Virtual Desktop has been a fixture in VR since the early days of the Oculus developer kits, first releasing as a tech demo back in 2014. The single-user app, which lets you stream your desktop monitor in VR, is now making its next big leap to Oculus Quest.

Virtual Desktop developer Guy Godin released a fresh teaser trailer today to show off some of the app’s functionality when it arrives as a day-one launch title on Quest, which officially takes place starting May 21st.

Much like the Oculus Go and Gear VR version, Virtual Desktop on Quest allows you to connect to your Windows PC and use it just like you normally would, albeit on a giant screen in your own private cinema, virtual office, or ‘void’ space.

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However unlike the previous mobile versions, Virtual Desktop for Quest will undoubtedly be a more comfortable experience thanks to the headset’s ability to track your head in 3D space (AKA 6DOF). This is because, even seated, we tend to make micro-adjustments of our heads, necks, and posture, so having a more 1:1, virtual-to-physical viewing experience is sure to keep users exploring their content, browsing the web, and playing their tradition PC games for longer periods of time—something you can do in your living room away from the PC since the app relies on WiFi streaming to establish its connection to the host computer(s). Not only that, but Quest’s manual interpupillary adjuster goes a long way in terms of comfort, as you can lock in the exact distance between your eyes for the best viewing experience.

Godin hasn’t released pricing info yet, although we imagine it will line up with previous versions, which cost between $10 – $15 depending on the platform. Godin says that more information will be coming in the weeks leading up to launch.

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  • daveinpublic

    That will open up a lot of possibilities with the Quest day 1.

  • Timothy Bank

    Why do I have to switch between screens? Wouldn’t it make sense to just have all the monitors visible? Or is that just too much to stream to the headset?

    • Guy Godin

      The current mobile GPUs aren’t powerful enough to render multiple screens at high quality. The bandwidth requirement is also a problem with current Wi-Fis

      • DarkAvry

        There is more then enough bandwidth, it supports 5Ghz wifi mode and I seen a video of actual PC game streaming and wifi config, it connected to his router at 866Mbps so thats a nice 80-90MB/s transmission, his game video was coming at just 8Mbps using the medium preset, it has 3 presets for video and 3 presets for fps.
        8mbps is nearly not enough for proper quality thou, horrible compression, i guess it uses HEVC to increase quality and improve latency.

        • Guy Godin

          A 5Ghz Wi-Fi with a link speed of 866 Mbps never achieves that speed; this is a theoretical limit. You have to divide it up between the number of devices, divide by 2 if you are sending and receiving at the same time, account for other Wi-Fi networks in the area, etc. Sending at higher bitrates also increases battery consumption, increases generated heat so the chosen bitrate has a lot of implications. For a 1080P stream, 8 Mbps gives an excellent quality for desktop use. The High option at 12 Mbps is provided for fast action games but anything higher is hardly noticeable

  • Justos

    Anyone have experience with this… Is there any significance in the latency from streaming my pc on big screen, than virtual desktop? My PC will be connected via ethernet, but the Quest/Go are obviously on wifi.

    Are both usable for streaming PC gaming? I also have steamLink, if thats any better.

    • Fabian

      I played games on the Oculus Go with virtual desktop. Works much better than with Bigscreen.

      • impurekind

        Well I get this will be possible if you’re just playing regular PC games and sending them through this app to Quest, but what I really want to do is the same with the VR games I’d normally be running on my Oculus Rift. If I could somehow run them on my PC and stream them to the Quest then I could get rid of my Rift and just use the Quest for all my VR games (Oculus and Steam VR), and that would just be perfect.

        Edit: I responded to the wrong discussion–but it’s still what I want.

  • sfmike

    Great app but they need to get 3D movie viewing working inside the app so we can enjoy these on our virtual theater.

    • Guy Godin

      The app already supports watching 3D content (Side by side or Over Under)

      • impurekind

        Not in a way that isn’t a convoluted mess in my experience.

        • Guy Godin

          On PC the option is in the UI on desktop so it needs to be used with a keyboard shortcut or a key binding; I agree it’s not great.

          On Go & Quest however the option is in VR, detached from the screen, so it doesn’t have the same issue. Simply click outside the screen to bring up the toolbar and click the desired 3D mode

          • impurekind

            Well it sounds like it’s done right on Quest.

            I’m not quite sure why it can’t be done similarly on PC though. Oculus Video, Deo VR and BigScreen all allow me to open up a control menu/view independently of the stereoscopic 3D movie that’s playing and mess around with whatever playback controls.

            I think the PC version needs this too. And I really hope it’s a simple, intuitive and slick as it should be on Quest in actual practice. . . .

          • Guy Godin

            I agree, but it’s not simple on PC as I don’t have a fully fledged engine. It’s developed on top of DirectX so UIs in VR are a lot of work. The app on PC is also 5 years old and has tons of features so changing its core would not be easy.

          • impurekind

            Well I guess it’s a good thing the Quest will be arriving soon then. :)

  • Andrew Jakobs

    but but but, wouldn’t it be possible to use this to use the Quest as a PC headset? With the right software it might be used this way.

