Monday, October 15, 2018

Dev Update #44 - Beta fix package


We have just released a smaller Beta update for VRidge. It's a package of several fixes that we wanted to release as soon as possible.

Our big "Tracking Update" is still coming up and it's very close by so stay tuned for good news!

With this 2.2.8 Beta patch we have new advanced configuration options that some of you requested:
Minor improvements:
  • Fixed freeze in SteamVR driver if VRidge was stopped at unfortunate moment.
  • Updated NVENC compatibility detection to properly detect GeForce 2000 series cards.
  • Crashes will now log more data to vridge.log file.
This patch updates only RiftCat desktop client. If you'd like to try it out, simply switch to Beta channel in RiftCat client options. You can also learn how to join Beta channel here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Dev Update #43 - VRidge 2.2 is now LIVE!

We’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time. Finally we have released version 2.2 of VRidge to everyone. Your RiftCat desktop client and VRidge mobile app should automatically update.

We couldn’t have made it without your intensive Beta tests! Thank you for helping us bringing this update to everyone.

Deployment status:
Platform Version Status Link
PC 2.2 Deployed Link
Viveport 2.2 Deployed Link
Oculus Home (Go and Gear VR) 2.2 Deployed Link
Google Play 2.2 Deployed Link
Daydream Store 2.2 Deployed Link


HTC Vive Focus, Oculus Go, Gear VR, Daydream View official support

With this update we were able to utilize all major SDKs to bring you the support of these extraordinary all-in-one headsets. If you own any of these, your experience with VRidge will now go to the next level.



We also want VRidge to be distributed via their official stores for easier installation. HTC Vive Focus version is already available on the Viveport mobile store. Oculus Home and Daydream version is in the approval process.

3-DOF controllers support

You can now use HTC Vive Focus, Gear VR, Oculus Go or Daydream controller in SteamVR! We have came up with an idea how to map the missing HTC Vive buttons to the controllers by using a little bit of space from the touchpad.


To read how to operate these controllers, simply take a look at our Help Center article to learn how to use them.

Reprojection for VR ready devices

If your phone or AIO headset is HTC Vive Focus, Daydream, Gear VR or Oculus Go compatible it will now use reprojection. Thanks to it, the experience is much better, basically getting rid of the jitter. If you have an optimal setup - your experience should be flawless now.

We will investigate if we could deliver different custom reprojection method for phones that are not VR ready. This might happen with the next update.

You might want to select Prevent frame loss as "Connection mode" if you're using stable connection (5 GHz / tethering) to prevent artifacting. This usually could introduce some extra latency, but it should be smoothed out by reprojection.

Reworked connection screen to include various devices

With multiple supported devices we had to upgrade our user experience to make it easier to pick the appropriate version.


We hope that with this change it’s going to be easier to install the appropriate VRidge version for your device.

CPU performance boost

We have made several iterations of optimizations for VRidge which allowed us to significantly reduce CPU usage:

Reduced CPU usage when using NVENC
Reduced VRidge's CPU load by 30-40% when using NVENC.

Many Android optimizations - CPU usage should be lower across all Android devices.
On average, you should see 15-20% system CPU load instead of 50-60%. This also means that heat generation should be significantly lower resulting in less "device too hot to run VR" errors.

The image shows the CPU usage when optimizations are turned OFF and ON.


In extremely rare cases this may lower VRidge performance. See this explanation to disable those optimizations.

We have also disabled MSAA on Daydream to save some GPU cycles and we have updated Google VR SDK to 1.80.

Automatic FPS selection

VRidge will now automatically select FPS based on the device refresh rate. For example, if you’ll connect to VRidge with 75Hz HTC Vive Focus headset - 75 FPS will be selected.


You may override device provided values by modifying vridge.cfg. Simply change the variables to:

"Video.FPS.Mode": "Custom",
"Video.FPS.Value": <your value>,

New languages supported

We were able to deploy six new languages: Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Indonesian, Korean, Italian and Hungarian. Old languages got updated as well.


Thank you for everyone’s contribution at our CrowdIn campaign. You did a tremendous job! All active translators will be rewarded with free VRidge key!

Unfortunately we weren’t able to include some translations in this patch as they missed the submission deadline. They will be deployed with patch 2.3 so they will have to wait for the next release.

Improved picture clarity on some Daydream devices

This should be quite noticeable at 1440p resolution as unintentional downscaling and filtering was in effect until now.

Automatic Field of View adjustment

FoV will now be selected automatically to improve the image quality. It will be especially effective on headsets with asymmetric FoV.

