Screenmirroring & Article about Google Cardboard
Hey! I'm sorry that there haven't been posts for such a long time... But now I'm back with a new post and there are going to be a few more in the next weeks ;-)
So what am I going to write about today? First I want to show you a possibility to mirror the screen of your phone to your laptop via Wi-Fi. I spent some time on figuring out how to do this, because if you are playing VR games on your phone none of your friends around can see where you are right now or what scares you so much. If you simply mirror the things you see to a laptop your friends can understand why you are having so much fun right now. The second thing I want to tell you about today is an article about Google Cardboard I found at golem.de.
I believe that mirroring your screen makes VR-gaming on your phone a bit more social. It's more fun to play in groups when everybody can see what you are going through.
So how can you mirror your screen?
On my laptop I am using the AllCast Receiver. It's a Chrome app which means you have to install Chrome on your computer (if you haven't done this yet).
After opening Chrome click HERE to get the AllCast Receiver App. Now your computer is prepared - let's switch to your Android phone. Here you have to install Mirror Beta (I also tried it with the AllCast App but with this App you can only view photos, videos and stuff like this but it's not possible to mirror your screen).
After you have installed both apps just make sure that both components (phone & computer) are in the same network and start the receiver. After this start the app at your phone and look for your computer by clicking at it you start mirroring. Now you can do anything you want on your phone and see it on your computer too. By swiping down from the top you can stop mirroring or decide whether you want to show touches on the screen or not (which doesn't really matter to us because the phone is in the glasses anyway).
Depending on your network it can be that there is a little lag but normally it should work very well.
Article at golem.de
I told you that I've found an interesting article about VR at golem.de. Now I want to tell you a bit about what they are writing and my opinion about it.
At first they are introducing the Cardboard as the probably most unremarkable but cheapest VR-glasses. Originally you couldn't even buy it - Google just spread it at their developer conference I/O. Now they are also selling it and there are lots of other VR-glasses for mobile devices available too. One thing they also say, is that you should be aware that the glasses you are buying have this magnet button on the side, which simulates a tap on the display. From my experience I can say that this button is mostly needed in the original cardboard apps but most of the apps are just controlled by gestures so the button is a good feature but not necessary.
Then they started writing about the Google Cardboard app. I believe that this app is good for users that are starting with VR - and in their article you can see that they have the same opinion. The apps they are listing in the Cardboard app are fun but there are also better apps available on the market. But you can not only test apps they also provide some demos, movies and you can also view your own videos. One feature the writer of the article was really impressed about was the Photo-Sphere-Viewer. I have to agree the Photo-Sphere-Viewer is just awesome!! With the Google Camera App you can take Photo Spheres (it works similar to taking Panorama Photos but you have to go in all directions in order to create a sphere). While taking the pic it doesn't look good at all but after you finished it and view your photo sphere with your glasses it looks amazing - you have to try it out! You can also view your old panorama photos with this viewer - just rename it to PANO_*yourname*.jpg. But the photos may need some editing - you can do this with Photosphere XMP Tagger or you can view already existing spheres from Orbulus.
Next they are talking about videos - there are some videos of life concerts, sport events or you can sit next to a car racer. The great thing about these videos is, that you have the full 360° view and turn your head in every direction. One thing I don't like that much about those videos is that there is no user interaction as you are just watching the scenes. The writer of the article also says that in the long term it's more interesting to create your own film and view it in 3D. As he writes it should be pretty easy to create such a film (you just need two cameras and a converter) and you can view it for example with Cardboard Theater. They recommend two apps to view and create photos: Those apps are Stereogram to view old photos and the paid App VR 3D Smart Cardboard where you can take photos with the stereo effect (when you are looking at a VR app without your glasses you can see that the 2 images for the left and right eye are not completely the same - there is a little offset in one direction). I really liked the Stereogram app because I'm a fan of viewing old photos - if you can "stand" in the scene and view it it's even cooler ;-)Another app to capture 3D photos is Seene. But I don't really like this app as you can just tilt the phone a few centimeters and you can't have a look around in your photos as with the Photo Scene.
Before they are giving a conclusion they are talking about some games. They point out Vanguard V as a really good game and i have to agree. Vanguard V is fun playing and the graphics are also very good. But as lots of other VR games it's just a demo - so there is only level 1 finished.The next game they are talking about is Proton Pulse which is a paid app so I haven't tested it yet. Another game they've tested is Lamper VR they say it's a little but pretty game and I have to agree. Lamper VR is a nice game to have fun with your VR glasses. Another paid game is AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! where you fall through houses and have to avoid obstacles - the VR version of this game is called Caaaaardboard!. But you are always looking down while playing this game so it's better to play it when you are already used to VR glasses because otherwise you could feel sick very fast.
In his conclusion the writer says that with the Cardboard you can get a cheap "entry" to the VR world. Of course the immersion effect and the 3D-experience of Oculus or Gear VR are better but those glasses are way more expensive. He says that he likes the cardboard is especially for taking VR photos and for kids. At the moment it seems that lots of projects don't have enough money to finish their games... Google wants to hold the costs for users as low as possible so it's difficult to fund such games because not many people pay 10€ for an app.The fact that there are so many games not finished is a big disadvantage of mobile VR. But the thing I really like about those glasses is that you can take them anywhere just in your pocket and maybe this could be the secret to the success of the Cardboard. Let's see what the future is going to bring ;-)
If you want to read the full (German) article you can view it HERE.