the same way as Gear VR / Go, Daydream or Vive Focus controllers are remapped. We also added additional access layer to simplify API usage. This is combined with a release of Java SDK which can be used by your Java or Android projects.

Additions

  • Added Java API client.
  • Added VridgeRemote class as a fire-and-forget access layer to use API without managing connection state.
  • Added a way to remap 3DOF controllers into 6DOF controllers, attached to head.
  • Added HeadRelation which configures how the pose is affected by recenter calls. Default "Unrelated" should cover most cases.
  • Added discovery UDP broadcast which lets you find active VRidge servers on the local network.
Changes
  • Removed async offset's pitch and roll axes. Old calls will discard pitch and roll data and only use yaw offset. Discussion.
  • When using reprojection-enabled device, rotational head tracking input will be discarded. External rotational data doesn't play well with devices expecting to use late reprojection based on their own sensor data.
  • Controllers will now disappear after 5 seconds without new data.
  • Deprecated OrientationMatrix as pose format. Added separate rotation quaternion and position vector instead. Removes ambiguity of pose matrix format and byte layout. Old format still works.
  • C# API client now multi-targets .NET Standard 2.0 and .NET Framework 4.7.
Go to our GitHub repo and explore changes for yourself!

A lot of minor fixes and features

There is also a lot of minor features and fixes. For example, we now natively support Finch Shift controllers so if you have them, you can enjoy using them with VRidge. Other changes are:
  • Changed how recenter hotkey works internally so it doesn’t conflict with API trackers and reprojection.
  • Changed the way we calculate velocity of controller (throwing should work more reliable now). Controllers should be less jittery in most games.
  • Updated Oculus SDK to 1.16.
  • Updated PC app .NET to 4.7.1. You will be automatically prompted to update your .NET runtime if you disabled Windows Update.
  • Whitelisted RTX cards for NVENC (GUI problem only).
  • Blacklisted GTX 1030 from NVENC. It doesn’t have hardware encoder.
  • SteamVR should now be closed in a nicer way by VRidge (trello card).
  • Legacy oculus sdk games should now work properly on devices with reprojection.
  • Added option to autostart SteamVR when mobile device connects to Vridge.
  • Improved connection streaming stability, especially with high bitrates.
  • General Android side optimizations.
  • Fixed crash logging in vridge.log
  • Fixed Android’s VRidge lobby overlay becoming stuck in some cases.
  • Fixed Daydream app not resuming properly on some devices.
  • Fixed a crash related to missing DirectX components on Windows 7. It will now ask user to download missing DirectX update.
  • Fixed rare Android networking native crash caused by race condition.
  • Fixed gamepad recenter binding not being detected properly in Riftcat Config.
  • Fixed Riftcat crash when Config subfolder was deleted by user if Riftcat was installed to Program Files.

New Android permissions

This update will ask for additional permissions on your Android device. It will ask for camera and bluetooth - we use these permissions to be able to work with AR Core and Finch controllers SDK. We do not use any of these permissions for anything else so you do not have to worry.



What’s next?

We are now focusing on iOS development. It’s in advanced development stage so hopefully we’ll release it very soon!

Also, there is Oculus Quest release coming up. We will make sure to be able to fully support it as soon as possible.




Final words

This update is a great step for RiftCat but giant leap for VR… or something among these lines. It’s definitely important milestone for us that will vastly increase VRidge possibilities. We hope that this update will bring you a lot of joy and fun in virtual reality.

Don’t hesitate to share the news about the update on our social media and among your friends. The more people know about VRidge, the more VR players we’ll have to hang out with in virtual worlds.



Monday, January 21, 2019

Dev Update #46 - Tracking Update Beta Release Candidate



We have just released an update to our Beta channel. This version is a release candidate that will get pushed to stable update channel quite soon. Expect some good news to come!