Other changes

  • Changed the way "End of Trial session" message is being displayed to user. Instead of displaying message (in one eye only due to very old bug) it will go back to lobby with localized notification message.
  • Added Project Cars tutorial to Discover view.
  • You will no longer be able to switch encoder when HEVC is enabled. This doesn't hot-switch on mobile side and it was freezing VRidge.
  • Lobby text ("Connected, waiting for SteamVR" should no longer become stuck and displayed on top of streaming window.
  • Fixed a crash on startup that could happen when FreeTrack was enabled.
  • Mobile app should no longer crash on reconnect sometimes.
  • VRidge settings should no longer incorrectly stay on top of all windows in certain cases.
  • Tethering tooltip no longer clips in certain localizations.
  • Removed artificial +170cm HMD height that could sometimes cause incorrect API controller calculation when paired with headset that didn't send positional data.
  • steamvr.vrsettings read-only flag will now be automatically switched off. If the file still remains locked, error message will be displayed instead of crashing. Generally other software should never lock this file but certain drivers aren't always interop-friendly.
  • VRidge and SteamVR should now automatically start on dedicated GPU, if available. This should fix a crash on Nvidia Optimus laptops.
  • VRidge.log will now contain information which GPU drives VRidge.
  • Fixed driver crash on Windows 7

Final notes

We hope that the new update will bring your VRidge experience to the next level. We will now decide on our next development cycle so expect more news coming soon!

If there is any feedback you would like to give us, send it to support@riftcat.com - the team will see it :)

Thanks to all Beta testers and translators who helped us bring this version to everyone. We have the best community in the world.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Dev Update #42 - VRidge 2.2.5 Beta (Release Candidate)

We have additional Beta patch release that addresses the issues reported with the Beta version. This version is a release candidate so if there are no major issues it will go live to everyone in a short time.

To learn how to join beta testing, see the article here.

Of course we are still in the testing phase of features added with 2.2 patch as well. You can read about them here.

Deployment status:
Viveport: awaiting approval
Oculus Home: awaiting approval
Google Play: in beta @ 2.2.5 (join)



New distribution method for Gear VR and Oculus Go

We are awaiting approval at Oculus Home - please use normal Sideload method for now
Installing Gear VR and Oculus Go version was really troublesome. That’s why we intend to finally make VRidge available on Oculus Home store. Before we do that, we need a way to easily install Beta releases for this devices - Beta versions cannot be live on the store as it’s opt-in only.

That’s why we went for code distribution method. Every RiftCat user will be able to generate special key code which will install VRidge Beta after entering it in Oculus Home store. To learn how it works - simply read our tutorial here.

New languages available

Thanks to your great translation effort via CrowdIn we were able to update previously added languages and deploy six new ones. These languages are:
  • Hungarian
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Korean
  • Lithuanian
  • Bulgarian
There might still be mistakes in translations but we believe that with each review phase at CrowdIn our community will be able to make them perfect.

You guys are awesome and are doing tremendous job. We strongly believe that we have the best VR community there is - we can always count on you, that’s why we will do our best to never let you down!

Enhancements

Multiple Android optimizations
CPU usage should be lower across all Android devices.
  • On average, you should see 15-20% system CPU load instead of 50-60%
  • This also means that heat generation should be significantly lower resulting in less "device too hot to run VR" errors.
  • In extremely rare cases this may lower VRidge performance. See this explanation to disable those optimizations.
Image should now be crisper on some Daydream devices.
This should be quite noticeable at 1440p resolution as unintentional downscaling and filtering was in effect until now.

Field of View values of headset are now properly passed to SteamVR.
It should improve image quality, especially on headsets with asymmetric FoV.

Changed the way "End of Trial session" message is being displayed to user.
Instead of displaying message (in one eye only due to very old bug) it will go back to lobby with localized notification message.

Reworked connection screen and added dedicated AIO installation buttons.
This will be expanded upon as we apply to Oculus and Daydream storefronts.

