Use your Mobile Phone as a Virtual Reality Display for Playing PC Games. Oculus Rift, the home-brew version!


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Do you want to know how to set up your brand new full-HD mobile phone as a crude “Oculus Rift” for playing games on your PC in 3D virtual reality?

Good, then read on.

What is it about?

1.Your smartphone has a screen, this screen can be put inside a head mount to make it a head mounted display [HMD]

2. You can use the phone as a PC-monitor, by streaming the PC-screen to the mobile phone.

3. You can download software to make almost all PC games compatible with a 3D-Setup like this, showing one picture for each eye – so called side by side [SBS] -mode.

4. You can use the phone as a head-tracking-device, since your phone probably has a gyroscope it will know which way you turn your head.

4.1 If your phone does not have a gyroscope, you can tape an air-mouse to your head and use this to let the computer know which way you are looking. [For games you would normally look around in using the mouse]

Have you got all those things lying around? Good! This is how you do it:

  1. You need some kind of head mounted gadget to put your phone in. Google cardboard is the cheapest one, I use an eimolife plastic version, not much more expensive than a google cardboard and much higher quality.

  2. To stream the picture to the Android phone, I really recommend using nVidia Shield streaming. There is an app on the android called Moonlight (Streaming) which is compatible with the nVidia streaming system. There are other streaming solutions but the nVidia one is really good since the compression of the video is done on the GPU and does not overload the CPU.

    1. Make sure your PC has an nVidia 600 series or better card, Download geForce experience and enable shield streaming. Add games you want to play

    2. Make sure your PC and phone are on the same network

    3. Install and start Moonlight (streaming) from the google play store

      1. Your PC should show up in the list
        1. If not, add the pc manually using its IP-address
          1. If still nothing, check that the nVidia streaming service is running in windows
            1. Still nothing? USB tether the phone to the PC, and try again.
              1. No go? – Go out for a walk and look around, enjoy the graphics and realism.
    4. Start a game, see if it works. Play as usual using your controller of choice.

    5. Download something that will make the game go into SBS-mode, for example Tridef3D drivers. (There is a 2 week trial period)

      1. Try the game again,  just on the PC monitor this time. Press     alt  shift  –    to enable 3d.
        1. Do you see two images next to eachother on the screen? Good.
    6. Go back to moonlight on your phone, connect to the same game you just tried in SBS-mode

      1. Enable 3D mode again, now see how this looks on your phone. 2 images next to eachother? Excellent!
        You should have something like this:
    7. Put the phone in the headset, put the headset on your head. Be amazed of your VR experience!

      Want to be able to turn your head around in the game?

    8. Ok, so you need something that sends the phone gyro position to control the PC mouse. Or you use an air mouse.

      1. Actually I don’t know how to do the gyro thing. I have a phone with a nice 5.5″ screen, but the gyro is crap (software gyros), so I’ve never delved into the forward gyro to pc mouse thing, but there definitely is a solution out there somewhere.
      2. So I use an air mouse, plugged in to the pc and I have taped it to the head band of my headset, this way if i move my head the air mouse will move the mouse ingame and know which way I’m looking.
        IMG_20150918_181323

Now enjoy your VR gaming, heads up though (pun intended), girlfriends get nauseated using it because it’s a bit laggy –
But heck, it’s free – almost!

Have fun!

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