Thursday, April 12, 2018

Dev Update #38 - VRidge 2.1.4 Beta

We have a minor patch release to the Beta channel.

To be able to test out the Beta version - follow the "How to join the VRidge Beta Update channel?" article.

Thanks to your feedback we were able to fix a lot of issues in our Beta release. We also made some quality of life improvements. All the changes are now available in RiftCat Beta channel. With the next update we will push 2.1 version to the public!

Enhancements

  • Added an option that switches between Nolo and phone rotational tracking. This can be used on high-drift phones but has higher latency than phone sensors.
  • VRidge mobile app will now have sticky notification while it's running that lets you enable USB tethering more easily.
  • Moved settings button to the connection screen to allow changing settings without connecting to mobile device first.
  • Added new guides to Discover tab:
    • Redout
    • VR Chat
  • Several new languages added (Thank you for your contribution! We have granted full version of VRidge for active translators.)
    • Czech
    • Chinese Traditional
    • Dutch
    • Portuguese, Brazilian
    • Russian
    • Danish
    • Turkish

Fixes

  • Fixed several problems during connection to prevent random crashes mid-stream caused by temporary network problems.
  • Nolo controllers should no longer be detected as Oculus-like input controllers.
  • Updated controller input API to the most recent OpenVR standard. This may solve problems where controllers didn't appear in menus or were not registering key presses.
  • Fixed website language sometimes defaulting to English even if other language was selected.
  • Fixed random (race condition) crash in standalone mode that could occur when SteamVR was running before VRidge.exe was started.
We hope that you will help us out with the tests so we'll be able to bring 2.1 version to everyone as soon as possible. Let us know what do you think about this version in the comments below, our social media or just email us at support@riftcat.com. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Dev Update #37 - VRidge 2.1 Beta

VRidge 2.1 Beta is now available

To be able to test out the Beta version - follow the "How to join the VRidge Beta Update channel?" article.

This update is focused mostly on improving the 2.0 version experience and bringing Wireless NOLO support back. We have some info about AR Core positional tracking as well - read more about it below.

We have listened to your feedback about VRidge 2.0 and provided several improvements to the software. 

User Experience changes

We have added four new languages:
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Chinese
This includes translation of the website, RiftCat desktop client, mobile application, automatic emails and YouTube descriptions with subtitles to provide the best experience for those who do not speak english.

The translation were made with the help of our beloved community using CrowdIn system. We are very thankful for your help! We are providing VRidge full version keys for the active translators in return.

As many people worked on the translations, they might contain mistakes or inconsistency. That's why we encourage you to inform us about any errors in translations so we could make it perfect before it will reach the "Stable" channel.

There are other languages mostly translated within the system. We will deploy them over time.

New "Discover" feature:

An additional tab within RiftCat that will let you learn what possibilities does VRidge have. It will be a library of our video tutorials so you could always find something new to do in virtual reality. We will update this tab on a regular basis.

Recenter hotkey improvement:

Recenter hotkey can now be bound into any controller input. You can use Gamepad, Joystick, Steering Wheel or any other XInput-compatible controller.

Redesign of LIVE settings:

When you enable Advanced mode or turn on any of our integrations, the LIVE settings will get an additional menu to organize specific settings that can be changed on the fly during streaming.

Redesign of connection screen:

We have improved the connection screen a little bit by moving the elements around and introducing the Basic Guide and Help Center link for new users.

One of the most occuring issue with VRidge 2.0 happens when the desktop app can detect the phone but cannot connect to it in time. It's manifested by constant connection popup. We reworked the connection process to better inform the user about what is happening. Connecting your phone to the desktop app should be much friendlier now.

Additionally, PC-mobile app version mismatches will now be correctly displayed on the connection screen. This doesn't work retroactively - 2.0.3 mobile app will not be detected by 2.1.0 PC client.

NOLO Wireless support

We have brought back NOLO Wireless support that was present in 1.5 version of VRidge Classic. It is added as an Integration called "NOLO Wireless" and can be configured within RiftCat. We have also added some new changes in comparison to the 1.5 NOLO support:
  • Support for throwing objects in games by passing velocity data from the controller
  • Support for ceiling mode
  • Configurable anti-noise filter to prevent random button press-events.
  • NOLO settings can be changed LIVE. 