Fixes

  • Fixed Nolo wireless mode coords going out of sync after recentering. Wired mode didn't have this problem.
  • Fixed Oculus Go / Gear VR touchpad jumping to top-left corner for a split second after taking the finger off the touchpad.
  • You will no longer be able to switch encoder when HEVC is enabled. This doesn't hot-switch on mobile side and it was freezing VRidge.
  • VRidge logo no longer will be upside down on startup on some devices.
  • Fixed a crash on startup that could happen when FreeTrack was enabled.
  • Reduced error spam in RiftCat.log related to DialogHost errors
  • VRidge's recenter hotkey will be disabled when mobile device is driving positional tracking.
    • This fixes system going out of sync when positional tracking was in effect and user pressed recenter hotkey.
    • In this case, the device should use its own recenter. With Vive Focus, for example, taking the headset off and on will reset its coords system.
  • steamvr.vrsettings read-only flag will now be automatically switched off. If the file still remains locked, error message will be displayed instead of crashing.
    • Generally other software should never lock this file but certain drivers aren't always interop-friendly.
  • VRidge and SteamVR should now automatically start on dedicated GPU, if available.
    • This should fix a crash on Nvidia Optimus laptops.
  • VRidge.log will now contain information which GPU drives VRidge.

Hotfixes

  • [August 2nd] Fixed driver crash on Windows 7.
  • [August 3rd] Fixed invalid projection (incorrect vertical FOV) on certain Daydream headsets (Daydream View being one of those).
  • [August 6th] Revert: VRidge's recenter hotkey will be disabled when mobile device is driving positional tracking.

Closing notes

This update brings us very close to final 2.2 version release. We don’t expect any major issues with this version but if anything will show up, let us know - it is very important to make this version error free. Soon every VRidge user with Vive SDK, Daydream SDK and Oculus SDK compatible device will be able to have fun with jitterless VRidge!

Thank you for all your work during tests. We hope that you will have a pleasant experience during this last testing phase.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Dev Update #41 - VRidge 2.2 Beta (Controllers & Jitter fix)

VRidge 2.2 Beta is now available

Today we're releasing beta version of 2.2 update which mostly targets high-end VR devices. Until now, Vive Focus, Daydream-ready, Gear VR and Oculus Go were performing similarly to any other mobile phone. We want to change it and utilize those devices to unlock their full potential. Some improvements are also available for older devices but the most interesting changes apply to devices below.

To learn how to join beta testing, see the article here.

Deployment status:
Viveport: in beta @ 2.2.3 (available in Viveport)
SideloadVR: in beta @ 2.2.3
Google Play: in beta @ 2.2.3 (join)



Vive Focus and Oculus Go

Vive Focus and Oculus Go should now work out of the box with mainline RiftCat/Vridge. Easier Oculus Go distribution method is not yet implemented so you'll need manual installation (via ADB) until we finish a better option. Please see this article:

Mobile controllers

Following controllers are now supported:
  • Vive Focus Controller
  • Daydream Controller
  • Gear VR Controller
Controller uses virtual arm-elbow-wrist model so even with only 3DOF rotational sensors, it feels quite natural to move and wave. You can grab in-game katana and slice those fruits in very natural motions. It also allows you to navigate SteamVR dashboard in a easy way to switch between VR apps without taking off your headset.

All controllers are built differently with various button setups. Most of those hardware buttons are unfortunately unmappable so we came up with a solution that emulates missing buttons.

As a reference we used Vive wand, which is supported properly by nearly all VR games. It has:
  • Touchpad
  • Trigger
  • Menu (button above touchpad)
  • System (button below touchpad)
  • Sidegrip (controller side button)

Mappings

We've mapped missing buttons to reflect position of buttons on Vive wand. For example, the System button is located below touchpad on Vive wand and is emulated by pressing bottom part of the touchpad on a mobile controller. Same goes for other sides.

Advanced users may want to adjust the threshold where touchpad registers emulated buttons by adjusting EmulatedControllerButtonBoundary line in vridge.cfg. Default threshold is 10% of touchpad.

"EmulatedControllerButtonBoundary": 0.1


Vive Focus Controller

Bottom button is unmappable and recenters view on system level.
  • Trigger: Trigger (0/1 only, no analog state is available)
  • Touchpad: Fully mapped to Vive stick
  • Menu: Pressing upper part of the touchpad
  • System: Pressing the button below the touchpad (same position relatively as Vive stick)
  • Sidegrip: Pressing touchpad left or right side

Gear VR / Oculus Go controllers

Controller Home and back buttons are unmappable. Long pressing home recenters view on system level.
  • Trigger: Trigger (0/1 only, no analog state is available)
  • Touchpad: Fully mapped to Vive stick
  • Menu: Pressing upper part of the touchpad
  • System: Pressing lower part of the touchpad
  • Sidegrip: Pressing touchpad left or right side

Daydream View Controller

Bottom button is unmappable and recenters view on system level. The controller doesn't have a trigger and only has one mappable physical button so it's used as trigger.
  • Trigger: Pressing the button below the touchpad
  • Touchpad: Fully mapped to Vive stick
  • Menu: Pressing upper part of the touchpad
  • System: Pressing lower part of the touchpad
  • Sidegrip: Pressing touchpad left or right side

Jitter improvements

If you're using one of the high-end devices targeted in this update, the jitter should no longer be a problem for you. We've been working on it for a while developing Vive Focus version and we found that we can apply those improvements to all high-end environments (Vive Focus, Gear VR, Go, Daydream).

