As we, and other have said before on VRFocus do not count out the humble cardboard headset just yet. We may be moving into an immersive world where wireless technology and Standalone virtual reality (VR) are going to dominate the 2018 conversation. Certainly if the end of 2017 (the Vive Focus, Oculus Go and Santa Cruz) and everything that’s happened so far at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas (Mi VR Standalone, HTC Vive Wireless Adapter and the iQIYI QIYU-II) has anything to say about it.
Google may have moved on with the Daydream View, not to mention thanks to its partnership with Lenovo its own standalone project the Mirage Solo, details of which were also revealed this week.at CES 2018, but, like the Samsung Gear VR, the smartphone powered headset continues to act as an introduction to VR the world over. With videogames and other software is still being produced to cater to its audience.
But when you’re immersed in a virtual world how are you to know what is going on in the world around you without taking off the headset? Are you being watched by some chuckling friend in the corner while you enjoy yourself in VR, oblivious to their presence? Isn’t there some way you could yourself watch without it being known you are watching? These appear to be the questions asked by the self-styled niche mobile applications developer Cryobrew Software upon designing their latest app for the Cardboard.
Called the Injected Reality Camera, what it provides is essentially picture-in-picture for your VR experience bringing a view of the outside inside. Runnable whilst in any other Cardboard environment, it uses the mobile device’s camera to display stereoscopic images as a corner view. With viewers able to turn it on and off with a mere gesture. Injected Reality Camera allowing the user to get an idea what’s going on without breaking from the experience – although it would be difficult to argue that bringing up a small view of the real world inside the virtual one wouldn’t break what immersion there is anyway.
“Needless to say.” The UK based developer insists. “Users should apply common sense to their use of Injected Reality Camera. Cryobrew Software is careful to note that all activities requiring the user’s full attention, such as driving, childcare, and cooking, remain absolutely forbidden whilst in a VR environment despite the availability of this new tool.”
Future updates are planned that will allow a degree of customisation, allowing you to resize and reposition the viewpoint while in VR. You can find Injected Reality Camera on the Google Play store.