Ever since BigScreen went into its free beta phase on Steam late last month, the reception has been almost universally positive. While a few straggling features like shared desktop audio and customizable avatars are still on the undefined horizon, the impressive list of capabilities is already impressive and constantly growing longer.
The most recent update, which was announced via Reddit, has officially improved the software’s version to 0.2.0 and the biggest new feature is the inclusion of HTC Vive controller support. You can use the controllers in both single and multiplayer to do things like reach out and resize your monitor screens, to emulate your mouse, for typing on the virtual keyboard, and even as laser pointers to direct other people’s attention to areas of your screen. That last tidbit will dramatically improve the utility of BigScreen for group collaboration in VR.
The 0.2.0 BigScreen update also includes a grab bag of other smaller improvements as well:
- New streaming code that fixes audio and visual bugs (voluntary Alpha testing version only for now,)
- 3D side-by-side video, for use with 3D gaming and 3D movies,
- Offline mode, so you can fully utilize it without being connected to the internet,
- X-Ray vision, which outlines other users with a ghost silhouette through walls, making it easier to keep track of everyone.
When we previously spoke to one of the creators of BigScreen, Darshan Shankar, in the past about the software, it was clear their vision for the program extended far beyond its current incarnation. We can expect to see multiple updates in the near and distant future that will continue to add new features and functionality to the popular virtual interfacing software. While other experiences like Virtual Desktop exist for a similar interfacing solution, or AltSpaceVR for social integration, neither are able to seamlessly combine the two concepts into one package.