Your head movements should now be instantly reflected as rotation of the view. This may cause you to see black borders where the real rendered image isn't yet caught up to your head rotation but we want to improve prediction to get rid of those too.

This should bring jitter and perceivable rotational latency to native mobile VR level. You may want to use Reliable streaming mode (in advanced streaming settings) to prevent artifacts. Previously it could cause hiccups / stutters which no longer should be the case on high end devices.

Automatic FPS adjustment

We changed the 30/60FPS switch to Native and Half-Native. This will automatically detect your device display refresh rate and set appropriate FPS to match your device.

Advanced users may override it in vridge.cfg. For example, if you'd like to use 45 FPS, use:

"Video.FPS.Mode": "Custom",
"Video.FPS.Value": 45,

Detected refresh rate is displayed in advanced video settings GUI after connecting your phone.

New FOV calculations

Field of View and aspect ratio should now be correctly adjusted to any screen aspect ratios. This may alter the way your view is aligned so if you're using custom Cardboard, make sure that you scan its QR code in Daydream settings to configure lens distortion.

Minor changes

  • Reduced VRidge's CPU load by 30-40% when using NVENC.
  • Recenter should now recenter API-powered controllers.
  • Disabled option to switch HEVC encoder in live settings view. This would freeze the mobile stream until restart.
  • Added Project Cars tutorial to Discover view.
  • Tethering tooltip no longer clips in certain localizations.
  • VRidge settings should no longer incorrectly stay on top of all windows in certain cases.
  • Mobile app should no longer crash on reconnect sometimes.
  • VRidge Gear VR should no longer become stuck on app pause/inactivity.
  • Lobby text ("Connected, waiting for SteamVR" should no longer become stuck and displayed on top of streaming window.
  • Updated Google VR SDK to 1.80.
  • Removed artificial +170cm HMD height that could sometimes cause incorrect API controller calculation when paired with headset that didn't send positional data.

Closing notes

This update changed critical parts of VRidge technology stack so please let us know if we altered something in a way that worsens your experience. In the upcoming weeks we'll be focusing on ironing out the wrinkles and bringing it to stable channel while also enabling an easier installation method for Oculus Go and Gear VR.

As always, thanks for your support feedback. We hope that you're going to have more fun using VRidge with update 2.2.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Dev Update #40 - VRidge Beta for HTC Vive Focus headset

Recently, we’ve been working with HTC to bring VRidge to their HTC Vive Focus headset. It works really well and now we have started Beta tests of this version.

To join the Beta tests - you will need a mobile VRidge version available at Viveport and special RiftCat Vive Focus Beta client. Everything can be found at http://go.riftcat.com/focus


The Focus headset with VRidge supports full positional head tracking and 3-DOF hand controller that works with VRidge too.

We will slowly merge this Beta with our normal RiftCat client so Vive Focus headset support will become a part of normal VRidge user experience.

This Beta is important for other VRidge users too! 

While working with Focus, we’ve been working on many improvements to tracking algorithms. They are being used in Focus version and we will bring them to normal RiftCat soon so everyone will be able to use these improvements.

Less Jitter

When we were optimizing our streaming technology for higher frame rates, we managed to find several places where we could improve smoothness. We expect that we will see quite noticeable improvements when it comes to the jittery rotational feeling because most of those improvements will also apply to Gear VR and Daydream flavors. We also found several new paths to explore that would improve it even further. 

3-DOF controller support

As HTC Focus has one 3-DOF hand controller included, we added support to it. This required us to create a special “body model” that will be used for further updates. It feels quite natural but the best part is that we can easily use it for other controllers. We plan to apply this model to Gear VR controller and Daydream controller. The controller automatically maps to you left or right arm model, depending on settings in your Vive Focus Viveport Dashboard. Similar option will be included for other 3DOF controller HMDs.

Support for more AIO headsets

With the work that we’ve done to Vive Focus - we prepared necessary groundwork to bring VRidge to other AIO headsets. Oculus Go will probably be the next one so stay tuned!