AR Core positional tracking

We were planning to release an AR Core positional tracking with this release - it was almost ready. But unfortunately due to the sudden change within AR Core SDK that introduced a feature breaking bug we had to wait for the next SDK release.

The SDK should get an update in the upcoming weeks but we couldn't postpone this update for that long. That's why we are releasing this patch without AR Core positional tracking but we will add it back as soon as possible.

VRidge SDK documentation update

We have updated our VRidge SDK to the v3 code examples and specification. It's now available as .NET standard package with .proto definition so you can use it more easily in any language of your choice on most of the popular OSes.

Bug fixes

  • GeForce 640M and 650 GT will now be correctly detected as NVENC-capable.
  • Updater .exe icon changed to the VRidge 2.0 version instead of VRidge Classic
  • NOLO wired mode will no longer require setting "Gear VR" in NOLO driver's Riftcat/Trinus. switch. We still recommend using "Gear VR" because it works better for most of the phones.
    • In "Cardboard" mode you will be using NOLO rotational sensor.
    • In "Gear VR" mode you will be using your phone's rotational sensor along with latency optimizations and tracking prediction to make latency lower. It's not limited to Gear VR devices and can be used by any phones.
  • If VRidge is not able to start network server, it will now try to close previous VRidge processes to make sure old instance is not locking network port. If it doesn't help, it will display "Check your firewall" popup.
  • Updated help center link if VRidge can't access game's surface because of NVIDIA Optimus tech.
  • VRidge will now redirect user to install Media Feature pack for Windows if it detects that Media Foundation is missing. Previously it crashed with "mfplat.dll" error.
  • VRidge will no longer crash on startup along with Riftcat due to rare race condition.
  • VRidge will no longer crash on video keyframe request (specific GPUs only).
  • VRidge standalone/diagnostic mode will no longer crash on systems with disabled desktop duplication API. It will now instead wait until SteamVR starts instead of displaying desktop stream.
  • VRidge will no longer crash because it incorrectly defaulted to Quick Sync encoder on systems where Media Foundation's Quick Sync is not supported (Windows 7 or Intel <4th gen)
  • RiftCat client will no longer crash due to random race condition after disconnection when it tried to display "Disconnected" toast.
  • RiftCat client will no longer crash if you click on "Login" during popup close animation.
  • Fixed Android crash that could occur when your restarted Android app mid-stream.
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Remember that you can follow the current development progress on our public Trello board: http://go.riftcat.com/vridge-development

We hope that this Beta version won't contain too many issues and we will be able to bring it to everyone as soon as possible. Thank you guys for your continous support!

Friday, March 2, 2018

How to help us translate VRidge

Join as translator and contribute to our translation effort. You can do so by following this link https://crowdin.com/project/riftcat or pressing the button below:
Instructions
We are using CrowdIn translation platform. When you will visit the website you will see a list of languages that we are currently translating into.


Select the language that you would like to translate and you will see available files list. It will show you the overall progress of the translation effort. If you want to start quickly, not minding the file that you are going to work on - simply press “Translate All” button.


After choosing “Translate All” or any other translation file you will be prompted to log in. Creating an account at CrowdIn is completely free.

After your login, you will see the translation dashboard. On the left side, you will see the translation strings - they represent various texts across the VRidge app and it’s ecosystem. 


You can filter them out by pressing the filter button. On default - the system will show you the translations strings that are not yet translated so you can start right away. You can also see already translated string and provide proofreading.


The middle of the screen is the place where all the translation takes place. You will see the original english text at the top. A lot of the strings will contain a screenshot which will hint you where is the translated text placed.

You can simply type your translation into the “Enter translation here” field. By pressing “Save” button you will submit it for approval.

At the bottom you can see some automated suggestions and see how the string looks like in other languages translations.


And finally - on the right side you can type in your own comments to the translated string to provide information and communicate with other translators.

Final words
If you wonder why there is no Polish language available - it’s because we are a polish company and we got it covered :)

Don’t worry if there is no way to fit the translation in the same space as original text. We will evaluate all translations within VRidge to see if they fit - we will adjust the UI accordingly.

Thank you for helping us!


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Dev Update #36 - VRidge 2.0 is LIVE!

VRidge 2.0 is now LIVE

The update that everyone was waiting for is finally here. As the codebase got significantly changed, VRidge 2.0 has to be installed as a fresh install. You can keep both VRidge Classic and VRidge 2.0 installed simultaneously.

