ALVR Developer Has ‘A Plan’ To Support Oculus Quest, But ‘Don’t Expect Too Much’

by David Heaney • May 10th, 2019

The developer of ALVR stated that they have “a plan” to support Oculus Quest, but added the disclaimer “don’t expect too much”.

ALVR is free open source WiFi streaming software which allows the Oculus Go and Samsung Gear VR to act as basic SteamVR headsets. Since Go and Gear VR are 3DoF headsets with rotation-only controllers they can’t actually play the majority of SteamVR content. Oculus Quest however has room scale and Touch controllers, so potentially could.

To keep perceived latency low and compensate for dropped frames in the transmission, ALVR incorporates asynchronous timewarp on the headset side. Of course, the problem with ALVR and all apps like it is that image quality and latency still don’t match using a real PC VR headset. This isn’t generally caused by the wireless transmission itself, it’s actually the compression. WiFi simply doesn’t have sufficient bandwidth to transfer the raw image to a VR headset, so compression is used. This introduces artifacts to the image, but it also adds latency because it takes the PC time to encode each frame and the headset time to decode it.

A potential problem on Quest is that on mobile, asynchronous timewarp is rotation-only. While it does a good job at masking latency on 3DoF headsets, in 6DoF the compression latency should be much more noticeable. How much of a deal breaker this ends up being is unclear, but if you’re expecting ALVR to turn Quest into a latency free wireless PC VR headset you may need to tone down your expectations. This could be the reason behind the developer telling fans, “don’t expect too much.”

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