---

Beta for Vive Focus starts now. Go to http://go.riftcat.com/focus to download special client which can be installed side-by-side with regular RiftCat software. The client is compatible only with Vive Focus HMD. We’ll focus on merging the improvements back to main VRidge now so everyone can benefit from improvement smoothness. Once it’s merged, we’re going to look more closely into Oculus Go.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Dev Update #39 - VRidge 2.1 is now LIVE!

VRidge 2.1 is now LIVE

The most recent patch for VRidge is now available to everyone! RiftCat client and mobile application will get updated automatically. This patch brings some quality of life improvements and features.

The latest update is tagged as version 2.1.5 and is now available at Google Play, Sideload VR and RiftCat updater.

User Experience Improvements

Improvements to the connection screen


The main issue of the 2.0 version was the connection screen. Poor readability of errors, multiple “is that your phone?” popups and basically very little information for new users.

We have improved the handshake between VRidge and RiftCat client. Now the connection will be more predictable and it will let you know better about what is going on. It will also tell you when mobile app has a different version that desktop client. This change doesn’t apply retroactively so 2.0 and 2.1 apps won’t see each other - make sure to update both mobile and desktop app.

Changing VRidge settings was troublesome because it required connecting the apps together. We have added a config button in the connection screen as well so you will be able to change the update channel or language without establishing the connection.

We have also provided some helpful information for new users - linking to a VRidge Basic Tutorial and a Help Center.

New languages support


Thanks to your awesome contribution on our CrowdIn campaign we were able to make VRidge a truly multi-language software. The translations include the website, VRidge mobile app, RiftCat desktop app and partially our YouTube videos with subtitles.

PC virtual reality is now available more than ever. As of today, we have 13 languages available:
  1. Czech
  2. Chinese (Traditional)
  3. Chinese (Simplified)
  4. Danish
  5. Dutch
  6. English
  7. French
  8. German
  9. Spanish
  10. Polish
  11. Portuguese (Brazilian)
  12. Russian
  13. Turkish
If you have friends that would like to play in VR but they don’t speak english - now they can easily join and play using their native language :)

There is still a lot to be done in terms of translations. Join our translation effort (we reward the most active translators with a free VRidge key!). You can learn how to become a translator in our guide: http://blog.riftcat.com/2018/03/how-to-help-us-translate-vridge.html

Discover Feature


Virtual reality is a very young form of entertainment. People often don’t know what they can do with it and we are often asked about compatible games and applications for VRidge.

That’s why we started our video guides series on YouTube - showcasing interesting games and providing tutorials about VRidge. Some of you might already know about our videos but to bring them more exposure we have created a “Discover” tab in RiftCat client so everyone will be able to find out what they can do with VRidge.

Redesign of LIVE Settings


We have expanded on the LIVE settings concept to make VRidge even more convenient. You will be able to modify most of the settings on the fly - even during advanced mode. Specific integration settings will also be changeable.

Better Recenter Hotkey

Previously, recenter button could be bound to keyboard only. We have improved it so it will now react to mouse, gamepad, joystick, steering wheel or any other XInput-compatible controller. It should improve the experience for those who have a lot of drifting issues.

Easier USB Tethering Activation

There is a new sticky notification while VRidge mobile app is running that will let you enable USB tethering more easily. It’s a convenient option that will come in handy during frequent USB cable disconnections.

NOLO Wireless Support


A lot of NOLO users stayed on VRidge Classic because of Wireless Support not present in 2.0 version. It is now available in 2.1 and it works great.

With NOLO Wireless Integration you will be able to connect your NOLO directly into your phone - making it completely wireless. Have fun with your NOLO device!

Compatibility note: If you have VRidge Classic installed, please uninstall it or clear its default app assignments. This also applies to any other mobile app that takes exclusive control of NOLO devices. If you don’t do it, VRidge 2.1 won’t be able to access NOLO hardware, which might result in incorrect Oculus Home “update required” prompts.

Bug Fixes

We have fixed dozens of bugs reported during the Beta tests. VRidge should be more stable and less error-prone:
  • 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 or newer)
  • 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.
  • 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. This breaks compatibility with certain old SteamVR branches. Make sure that you are using up-to-date version of SteamVR.
  • 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.
Once again, thanks to all Beta testers that helped us bring this update to everyone. We hope that the new version will improve your VRidge experience. 

You can follow the current VRidge development on our public Trello board: https://trello.com/b/1UpZVzD0/vridge-development

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.