It has been a busy few months for the team at Bigscreen VR. Following on from a funding round back in October that saw it raise a further $11 Million (USD), a number of developments with the app have been revealed. Such as its super-sizing ‘Big Rooms’ update, which upped the allowed number of users in one of Bigscreen’s rooms up to 12, trebling the previous total. It’s work to provide support for Windows Mixed Reality head mounted displays (HMDs) and the announcements of partnerships with both Paramount and MGM. The former (and first) being an agreement to screen Top Gun 3D for free multiple times across December in the service’s virtual cinema. The latter a recently revealed second partnership that sees users able to watch Stargate Origins in the cinema last weekend.
Now Founder and CEO Darshan Shankar has revealed the next branch of development for the service – it’s heading to mobile based virtual reality (VR). More specifically the Samsung Gear VR, where users will soon be able to surf the web, watch a film and hang out with their PC VR cousins thanks to cross-platforming. A new Alpha Testing phase has been announced for the free development and signups are already underway, interested parties can sign up here.
But this is just the beginning according to Bigscreen, as whilst it is looking to the Gear VR first, Bigscreen also has designs on bringing this new version to both the Google Daydream and Oculus Go and is encouraging users of both those HMDs to sign up also.
“In the coming months, we plan to bring Bigscreen to several mobile VR headsets including Oculus Go and Google Daydream.” Shankar explains, “We are starting the Alpha Test first on the Samsung Gear VR. If you own a Google Daydream or plan to get an Oculus Go, sign up for the Alpha now and we’ll contact you when a build is ready for testing.”
As for what features the mobile VR version of the app will include, the developer is being a little cagey as it is early days in development. However, it is aiming for a Q2 2018 release of both the single and multiplayer features with the following have been confirmed:
- Public & private rooms are supported, with 4–12 players per room. Mobile VR users can join rooms to watch videos and hangout together. Mobile VR users will eventually be able to create their own multiplayer rooms, but not during the Alpha Test.
- Mobile VR users will also be able to attend our live movie screenings, like our Paramount Pictures’ Top Gun 3D VR movie night and our Stargate movie night with MGM.
- The video player will allow you to watch videos stored locally on your device. We plan to eventually support various streaming services within our video player as well.
- PC-to-Mobile desktop streaming allows you to stream your Windows PC’s desktop screen into your Mobile VR headset over WiFi without the need to be tethered to your PC. This allows you to sit on your couch, pull up a movie or videogame on your PC, and see it on a huge screen in your headset.
You can see a trailer for the update below. VRFocus will be bringing you more news regarding these developments as we get them.