An Early Review of Oculus Link: Play Oculus Rift Apps on Your Oculus Quest VR Headset (And Will It Work with Sansar?)

Nathaniël de Jong (a.k.a. Nathie) is a Dutch YouTuber with half a million subscribers, who often posts review videos of the latest and greatest VR hardware and software on his channel.

Yesterday, he posted the following review of the Oculus Link software which allows Oculus Quest users to play Oculus Rift apps using a cable connected to a gaming-level computer with a good graphics card:

The review is esssentially a rave. The only complaint that Nathie has about the Oculus Quest/Oculus Link setup is that the headset is front-heavy (something which I can also attest to). However, there has been no shortage of headset modding advice posted to places like the Oculus Quest subReddit (for example, attaching a battery pack to the back of the headstrap, which not only redistributes the weight, but also lets you play for several hours longer!).

The Oculus Link software will be available in November 2019, and it will be free. You will need to purchase a USB 3.0 cable; you can buy your own, or you can wait until Oculus sells their own fibre cable for a “best in class” experience, for about US$80/CA$106.

I expect I will be among the first people to test Sansar via the Oculus Quest and Oculus Link, when it becomes available later this year. If it does work, it will truly be a game changer, allowing a potentially much larger audience for apps such as Sansar. And I’m quite sure that Linden Lab will be testing this out too, once Oculus Link is available.

But DON’T buy an Oculus Quest right now, expecting that it will automatically work with Sansar. It’s still too soon to tell; wait for me and others to test it out and report back before you buy. Better to be safe than sorry! Linden Lab is not recommending users purchase the Oculus Quest if they are planning on using it just for Sansar.

Please note that currently, the only VR headsets that Linden Lab officially supports for Sansar are the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive headsets. Some users have reported that they have been able to get Windows Mixed Reality headsets to work with Sansar, but it’s not officially supported (you can get help via the official Sansar Discord). While Linden Lab has reported some work on getting Sansar to work with the Valve Index controllers, it is also not yet officially supported.

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Review: Lindsey Stirling Concert in Wave

I took the afternoon off work to catch the electronic violinist, Lindsey Stirling, perform a live show in Wave at 2:00 p.m. Central Time.

Lindsey wore a full-body 3D motion capture suit and special VR gloves, which allowed her to completely animate her avatar in Wave, from her head down to her feet (including each individual finger on her hands), as she played and danced!

The concert was wonderful! She played several of the songs from her soon-to-be-released album, Artemis, for the first time before a live audience. As she played, the stage around her would transform itself into different designs, and sometimes, particle effects (like red leaves) would swirl around her. It was a mesmerizing performance!

Here is the entire performance captured on YouTube. The special effects were wonderful, and they really added to the overall fantasy atmosphere! (They updated this video, so I reposted the link below so that it should start at the very beginning of the video. If it doesn’t work for you, just scroll back to the very start of this video to catch the start of Lindsey’s performance, thanks!)

I especially liked how people’s comments were displayed as bright lights at the intervals between songs, while Lindsey talked to the crowd in attendance (you can see all their avatars in parts of this performance). I’m assuming these were the comments posted by the YouTube viewers, but I’m not sure. It was a wonderful experience!

Here’s a link that should connect you to all the different places you can watch the concert! I understand that this concert will only be available for 24 hours and after that, it’s gone. So please don’t wait to go see it!

Magic Leap One: Why Reviewers Are Disappointed with the New Augmented Reality Headset

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Magic Leap has generated a ton of media buzz and hype over the years. We’re finally getting our first independent hands-on looks at the product.

Magic Leap invited The Verge to Florida for a one-hour, hands-on demo of the Magic Leap One, an augmented reality (AR) headset that projects 3D images into reality. And the reviewer was disappointed in what she saw:

And the Magic Leap One, which is now available for sale in the United States only, is extremely pricey for new technology: starting at US$2,295, it’s easily more expensive than an entire computer set-up for the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive VR headsets. And, as the reviewer states in the video, there’s little content available for it, and what content there is demonstrates the drawbacks in the platform, such as the restricted field of view.

Another mixed review by CNET points out another serious drawback to the Magic Leap One, at least for me:

There’s one huge drawback to the entire experience of putting a Magic Leap One on my face: It doesn’t work with glasses. My handlers asked for my prescription before I arrived in Fort Lauderdale, and pop-in prescription lenses were supposed to be provided for my demo. But it turns out my prescription broke the mold. I’m -8.75 in one eye, -8.25 in the other — too strong.

The verdict? Interesting, but it’s probably best to check back in a year or two, unless you’re a fanatical early adopter. I’m quite content with my Oculus Rift headset, and I’m in no hurry to upgrade/switch.

Anyland: A Brief Introduction

A couple of people encouraged me to go take a look at another social VR space/virtual world product called Anyland, so I decided to visit it a few times, both in my VR headset and on desktop. (I actually had only one successful visit in my Oculus Rift. Each time after that, I got an error from SteamVR whenever I tried to enter in VR mode. These pictures are screen captures, all taken when I was in desktop mode.)

Anyland bills itself the “virtual reality sandbox universe”, where you can build anything you want using the in-world building tools.

First, here is a selfie of my avatar taken in my spawn point, which appears to be a small rocky planet in space. There’s not much to the default Anyland avatar, only a pair of grey robotic hands with button pads on the thumbs (which you press to call up menus, such as the one you see on the left-hand side of this picture).

Anyland 3 2 May 2018.png

In fact, Anyland encourages users to use its in-world building tools to create their own avatar body! I did see some creative examples on my first visit in my VR headset, when I popped in on a group of avatars playing an Uno card-playing game.

Make your body.png

The following are two pictures of Anyland experiences, the first is called Blue Castle, and the second is called Build Town. As you can see, it’s basically a blocks/”prims” building environment, which reminds me a little of Google Blocks and the Second Life in-world building tools.

Anyland 2 May 2018
Blue Castle

Anyland 2 2 May 2018.png
Build Town

Here’s Anyland’s main tutorial video, explaining how to use the building tools:

It’s clear that some people are really enjoying the creative canvas that Anyland provides:

In summary, the best way I would describe Anyland is that it is a mix between Second Life and Google Blocks. Give it a try if you are interested, it’s available on Steam for free.