    • beestee

      The tracking info doesn’t have to transmit with this solution, only the 2D frames.

      Round trip latency over wifi would cause the experience to be…uncomfortable.

    • That’sright

      Need 5G for that

  • beestee

    The tracking info doesn’t have to transmit with this solution, only the 2D frames. Round trip latency would cause the experience to be…uncomfortable.

  • virtualHC

    Is Oculus allowing developers to use the pasthrough cameras? It would be great to have virtual desktop while viewing the real environment, as shown in that OC demo last year.

    • That’sright

      Yea like to see your keyboard

      • DarkAvry

        It has virtual keyboard pop up

        • That’sright

          Have you ever tried typing on a virtual keyboard?

          • DarkAvry

            everyone does on their phone, but n VR you point like with lazer pointer.

            Do you plan writing a life story in VR? Maximum a twit or some forum post

          • That’sright

            Type your name by pointing and tell me how long that takes.

  • Caveat

    The current article title is “This is What ‘Virtual Desktop’ Looks Like on Oculus Quest”. That could mislead readers. The video’s Yahoo Finance page suggests a window more than 1080 px high, perhaps 1200 px. Crisp and clear from top to bottom. No existing or announced consumer HMD can do anything remotely like that. Varjo is perhaps closest, at a mere $7000. “This is What ‘Virtual Desktop’ Looks Like on … a large PC monitor (with maybe a Quest running somewhere nearby, off screen)”.

    • Kev

      The Pimax 5k+ is 2560×1440 per eye native resolution. It works great with virtual desktop, I have it. With it I can read even very small text in the browser and easily see details in movies etc. On my Go the resolution is so low watching movies is unpleasant.

  • KOSTANTINOS KOD

    If this had any quality it would had been included in the box and would had been advertised properly.

  • Francesco Fazio

    So it will be the same Virtual Desktop on the Rifr (Not S) too no ? I dont think there will be different versions of the software based on the kind of HMD or am I wrong ?

    • beestee

      Display delivery is entirely different between the two. On the Rift it uses hard-lined local resources to deliver the display frames. On the Quest, since it is a standalone untethered device, the frames have to be packed and sent over wifi. It will be interesting to see if latency will cause any issues with the usefulness, as far as input and audio sync go.

  • oompah

    sigh
    whats new in it
    ooh standalone
    I want it

  • malyum

    is it 399.99 cad or american

    • DarkAvry

      its 549CAD on amazon canada

  • Tom_Craver

    Getting this done right is a necessary step – but there has to be something beyond, where VR yields greatly increased productivity or boosts one’s effective creativity or knowledge or intelligence or something by getting beyond the desktop metaphor. Tilt Brush is a good starting place for understanding what should be possible.

    Time to review SF movies and novels by creative types who put some thought into this. Maybe it will involve semi-intelligent agents, and use a model like directing an orchestra or managing a busy factory or heading a complex business. Where AI isn’t up to the task, human agents could contract to do sub-tasks.

  • The Werewolf

    I genuinely don’t understand why this app is getting so much press. It’s single user. If I want to watch a movie on my computer.. I could. .I dunno.. use my computer.

    If it was shared it would work so I could watch movies with friends. If only someone made an app like that…
    Oh wait. Someone does.
    It’s called BigScreen. Also arriving on the Quest on day one. And it’s actually just a screen sharing app – just like Virtual Desktop… except you can share with multiple people.

    Still, I guess if you want to strap on a VR headset and try to use your desktop system in the most inconvenient way possible – this works.

    • WyrdestGeek

      I agree with you on BigScreen > VirtualDesktop.

      I’m not sure what the current use case for a non-shared virtual desktop would be, especially considering the comparitively still-low resolution of current HMDs.

    • Fam Wired

      I can only see one purpose and that is that you are traveling and only bring your Quest, and need to access your computer remotely. I also found it much comfortable using an ordinary screen for desktop usage. If you want to watch a 3D movie, I think you can use Oculus Video for streaming?

    • Jonathan Winters III

      Virtual desktop’s main users use it for VR porn, and it has high sales numbers. That’s why it exists and is getting much press.

  • DarkAvry

    Can it stream full VR PC games? If yes then ill buy

    • impurekind

      This is exactly what I want to know too.

    • Guy Godin

      Not at the moment but I’m experimenting. Note that the streaming latency is a lot more noticeable with 6dof and can’t be compensated with timewarp like it can with 3dof

  • impurekind

    But is there something I can use, some app or dongle or whatever, to play my Oculus Rift PCVR games on my Quest (and that would apply to any Stream VR games I have too)? That’s all I really want to know for now because it would mean I could buy a Quest and sell my Rift and not have to worry about a desktop VR headset.

  • ElSarchichon17

    This looks really great, BUT, it would be amazing if we could use the virtual displays with a physical keyboard and mouse. Then I could get more work done. I don’t know if typing on a virtual keyboard using the controllers will be practical enough to use on a daily basis as a true multi-screen experience. Is that possible? Linking a keyboard and mouse to the Quest headset?