This patch changes:
  • Added Greek, Swedish & Japanese language
  • Added a "missing windows component" popup with a download link to fix one Win 7 crash.
  • Added a way for emulated controllers to work in single-hand only mode (to be paired with 3DOF controller or other options).
  • Added configurable System-press event delay for controller emulation.
  • PC app will now ask for admin rights to fix itself if user deletes Config folder in Program Files.
  • Fixed a crash happening on Mirage Solo during app pause & restart.
  • Fixed Xbox-controller player's movement speed.
  • Fixed API networking crash in PC app.
  • Fixed native Enet networking crash in Android app.
  • Fixed ARCore not starting when camera see-through was enabled.
  • Improved error reporting in NVENC.
  • Improved VRidge-API (more details @ our GitHub soon)
Enjoy trying it out :) Let us know as soon as you will find any errors. Every piece of feedback is highly valuable!

To learn how to try out the Beta version, simply follow this guide.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Dev Update #45 - Tracking Update Beta

Hello everyone. We finally have a new Beta version of VRidge! This is our promised update to which we refer as the “Tracking Update”. It brings some highly useful features that we believe will help you play and use many more VR experience.

Remember that this is the Beta phase of this update. It can still contain bugs or errors which we will try to fix as soon as we can. We will deploy it to stable channel for everyone when we will fix all the issues.

To learn how to join the Beta, read this guide.

Deployment status:

Platform
Version
Status
PC
2.3-Beta
Deployed
Viveport
2.3-Beta
Awaiting approval
Oculus Home (Go and Gear VR)
2.3-Beta
Deployed
Google Play
2.3-Beta
Deployed
Daydream Store
2.3-Beta
Awaiting approval


New tracking methods

As you’ve seen in our previous announcement, we were preparing a special control model that will let us use a common hardware that is available for everyone to control our bodies in virtual reality. We believe it will be very useful for you in VR games that require SteamVR input.

We have a video guide which will teach you how to use our new control methods in no time!


With this movement model you will be able to use:
  1. Xbox controller
  2. Mouse + Keyboard
To control your body in virtual reality. This option is perfect for shooters, slow paced VR games, exploration games and so on.

These options are also highly configurable!

Let us know what do you think about it. Your feedback is always welcome! This is also the best moment to report bugs that you can find. It would be great if we could make this feature flawless before it goes live for everyone.

Daydream WorldSense

If you have Lenovo Mirage Solo or any other Daydream WorldSense device, you can now freely move around in space with VRidge fully reflecting your positional movement in SteamVR worlds.

We are also actively trying to get our hands on Daydream 6DOF controllers dev kit so we can be ready on day 1 of consumer availability.

AR Core positional tracking

This is a feature that was requested many times. It was developed months ago but due to issues related to AR Core SDK it was postponed for a long time.

We are releasing AR Core positional tracking now but we are marking it as “experimental”. Unfortunately, we don’t think that this is viable solution for positional tracking but if you want to give it a shot anyway - you can now easily do so!

As this is an experimental feature - it is not configurable within RiftCat launcher. It is hidden in VRidge.cfg. To enable it, simply go to RiftCat/Config folder and edit your VRidge.cfg file. Find “ArcoreTrackingEnabled” and change its value to “true”.

Remember to use a device that can support AR Core with Google AR Core software installed.

Passthrough camera option

We have LIVE settings that you can change on the fly, but it’s inconvenient to constantly take off your VR headset. That’s why we have added an option to enable camera passthrough so you could see what’s in front of you.
Switching between camera view and normal VRidge view is very simple. Just double tap your phone screen or capacitive button of your headset. You can also use Gear VR touchpad to do it and if you prefer keyboard shortcut, simply press: CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + S to switch.

Before using this option, make sure that you have front facing camera on your VR device and if you are using a phone, that your cardboard is not obscuring the camera view.

Rework of integrations list

With new tracking options, we wanted to expand on the idea of integrations. We made Integrations tab a little bit more informative so it’s easier for you to navigate. It contains all settings for above mentioned Xbox and Mouse + Keyboard integrations. You can also turn on/off a 3-DOF controller available with Daydream View, Lenovo Mirage Solo, Oculus Go or HTC Vive Focus.