To install VRidge 2.0 - simply go to https://riftcat.com and install RiftCat.

Or download new client from here:
Note: Remember that new mobile app is also required. Link available in RiftCat client or HERE

To learn the basic of VRidge 2.0 usage - watch our instructional video


PC side setup design

We’ve made everything from scratch and introduced a design that puts all the setup on the PC side. This means that you won’t have any issues using VRidge no matter which device you choose. You can use All-in-one headsets, GearVR or even the simplest Google Cardboard. In the future, we will expand on this concept even further!

Note: We left one input on mobile. Just tap the screen and you will recenter your view. You can also set a custom hotkey in RiftCat options.

New UI

Completely new UI that makes VRidge even easier to use. Logging into RiftCat is no longer obligatory so if you want to introduce VRidge to someone - it’s going to be faster. RiftCat client is now significantly lighter - going down from over 50MB to just 8 MB.

On the fly settings

You can now change the stream quality settings on the fly during streaming. If you want to squeeze the best performance with superb visual quality you no longer need to do the tedious task of restarting VRidge hundred of times.

Moonlight Support

If you want to try other streaming methods, we have made Moonlight streaming available. You can find a guide on how to use it HERE.

Integrations

Integrations will let us extend VRidge capabilities in easy to use ways. Expect more with the next updates!

Multilanguage support

Thanks to multi language support, we will be able to spread accessible VR to even more people. For now we have Polish and English languages. Let us know which languages would you like to have next!

We are thankful to all Beta testers who helped us bring this update to everyone. Thanks to you guys we've been able to fix most of the bugs - expect more features with the next Beta update. 

Check out what's coming on our public Trello board: https://trello.com/b/1UpZVzD0/vridge-development



Thursday, January 25, 2018

Update changelog: 2.0.3

2.0.3 is release candidate for 2.0 stable release, which will happen on Tuesday, January 30th.
Full blog update will be posted on Tuesday but we're posting a quick technical changelog today.

Both mobile app and desktop app need to be updated to 2.0.3 to work together.

---

Added / Changed:


  • Added IPD and Scale sliders, adjustable mid-stream.
    • You can fine-tune viewport to match your custom lenses. It works with Daydream, Cardboard and Gear VR backends.
  • Added Tracking Prediction slider.
    • Bigger prediction window results in a faster response but high values are more likely to overcorrect, resulting in a rubbery judder. Default is configured for 60ms of total motion-to-photon latency.
  • Added Streaming Mode selector.
    • Default will prioritize keyframe delivery to keep a good balance of latency vs artifacting but you can prioritize latency or artifacting countermeasures.
  • Console window was hidden.
    • You can still the same log in Logs/VRidge.log file. The console window along with extra diagnostics will still appear when started in standalone/diagnostic mode.

  • SteamVR will now report real selected FPS instead of 60. 
    • This is useful for third party VR software which relies on SteamVR-provided HMD FPS.    

  • Disabled SteamVR's async reprojection in VRidge driver. 
    • It doesn't change anything in our driver workflow but fixes crashes for some people.

  • Installer was updated to match new color set.
  • VRidge PC server will now use a bit less CPU.
  • Added splash screen during RiftCat launcher startup.
  • RiftCat launcher will now remember whether you selected WiFi or USB as a connection method.
  • Logs will now be rolled into one file instead of individual file for each session.

Fixed:


  • Play SteamVR button won't become disabled (unclickable) when VRidge exits incorrectly.
  • HEVC (aka H265) will now work correctly on Galaxy S6 and some other phones.
  • VRidge mobile will no longer crash on screen tap in certain cases.
  • FreeTrack tracking won't interfere with API tracking (NOLO and other custom API clients)
  • Moonlight (rooted edition) will now be properly detected as viable Moonlight app in Moonlight mode.
  • Moonlight mode will no longer crash on Maxwell NVIDIA GPUs when NVENC wasn't selected.
  • Sound streaming should no longer cause additional latency with new default Streaming Mode (which only prioritizes keyframe delivery).
  • Fixed text rendering issues with certain Xiaomi phones.
  • Fixed Windows firewall rule not being set correctly for RiftCat.exe.


This build will move to stable channel next week and replace default 1.3 installer. Both 1.3 and 1.5 versions will continue to work if you want to stick to the old version. NOLO wireless mode will be brought back in v2.1 in February/March.