Condor in VR using mobile phone

Discussion about VR

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JBr
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Condor in VR using mobile phone

Post by JBr » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:16 pm

Since Jan mentioned my trials and errors with running Condor VR on mobile phone using "cardboard" headset, I decided to sum all up. This definitely is not in any way full fledged substitute to Rift or Vive, but if you have a decent PC, decent mobile phone with Android OS + cardboard glasses (or alternatively Oculus Go, Vive Focus, Samsung Gear VR or Google Daydream), you can give this a go and get a glimpse of how Condor in VR feels. It will just take some of your time and 10+ GB of your hard drive space (but since you are flying Condor, you are "wasting" gigabytes of hard drive space for landscapes anyway :)).

So, what do you need...
  • Obviously, you need a PC able to handle VR. I own 2 years old Dell laptop, with i7 CPU and GeForce GTX960M. Those specs are actually already below recommended specs for both Rift and Vive, but Condor in VR runs fine.
  • Another must is a mobile phone with Android OS and a screen with decent resolution (full HD or more, but of course you can try it with lesser resolution, just don't expect miracles). Alternatively, you can use any of the following hardware if you already have it running -- Vive Focus, Oculus Go, Samsung Gear VR or Google Daydream.
  • For everything to work, you need Riftcat. Riftcat is an application that basically acts as a virtual VR device, that tricks SteamVR into using it as a regular OpenVR headset. This obviously is not enough, since you need to see the image somewhere. Here comes VRidge on your phone. VRidge is a mobile application that connects to the Riftcat on your PC via Wifi or USB and acts as 3DOF motion tracker and shows the rendered VR view on your mobile phone screen (it basically just plays a video stream sent by the PC app). Riftcat is payware but you can try it for 10 minut for free. If you decide that you like it, you can unlock it with a single one time payment. With current Christmas sale, the price of the Riftcat is just 11.99 Euro. You can get it there: https://riftcat.com/vridge
  • You also need: Steam with SteamVR installed, Oculus apps and Revive.
How to get it work...
  • Visit Riftcat Help Center and make your way through their VRidge Basic Tutorial and then through Revive Tutorial - Playing Oculus Rift games with VRidge. After that, you should have everything set up for Condor.
  • Start Riftcat on your PC and VRidge on your mobile phone. Connect them and start VR ("play" button). Your 5 minutes (if not logged in) or 10 minutes (if logged in) of trial time starts at that moment. Riftcat will start SteamVR and after a moment SteamVR "cottage lobby" will show in your headset. In system tray find the Revive icon, right click it and select Inject... Navigate to the Condor.exe and select it. Condor will start in VR mode.
  • In Condor settings, enable Oculus Rift. Keep Mirror rendering disabled, as it would just consume more GPU power, lowering your FPS (on my computer I get 15-20 FPS less with mirrioring on, as the GPU must render one more view). You MUST set MSAA in Condor settings to 0, otherwise you will just see black screen in VR.
  • Start flight and enjoy the view... After the trial time runs out, VRidge will disconnect from the PC. If your Riftcat is unlocked, then you have unlimited time.
Few tips....
  • If the image in the VR looks too "pixelated", try increasing the resolution in the Riftcat. For example, my phone has 1920x1080 screen resolution and with the same Riftcat setting the image looked too blocky. Increasing the resolution to 2560x1440 improved readability of all texts and instruments. Don't worry that your phone doesn't have such resolution, the image is scaled back to the right resolution (this is basically the same process as supersampling).
  • Depending on how good the sensors in your phone are, your image will most likely start to drift to left or right after some time (sonner or later, more or less, depending on the phone). You can try calibrating the sensors before runing VR. Google calibration tips for your particular phone. Calibrating should slow down the drifting, but it won't disappear entirely. You can also do the following:
    • If you have TrackIR/Freetrack, you can use it for position tracking of your headset (I don't have it so I couldn't try it). See Riftcat Help Center for that.
    • You can use Riftcat shortcut for centering the view. This brings the center back from where it drifted to. Alternatively (and that's what I use for the moment) you can map the view reset input in Condor to one of your joystick buttons. All you need to remove the drifting then is just to look in front of you and press the key.
So, here it is... As I mentioned in the beginning, this is in no way a substitute for real VR headsets, but you can get a taste of VR this way. Just keep in mind that the FOV is actually smaller than in Rift/Vive, the immersion in both "real" headsets is much much better. On the other hand, this costs just about 20-40 Euro, depending on how much your cardboard or plastic phone headset costs.

