BigScreen Inc. announced that BigScreen Beta 0.2.0 was released today on Steam. The update fixes a number of bugs, and it introduces support for the Vive’s wand controllers. The Vive controller can now be used for several functions in BigScreen.
A little over a month ago the BigScreen beta launched, allowing you to join a virtual LAN party online, play games, watch videos or just to have some company while you work. The application lets you access your standard PC content on a virtual screen that can be resized and shaped the way you like it, inside a virtual environment that other users can join.
BigScreen launched with support for the Rift and the Vive, but content was accessed using traditional input devices such as keyboard and mouse. Gamepads are also supported (if the game supports it), but navigating the BigScreen virtual environment was not possible with the Vive’s 6-degree of freedom (6DoF) controllers in the initial release. BigScreen Inc. has just released a new version of the that introduces support for the Vive controllers in single player and multiplayer environments, and there's a list of features that make the app much more interesting for Vive owners.
The Vive controllers can be used to manipulate your virtual screen. They can be used like a mouse, and they feature a laser pointer that's used as the mouse cursor. The laser pointer can be used to point at something on someone else’s screen. The developer said that the SteamVR virtual keyboard also works in the new beta release.
The Vive controllers can also be used to move and change the size of your virtual screen. Simply squeeze the grip button and move the controller to where you want the screen to be. Scrolling the trackpad up and down while holding the grip button changes the distance, and swiping to the sides changes the curve angle. When you press the grip button on both controllers, it enables pinch zoom for resizing your monitor.
Today’s update for BigScreen also includes a few other features and some bug fixes. The company said that the latest release includes new streaming code that should fix most of the bugs that cause black screens issue and audio dropout for streamed content. Streaming issues for multi-monitor setups have been addressed, and the CPU load has been reduced while streaming.
BigScreen has also added support for 3D side-by-side and 3D over-under video (and provided example files); Offline Mode, which lets you use BigScreen single player when you don’t have an internet connection; and X-Ray Vision, which lets you see silhouettes of the other players in separate rooms of the virtual apartment in multiplayer.
BigScreen is available on Steam. The application is free, and the updated version is already live.
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Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.