New SteamVR icons

SteamVR allows for custom icons. So we took the liberty to create our own! Now you will be able to easily recognize whether it’s VRidge connected to SteamVR or something else.

Native Finch Shift support

You might have heard about Finch Shift controllers. We cooperated with them and created a native support for their controllers in VRidge. Their solution will soon be available with various VR hardware vendors so if you’ll get a hold of them, don’t hesitate to try them with VRidge!

Update: Known issues.

Login option on connection screen

We have added an option to show a login button on the connection screen (so you could log in without connecting devices). It’s turned off by default to not clutter the connection screen for new users but if you need something like that for convenience you can easily turn this option in VRidge general settings.

Added IPD / Scale sliders values

Once upon a time. We have added an option to adjust IPD and Scale value for your VR view. It was added in a rush so it was pretty clunky to use.

We took a look at this feature and adjusted it. The minimum and maximum values were not useful at all so we have trimmed the range in which you can move the slider so it’s much easier to control. We have also provided a numerical value so it’s easier to share your setting with others.

Increased timeout for SteamVR

“Could not start SteamVR” - sounds familiar? It could have happened a lot to you while VRidge still launched and started streaming. You just had to wait for SteamVR to open.

This issue should be fixed now. We have increased the time that VRidge waits for SteamVR to open so this timeout should happen less frequently.

This is what happens when your whole dev team works on SSDs. Oops!

Updated VRidge API

New possibilities are coming to vridge-api. This includes fixing several problems with API async offset and introducing a way to remap your 3DOF controllers to 6DOF using the same virtual arm model that we use with Gear VR/Go/Focus/Daydream controllers.

VRidge tracking changed a lot internally but our goal was to keep it backwards compatible. API server is updated in beta version but GitHub repo is not yet up to date. We will update docs and sample in following weeks, during 2.3 beta. You can join the discussion here.

Multiple other minor fixes

There is plenty of other minor fixes that we did in the meantime. It’s hard to list and describe them all:
  • Changed how recenter hotkey works internally so it doesn’t conflict with API trackers and reprojection.
  • Changed the way we calculate velocity of controller (throwing should work more reliable now). Controllers should be less jittery in most games.
  • Updated Oculus SDK to 1.16.
  • Updated PC app .NET to 4.7.1. You will be automatically prompted to update your .NET runtime if you disabled Windows Update.
  • Whitelisted RTX cards for NVENC (GUI problem only).
  • Blacklisted GTX 1030 from NVENC. It doesn’t have hardware encoder.
  • SteamVR should now be closed in a nicer way by VRidge (trello card).
  • Legacy oculus sdk games should now work properly on devices with reprojection.
  • Added option to autostart SteamVR when mobile device connects to Vridge.
  • Improved streaming stability, especially with high bitrates.
  • General Android side optimizations.
  • Fixed crash logging in vridge.log
  • Fixed Android’s VRidge lobby overlay becoming stuck in some cases.



New Android permissions
Due to new features and SDKs, our VRidge Android app will ask for several new permissions.

You might be asked to grant more permission (Camera and Bluetooth). This is required by ARCore and Finch SDKs. Don't worry, we're not tracking your location or sending camera feed anywhere.

Feedback
Remember to provide us feedback to this Beta update. Every single voice counts as it contributes to the final quality of the update! Send us your error reports and suggestions to support@riftcat.com

Translations
With this update, there is also a bit of new text that was created for our software. As you might be already aware, RiftCat is available in many languages thanks to our great community that helped us translate RiftCat via CrowdIn platform.

Help us bring this new update in multiple languages so everyone will be able to join PC VR gaming. We are giving away VRidge full version key for active contributors so it’s definitely worth it.

You can learn how to join the translation effort by reading this Blog entry.

Final words
This Beta update was possible thanks to our great community that supports us throughout all of the years. We are sure that with your help we’ll be able to quickly bring this update to everyone and change the way we use VR with VRidge thanks to our new tracking methods.