The Bigscreen Beta ‘2019 Update’ Adds Some Substantial new Features
When it comes to using your PC desktop in virtual reality (VR) or watching a movie on a giant screen, Bigscreen Beta was one of the earliest apps to offer this functionality. Today, Bigscreen Inc. has announced a ‘massive new update’ for the software, adding quite the list of new features and improvements.
So where to start. Well in a blog post, Bigscreen Inc. CEO and founder Darshan Shankar has revealed the addition of real-time raytracing lighting effects which casts rays of light from the movie screen into the environment for a much more authentic effect. An additional bonus to this feature is its performance improvements, enabling it to be run on mobile VR headsets.
There’s a new environment, an amphitheatre-style cinema with curved seating, improved avatars with new hairstyles, beards, and hats, a redesigned Bigscreen Menu UI which supports easy interaction with both laser pointing and poking – to which Shankar also notes future compatibility with Oculus Quest – and new teleportation, allowing you to move around the environment, change seats easily, and snap rotate.
A new movie theatre lobby has been created, to meet friends (or strangers) before watching a film. Plus in the near future Bigscreen Inc. plans on selling “virtual movie tickets” and hosting events in the lobby. On the Mobile VR headset side, users can now create public and private rooms which are fully cross-platform so that anyone can join their room.
The team may have been working on this new update for the past year but they’re not stopping there. Over the course of 2019 further improvements will include:
- Friend/party system: invite friends into your rooms easily, and get notifications
- Videoplayer: watch videos stored locally on your PC or Mobile VR headset. This videoplayer has an easy-to-use VR UI, making it easier to watch videos, especially 3D movies.
- Streaming & performance improvements: while the performance has improved in the 2019 Update, more significant tech is coming soon that enables much better performance and streaming in larger 12-person rooms
- Bigscreen Movie Nights: last year, we did a few pilot tests of “movie nights” where we hosted a movie. We plan to sell “virtual movie tickets” for our movie nights.
- Bigscreen 1.0: by the summer, we expect to leave “beta” and launch 1.0. Expect a whole new level of polish, reliability, and functionality by then.
Bigscreen Beta is free for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus Go and Samsung GearVR. As further updates are released, keep reading VRFocus.