Gear VR got a massive refresh recently. Not only did a new version of Samsung and Oculus’ mobile VR headset release with a new motion controller, but there were updates on the software side, too. These updates were delivered with the help of the new React VR framework.
When the new Gear arrived, so too did a new version of the Oculus Home hub that Gear VR users enter every time they boot the headset up, much like they do on Rift. Ahead of launch we reported that this new version of Home displayed at double the resolution thanks to some tricks from none other than Oculus CTO John Carmack. But, as Oculus software engineer Mike Armstrong revealed at React Europe today, React VR also helped bring some other huge improvements to Home.
“What you may not know is that Home was actually built entirely in React VR, backed by a native runtime,” Armstrong told the audience during his session. “The new full rewrite of Home was put together in a few months, so the benefits were not just for our users but for our engineers too.”
As a result, the new Oculus Home boots up three times faster than the previous version, and offers 30% power savings on your phone.
According to Armstrong, a small team also replicated this for photos and video applications. “They were helped by being able to share the code across all the applications,” he explained.
React VR isn’t intended for Facebook’s Oculus platforms alone, though. Armstrong explained that the framework is designed to work for just about any VR headset across mobile operating systems and PCs.
Preciously we’d only associated React VR as a framework developers can use to build WebVR content, which is becoming increasingly popular now that browsers like Google’s Chrome feature robust support. Facebook released React VR back in December of last year as the company continues to develop its own WebVR browser, codenamed Carmel. It’s currently in the testing phase, with no final release date.