Blind: VR for Desktop

BDMcGrew
Visitor

Blind: VR for Desktop

Hello everyone!

 
I come to the community with absolutely zero VR knowledge save for what I’ve read in the last week, which has not been helpful.  And, zero VR experience save for ~20 minutes of playing with a headset last week at the NAB show in Las Vegas.
 
I am legally blind with 20/200 best corrected vision and a condition known as optic neuropathy.  This essentially means there really isn’t much wrong with my eyes per se but the nerves between my eyes and brain are 95% defective.  Also known as ‘low vision’.  I’ve been in the IT field for over 30 years writing software, managing networks and overall, being tied to my computer 10 to 12 hours a day.  I’ve gotten quite used to having to sit 6” from my screen in what I can only describe as somewhat of a back-breaking forward lean. 

After seeing all the new hardware at NAB I think VR might be something I can actually use now?
 
Can I use a VR headset as a replacement for my monitor to interact (view/see) with my system?  I’m perfectly fine to still use a keyboard and mouse/touchpad, there’s no problem there.  But I want to use the headset to interact with my daily applications, desktop, web browser, email, terminal, vnc, remote desktop, Microsoft Office, Skype, etc.  I am not a power user, as 95% of the work I do is in remote systems over the ether.  I do not need an immense amount of graphics horsepower as none of my systems are what you’d call high end - I just don’t need it alight I guess lag/latency/responsiveness would be of interest.
 
I would prefer to run a VR desktop on my Mac but will settle for Windows if Mac won’t work.  My Mac is a 2012 Mac Mini with an i7, 16GB and Intel graphics (and I'll upgrade if needed).  I have various Wintel boxes ranging from i3 to i7 with plenty of RAM and Intel or nVidia.  If I can make this work, I’ll be happy to meet whatever system requirements are necessary.
 
What are my options for VR hardware, software and what kind of system requirements will I need to make it function?  And if this will work, what kind of functionality can I expect?  I'm not looking for anything super fancy really, just the ability to see what I'm doing clearly...  No, screen magnifiers aren't really an option :)
 
Thanks in advance for any help!
 
-brian
Se7en11
Architect

Re: Blind: VR for Desktop

Hey Brian 
To give you a Quick Answer yes VR could let you do all those things you want to do. 
With Apps like Virtual Desktop working inside Vr is doable. 
Running on a mac im not sure if thats possible just yet Apple did make an announcment last year but not seen anything since. 
You can find your minimun spec here https://www.vive.com/us/product/vive-virtual-reality-system/

Interesting story here about how VR (Vive) changed a Blind Persons world https://venturebeat.com/2016/10/02/virtual-reality-isnt-a-game-for-legally-blind-man-it-helps-him-se...

There is also this game http://store.steampowered.com/app/606360/Mech_Skeleton/?beta=0 which is made by a legally blind person. 

I hope this helps a little and please let us know if you do buy into VR and if it makes a difference to your life. 

 

Se7enVR
-Is it Real or Just VR? not a question just a Signature
Vive Staff

Re: Blind: VR for Desktop

@BDMcGrew, this is a pretty complex question. I would generally recommend that you try a Vive before purchasing one if possible since there are quite a few factors that will play into your visual perception. Given your situation, the increased resolution of the  Pro may make it a viable HMD to read text but you'd have to try one firsthand to judge how the optics work with your vision. 

 

@Se7en11 is right - virtual desktop may be closest to what you're looking for. I am a pretty big fan of OVRDrop for desktop functionality because you can make smaller windows pretty large. 

 

Per the Mac stuff, technically the Vive is supported on most recent Mac hardware as of update 10.13.4 which enables external GPUs to be driven off thunderbolt 3 ports. It works without an EGPU on the most recent Mac Pro. Since it's a new integration, there are only a handful of apps that run natively on MacOS. As far as I know, there is virtual desktop/OVRDrop equivalent. 

To reach Viveport's customer service team, email customerservice@viveport.com

To connect with a live support agent for hardware support, go to www.vive.com/support, click on "contact us" in the top righthand corner, and then opt to speak with a Live Chat agent

David R

Technical Specialist - San Francisco, CA; Monday-Friday

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Vive Staff

Re: Blind: VR for Desktop

Forgot to mention, I know of a few developers with low vision who are able to use large format displays and the Vive to complete their work. One of the best 3D scanning/photogrammetry teams is lead by a developer with low vision http://www.realityvirtual.co - This can be very surprising given the extreme visual fidelity of their content. 

To reach Viveport's customer service team, email customerservice@viveport.com

To connect with a live support agent for hardware support, go to www.vive.com/support, click on "contact us" in the top righthand corner, and then opt to speak with a Live Chat agent

David R

Technical Specialist - San Francisco, CA; Monday-Friday

Click here to send me a PM