Virtual reality may be enthralling for the user behind the goggles, but it's not exactly riveting for spectators who can only see you oooh-ing and ahh-ing at some unseen splendor.
That's why, starting today, Oculus is adding Chromecast support to the Samsung Gear VR headset, making sharing your VR experiences to onlookers both possible and a snap.
All you need (besides a Gear VR) is a compatible smartphone running the latest version of Android and the most recent update to Oculus' mobile app.
Next, you hit the newly added "Cast" button before strapping on the headset, and the phone will connect to the Chromecast. Once complete, viewers will be able to see what's going on inside your VR headset directly on the Chromecast-connected display.
Some of you may be wondering: why should it matter for people to see your VR gameplay without a headset of their own?
For one, it makes showing off VR experiences easier, especially for people like game developers demonstrating a product to an audience. It could also prove helpful for users prone to motion sickness who don't want to put on a headset themselves, or proficient players showing off their latest VR gaming accomplishment.
Secondly, casting to a second screen makes it easier to assist someone new to VR. By seeing what a user sees without taking off the headset, you can provide accurate directions if they get lost or know when to leave them alone if, say, a big jump scare is coming up in a horror game.
According to Oculus, Gear VR is the first (and currently only) virtual reality device to support Chromecast — even beating out Google's own Daydream View.
That said, as Google continues to tweak its VR platform, offer more Daydream-ready phones, and even work on standalone headsets, the tech giant plans to add Chromecast support for Daydream in time for Android O's release.
- The 10 best games to play on your Samsung Gear VR today