For two years BigScreen founder Darshan Shankar has been working on developing a software to place your Windows desktop in a VR environment. And finally, on this coming Thursday his software is going to launch for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift on Steam, as Shankar announced it on Reddit.
Albeit the beta testers have been testing this software for a couple of months, anyone with the VR headsets and a powerful PC can use it after the launch, and it’s absolutely free. Previously, whenever you need to switch to any traditional app, you had to take off your VR headset, but with this software, you can now bring anything that displays on your normal Windows desktop to screens in virtual reality. You can share the environment with up to four people at a time. Using the potential audio, it allows you to talk with each other within virtual reality. However, in future, a new feature will arrive that will allow you to share audio from desktops, along with other features like customizable avatars and Vive control support.
According to Shankar, the hardware and bandwidth requirements of BigScreen depend on the number of people sharing one environment at a time and the resolution they select. Any stream is encrypted and peer to peer, with no latency for viewers looking at their own screens. He plans to charge for upgrades like avatars and environments in future while the core product will remain free.