So, merry Christmas and enjoy the Condor in VR :)

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JBr
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Re: Condor in VR using mobile phone

Post by JBr » Tue Dec 25, 2018 11:29 am

Just a quick note, Riftcat is giving two days of unlimited playtime as Christmas gift. Today (25th) and tomorrow (26th) you won't be limited by the 5/10 minutes trial time. So if you want to try it, now it's the time as you won't be limited by time.
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eisenhans
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Re: Condor in VR using mobile phone

Post by eisenhans » Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:53 pm

Hey JBr,

thx alot for your hints.
Im already familiar with Riftcat and use it to play some steamVR games with my gearVR.

It seems that i'm not able to add Condor to my SteamVR Libary.
I added the game in the standard steam client (using the + icon) and checked the option to add it to the VR games list.

Im able to start Condor from SteamVR now but it opens as usual and if i try to start a free flight i get an error message.

Can you explain how i can add condor correct to get it started in VR mode?

THX

Jan

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eisenhans
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Re: Condor in VR using mobile phone

Post by eisenhans » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:47 pm

I see i did it wrong. Wasnt familiar with revive and oculus app cause i didn't need them before to play steamVR games with riftcat....
So i think i have to compile it through revive.... I give it another try.

Gundalay
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Re: Condor in VR using mobile phone

Post by Gundalay » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:30 pm

I had some success using Trinius VR (https://www.trinusvirtualreality.com) a few years ago (2015).

Turned out the developer is/was a RL glider pilot and was willing to help me along. There is a short history of the experience here: http://oddsheepgames.com/?topic=condor- ... -simulator.

VT1
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Re: Condor in VR using mobile phone

Post by VT1 » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:43 pm

It works as you described it, thank you and the developers for this! :D
I'd love to find a way around compiling condor anew with revive every time I start it.

VT1
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Re: Condor in VR using mobile phone

Post by VT1 » Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:14 pm

It also works with an iPhone like this:

- install iTunes on your PC
- install the iPhone driver for Steam on PC from http://mediator-software.com/iVRy/iVRy_SteamVR.exe
- install iVRy app from the App store https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ivry/id ... "norewrite
- start SteamVR on PC and iVRi on iPhone (you do not need Riftcat to start SteamVR on the PC to connect with the iPhone, just doubleclick it)
-start Condor through revive

More on VR through Steam on the iPhone here :https://www.vrheads.com/how-play-steamv ... our-iphone

For me it worked allright using an iPh...6+ and a D..ek headset (you might be lucky and get one better than this)

Enjoy!

Loaded_Dice
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Re: Condor in VR using mobile phone

Post by Loaded_Dice » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:41 am

There is a better free alternative to Riftcat in case you are using a Samsung phone with Gear VR:

https://github.com/polygraphene/ALVR

The streaming quality is much better due to the use of Moonlight protocol with Gear VR (something that Riftcat has not been able to achieve) and much more user friendly.

I have both, while Riftcat is not bad, give ALVR a try, you will be surprised how stable it is.

I even managed to get 6DOF positional tracking with ALVR ArCore version, however my Samsung S8 overheats i around round 10 min or so :-(

Would like to hear if you have some solution to positional tracking with a DIY VR setup.

Was about to buy the Rift, however the resolution on the S8 is so much better and sharper so still thinking.

janjansen
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Re: Condor in VR using mobile phone

Post by janjansen » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:50 pm

Uros said the next patch will enable 6DoF for trackir (and thus opentrack), so you should be able to use a trackir or similar DIY webcam based solution. But getting perfect 1:1 scaling will not be easy and if you do, you wont be able to turn your head 90 degree in each direction, let alone more, as the camera just doesnt have a wide enough FoV and you would need several markers/leds. I dont know how weird it would feel if you use more typical trackir movement scaling, where a slight head movement results in a larger perspective change in game. With a monitor this works fine, but with VR goggles, that may completely shatter the immersion or worse, make you sick. I have no idea.

