Samsung’s Gear VR has been left by the wayside. While technically powered by Oculus, the smartphone-based version is different enough that it doesn’t enjoy the same richness of content as the main Oculus Rift. Samsung itself doesn’t seem to be that enthusiastic about it either. Hope, however, might come from outside, with third-party VR developers Bigscreen announcing their big intention to bring almost exactly that same experience to the Gear VR and, later on, other mobile VR platforms as well.
Bigscreen made its debut two years ago on PC-based VR platforms like Oculus and HTC Vive. Its primary purpose was to bring your PC to your VR headset, either showing your videos or even streaming your desktop itself. It was also a sort of social network hub in virtual reality, where you can both hang out with friends and watch videos together.
On mobile, it’s going to happen a bit in reverse. Bigscreen announced the start of alpha testing for mobile VR, starting with the Samsung Gear VR. The first functionality that will be available during alpha testing will be the “multilayer” features. Meaning hanging out in cross-platform VR environments. Users from existing PC Bigscreens can watch and chat with mobile users.
Eventually, Bigscreen will bring more exciting “single player” features. Like watching videos either stored on your device or, in the future, streaming videos. It will also support streaming your PC desktop to your phone VR via Wi-Fi. Mostly for videos and games.
How that will turn out in practice will interesting to see, given the limits of what mobile VR can do, especially with just one controller. Bigscreen does plan on adding support for Google Daydream later on as well as Oculus Go, which is technically more similar to the Gear VR than the Oculus Rift.