“V” is a virtual reality dashboard that injects itself into games and experiences, giving you a floating menu of a number of popular applications, and letting you play music and network socially, all from inside your favorite game. It’s only available for the Oculus Rift right now, but HTC Vive support is coming soon.
One of the biggest difficulties with virtual reality, is it doesn’t have the same functionality as a desktop or laptop. Traditional browsing isn’t as easy as on a 2D display and minimizing to open another app is hardly ideal. The idea with V is to bring your applications into virtual reality and give you access to the most commonly used ones.
Slack, Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch are just some of the available apps that V can give you quick access to. At the press of a button the menu floats up with a tile design and from there you can dismiss it or select the app you want.
It’s pretty unobtrusive and doesn’t feel like it gets in the way of what you’re doing when displayed, but by default it sits quietly out of view. To pull it into existence, you can hit the shift key on your keyboard, or double tap the Rift headset and a white dot will appear in your field of view. Looking at it will trigger the launch of V into your VR world (thanks RoadtoVR).
From there you can resize or re-position the tiled display, select an app, or just open a browser window. When you’re done, the floating window will naturally remove itself, though you can pin it or other windows in place. This would be great for watching tutorials while you try to complete a difficult part of a game.
At this time there are some limitations. In particular, only a single browser window is usable at one time, because the Chromium browser used takes too much system resources to effectively generate more. In the future that will likely change, but for now we’re restricted to just one window at a time. And as mentioned above, it’s only compatible Oculus Rift for the time being, but HTC Vive support will be coming soon.
You can download and try V’s beta now, though bear in mind it is only Xbox controller or keyboard compatible right now. Touch support will be coming soon.