Another solution is Nolo VR:
https://www.nolovr.com/productDetails

Its designed specifically to enable tracking on devices like the gear. The price is a bit of a bummer though.

Loaded_Dice
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Re: Condor in VR using mobile phone

Post by Loaded_Dice » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:18 am

Nolo VR cost is prohibitive now that Oculus Rift price went down and also Windows Mixed Reality are available.
It does not make sense to pay 200 EUR for improvisation when you can get whole headset for 350-400 EUR.

Have tried using ice packs with my Galaxy S8 and had some success, this seems to be a viable solution as well:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Malloom ... 24538.html

Another big problem is that the battery gets drained (and probably damaged) too fast when playing in Gear VR, so probably is not worht it to destroy 500 eur phone when Oculus Rift itself is 400EUR.

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eisenhans
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Re: Condor in VR using mobile phone

Post by eisenhans » Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:58 pm

Ok i managed to Load Condor in VR on my win7 desktop PC after rereading your thread more careful.
But riftcat does not work very well on this machine...

The quality with riftcat seems way better on my Win10 Notebook even if i do not use an ethernet cable....
(I tried it with Elite Dangerous and SkyrimVR)

So ill try the gearVR alternative from github and install condor to my win10 notebook to try riftcat again and compare.

Mas
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Re: Condor in VR using mobile phone

Post by Mas » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:54 am

eisenhans wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:58 pm

So ill try the gearVR alternative from github and install condor to my win10 notebook to try riftcat again and compare.
Gear VR will be a much better solution as it has high speed built in gyros for head tracking that will be much better than in a mobile phone . The problem with these low cost solutions is that the added lag of mobile phone gyros and the streaming lag is nausea inducing on top of the existing issues with VR flight simming so i can't imagine that anyone will be able to fly an entire task this way, but may be a good way for people to experience 3d immersion .

dpluigi
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Re: Condor in VR using mobile phone

Post by dpluigi » Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:05 am

Update: Just discovered the VR Branch of the forum and a thread about the specific joystick detection when streaming Condor back to my Mobile VR Headset. viewtopic.php?f=43&t=18616&p=161213#p161213
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hey,

I came across this post after I have been tinkering with Riftcat / VRidge to use VR Gear fitted with a Samsung Galaxy S9 for a week and it worked well enough to interface over wifi with PC for a first try. I also installed and tried Air Light VR (ALVR) and prefer it now. It was a nice surprise to see that others have succeeded in doing so and with Condor VR.

Almost there for me though:
It'd been nice to have found about ALVR, which is free and works really well, before buying VRidge/Riftcat - it does the same thing. ALVR worked right away, VRidge/Riftcat was trickier at first. Although I used successfully ALVR to run with Condor graphically, I have some issue with my usb joysticks response in play. If I run Condor on my monitor without "Injecting" it in Oculus with Revive, all is good. However, if I start Condor in Oculus with Revive, apart from my usb/wireless keyboard and mouse there is no response from either my rudder pedals (interface with Logitech Attack3 joystick) and Sidewinder FFB joystick.

Any idea what is going on and how to regain response from my two joysticks?

Is there a way to have Condor in the Oculus/Revive library or we need to browse each time for condor.exe with Revive/Inject?

Once this is resolved I'll be set and so far I am very impressed with the resolution and feel of the VR Gear using my mobile phone for Condor VR. I am glad that it seems viable because I was considering buying an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift at a lesser resolution. I'd rather save the money and buy one VR headset once their resolution and functionality improve and also to let me recover from the big expense of a new RTX 2080 video card.

