2018 is a bit of a mixed bag for VR, but that hasn’t stopped companies from innovating and looking for new ways to bring even more people into the fold.
A lot of analysts see the next big leap for VR being its ability to transition to wireless headsets and standalone units. AMD’s latest chip may help it achieve just that as the chip is capable of pushing VR-level graphics to a smartphone all without missing a beat.
Let’s face it: Headsets are expensive. Why not eliminate the need for expensive headsets entirely?
One company thinks they have a solution to that problem: Use a product you already have, namely, your smartphone. Sure, AMD is not the first company to think of this solution but they are one of the big names to throw some serious software development behind the issue.
Called AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition, the software has a feature called ReLive for VR. This basically lets people stream their VR game from a PC to a smartphone that can be used as a headset. So it isn’t natively rendering graphics on the smartphone but is instead acting as a nexus between PC hardware and the smartphone’s screen. Many makers have simple solutions for turning smartphones into VR headsets and ReLive for VR is geared towards those users.
All of this works through AMD’s link app that is available for both iOS and Android phones.
Of course, all of this promise is only as good as how it works in action and early reports indicate that it not only works but works really, really well. Connection speeds might impact it somewhat, but early testing has revealed a viable concept that could really, really expand the market for VR. TechRadar does say that graphics take a tiny hit but other than that the experience is quite true to that offered by a dedicated VR headset.
VR gaming isn’t the only application that AMD envisions for this tech. It also will allow you to stream your desktop to a headset or, as TechRadar describes, “Outside of gaming, AMD Link will also allow users to streaming their PC desktop, which will come in handy if you ever need to remote into your PC or just stream 4K video from your PC.”
AMD’s revamp of its software seems to have added features that users have wanted for a long time. This makes it more competitive with Nvidia’s offering and positions AMD to take advantage of the burgeoning VR games market. But, outside of that, AMD’s advances also position the company to take full advantage of the other emerging applications for VR on the horizon. Everything from product demonstrations to architecture is on board so AMD is right to look for as many ways as possible to make VR accessible for consumers.