Lumiya 3.2: Google Cardboard support

lumiya-logoOn Thursday, November 24th, Alina Lynette release Lumiya 3.2, which brings with it support for Google Cardboard and compatible VR kits and headsets!

Even though the Lab has – at least for the foreseeable future – put work on a VR headset compatible version of the viewer off to one side, interest in seeing Second Life from the “inside”, as a fully immersive VR experience remains high, and Alina has sought to rise to the challenge with Lumiya.

There are obviously a couple of caveats to using the application in VR mode:

  • You really need a suitable headset
  • You need a device with Andorid 6.0+ Marshmallow installed

I have Android 6, but I don’t have any form of headset, Cardboard or otherwise, that I can use with my device – which happens to be a Nexus 7 2013 HD Tablet – a little clunky for any headset device, although there are some out there. Nevertheless, I gave the new capability a go as best I could.

To enter VR mode on a suitable device, simply log-in to Second Life on Lumiya, and then go to the 3D view (Menu icon, top left > 3D view).

Access the VR mode in Lumiya 3.2 is done via the Action menu, when in the 3D view

Access the VR mode in Lumiya 3.2 is done via the Action menu, when in the 3D view

Once the view has loaded, tap the Action menu icon (top right) and select Virtual Reality Mode. The first time you do this, you will be prompted whether you want Lumiya to handle speech-to-text conversion for you to allow you to “converse” in-world, via the “microphone” button. You can deny this if you wish, but it will leave you with no means to converse.

Whether you Allow or Deny the speech-to-text conversion, Lumiya will switch output to a stereoscopic format, suitable for use with Cardboard devices and the likes of the Samsung Gear VR. Three buttons are projected into the field-of-view:

  • Microphone – for enabling speech-to-text translation
  • Finger – for touching things
  • Chat bubble for text-mode chat.

Any of the three can be activated by staring at the required button – it should be highlighted when your stare is registered – then pressing the Cardboard device flap (or button / magnet actuator in the case of a Cardboard V1 device). If you’re trying Lumiya in VR mode without a headset, you can try staring at the button and touching the top of the screen between the left and right view – how successful you might be is debatable, and dependent upon on a number of factor (ambience background light, etc).

Movement is achieved by tapping and holding the same area of the device (or screen, if not using a device) while not looking at any of the buttons. You will then move in the direction yo are looking. Release the device / screen to stop.

Lumiya in VR stereoscopic mode. When using a Cardboard or similar device, staring at the on-screen buttons and pressing the flap / button on the device should activate the required function. Or if you're not using a device, you can try staring at a button and touching the screen where indicated (approximately) by the red circle. Pressing this point (or the flap / button on a device) will allow you to walk in the direction to are looking

Lumiya in VR stereoscopic mode. When using a Cardboard or similar device, staring at the on-screen buttons and pressing the flap / button on the device should activate the required function. Or if you’re not using a device, you can try staring at a button and touching the screen where indicated (approximately) by the red circle. Pressing this point (or the flap / button on a device) will allow you to walk in the direction to are looking

To exit VR mode, manually tap the X icon top left of the screen. The gear icon, top right can be manually used to access the Google Cardboard application for calibrating your headset device, if required (and if installed on your device).

The 3.2 release also includes a bug fix to prevent a black screen in the 3D world view when anti-aliasing is enabled.

As I am without a suitable headset kit / device, I was unsuccessful trying to test the button functionality, but the walking certainly worked for me without a hitch. Adding VR to Lumiya might seem to some a bit of a niche thing, but that doesn’t stop it from being a fun addition. It certainly further demonstrates what can be achieved with the application, and kudos (again) to Alina for her work.

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3 thoughts on “Lumiya 3.2: Google Cardboard support

    1. Qie

      That’s not surprising, but Google has promised DayDream will get full Cardboard compatibility Real Soon Now. Maybe Lumiya’s update was just a tiny bit premature in that way, or maybe Google is a bit behind schedule.

      I was wondering when a TPV developer would realize the Google platform is a better fit for SL than are some others, Oculus in particular. I’m not equipped to test this yet, but I think it’s a very exciting direction for Lumiya.

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      1. Wolf Baginski (@WolfBaginski)

        I’m not sure what is happening with my Nexus 5. No trouble with Google Cardboard stuff but, while I get the 3D images, Lumiya isn’t reacting to the magnetic control at all.

        Since Lumiya says it needs Android 6 (Marshmallow) and and we know Daydream needs Android 7 (Nougat), and there are hardly any Daydream-qualified phones yet anyway I reckon there’s something else wrong.

        I picked up a cheap Chinese-made holder, and it works OK with stock cardboard video the demo and the tutorial and viewing the 3D landscapes, no problem. But Lumiya, all I can do in virtual reality is turn on the spot.

        If it worked as advertised…

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