Thank you in advance with your help.
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dpluigi
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Re: Condor in VR using mobile phone

Post by dpluigi » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:12 pm

**Update:**
I just noticed that I could add Condor to Steam Library and start it from there. Then, in the game Input setting, I noted that I could define the joystick's input (i.e. the original ones not showing).
From there on, I was able to close the standalone Condor (2D, with Steam) and then launch (Inject) it from Revive as before but this time, the Condor /Inputs settings of the Joysticks were detected and I was able to set them up.

It is now working and I am not sure what really changed. In summary, this game in was added in Steam, and the input setting in STeamVR/Revive started to display the two Joysticks.
Note, that Windows 10 had switched the Joysticks ID relative to early setup (i.e. before I attempted to execute Condor in VR mode). This was easily corrected by editing the controls.ini file, interestingly this occurred once and/or after the joysticks started to be operational in VR mode (i.e. Injecting the game in Revive).

I flew a few times and completed a task and the spatial awareness is greatly enhanced in VR mode using ALVR for streaming. It seems to trick my mind better than with head tracking using TrackIR or similar tools. It didn't take long to get situated with button inputs on my joysticks and the few once left on my keyboard while in the VR headset. The only drawback is the difficulty to read the instrument or inboard PDA since the zoom in Function didn't work in VR mode but in regular 2D mode only. In VR mode we also lose XCSoar unless removing the VR headset.

Now, if I could figure out how to integrate 6DOF to allow to lean in and better read instrument details or PDA map. Loaded_Dice mentioned 6DOF capability with ALVR and ARCore. I tried it the WhiteIsland demo (see link) and it was very smooth.
https://github.com/ChristophGeske/ARCor ... /README.md

Questions:
1) Is there a way to recenter the view without restarting ALVR when headtracking is offset by 90deg just after enytering the task? (It happen a few times)
2) I am now wondering how ARCore could be used with Condor Streamed with ALVR to GearVR with S9 headset. Any suggestions?
3) Can an overlay of XCsoar be toggled in and out of VR view (maybe with some transparency) during flight or added later directly as one page in the onboard PDA display?

Thank you for your help in advance,
Donat
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dpluigi
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Re: Condor in VR using mobile phone

Post by dpluigi » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:03 am

Making progress with my GearVR fitted with Samsung S9 and using ALVR for streamining client/server.

I was able to test ALVR (2.3.1) + ARCore, which is not available on Oculus store but has to be manually downloaded, signed and then installed on mobile headset. This latest client apk of ALVR with ARCore to be installed on mobile phone can be found at : https://github.com/polygraphene/ALVRClient/releases
This ALVR 2.3.1 client + ARCore is compatible with both ALVR Server version 2.3.0 and 2.3.1 (the version cuurently on my PC is 2.3.1).

It is possible to "slide" up and down during tracking (vertical offset) with the Gear VR side trackpad (moving finger up and down) and "slide" in and out of VR to forward Camera view (moving finger horizontally on the pad). This is quite useful for now.

All in all, the tracking was smooth and the rendered view FPS stayed at the nominal values of 60fps (typical for Galaxy s9 with Oculus Gear VR). My cellphone did warm up more than with regular ALVR client during the session, so long session might not be practical.
I only did a couple of tests, and it is already promising. In the end, apart from zooming in and out of the instrument panel and PDA while seating cockpit, which is made possible with ARcore, the regular ALVR client might be sufficient and more stable.

I experienced mild VR sickness since I was also experimenting with VR Depth parameter in Condor VR setup and I flew using keyboard arrows (without joysticks and rudder pedals), in other words with lots of PIO (pilot induced oscillation) (~;

I will search through ALVR forum for more details about view centering and the possibility of setting boundaries to 6DOF, or at least add some constraint, to help stay in cockpit and/or minimize positional drift. I did several quick repetitions of left-right head movements and little by little my position drifting further back from my seating position (in both real and virtual world - would marker help in this case is the field of view is contract or feature poor for consistent tracking? Zooming in and out was my first goal, leaning in sideways to the edge of the cockpit is an extra.

I'll post here about my progress here.

Looking forward to hearing back from anyone else trying and testing mobile phone VR headset approach (with and without 6DOF enabled).

Thank you,
Donat
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