- CLOVR is a mobile app that transforms PC game into virtual reality.
- The app has tested 50 games, old and new, such as Left4Dead, Dota 2 and CS:GO.
- The team will start a Kickstarter campaign launching on March 6 2018. Funds raised will go into developing an iOS version, optimisation of the app as well as fixing the UI design.
Gaming companies are constantly churning out content to go along with the latest handheld consoles on the market. But if you’re like me and you’re barely scraping through adulthood, it’s not realistic to have the extra means to buy everything to fully experience how advanced gaming has become.
So my default choice is watching YouTubers do Let’s Plays and vicariously play the game through them.
This is actually a common situation, which three friends took into account when starting their passion project. Since VR gaming is a fairly new concept, the hardware and software needed isn’t exactly the cheapest, so they wondered if there was a way to make it more accessible to the masses.
A year later, they found an answer to that through their app, CLOVR.
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For Everyone To Play
CLOVR is a mobile app designed to transform any PC game into virtual reality. The idea is that CLOVR will take the games you play regularly on your PC, convert them into a VR-ready format before transmitting them to your phone via WiFi.
Gan Chee Yong, the founder and CTO of CLOVR, and his team saw that people already owned what they need to start gaming in VR—a PC, a phone and their favourite PC games.
All they needed is an affordable VR headset (we found some online for as low as RM12) and the CLOVR app to experience gaming in VR without needing to break the bank.
After downloading the app, you can launch CLOVR on your phone and PC, select the game on the app to launch it in VR format and then place the phone into the VR headset to start gaming.
The tech that CLOVR uses to turn games that don’t have VR support into VR-ready gaming content is by using:
- GPU (graphics processing unit) image retargeting to render the images of your gaming content in real-time.
- Advanced encoding technology to compress those images and reduce the data size per frame—essentially minimising the transfer latency, and achieving higher framerate.
- Multithreading to improve the performance of the data transformations.
- Optimised hardware acceleration techniques to provide real-time wireless transmission with minimal latency.
The final visual is then converted into a stereoscopic format to mimic VR content. And finally, the content is transmitted to your phone via WiFi.
If accuracy is important to you, CLOVR utilises the inbuilt gyroscope in a smartphone for head tracking. Basically, your aim follows wherever you’re looking at. That made it a lot easier to get immersed in the game.
“CLOVR currently supports 3DOF (3 Degrees of Freedom) head tracking, with plans to upgrade and implement 6DOF in the future, depending on hardware compatibility,” shared the CLOVR team during the launch.
I wondered to what extent of games would work with CLOVR and the team shared that they have already tested over 50 games, with more in the works.
“It can support a lot of games, so long as the users can run the games on their PC. CLOVR also supports up to 60 frames-per-second (fps),” quipped the team.
Some of the games they demoed for us during the launch was Doom 3, Subnautica, and Left4Dead (my OG gamer heart was quite excited to play the latter).
“The best types of games to enjoy in VR are first person shooter games and role-playing games. Experiencing gaming content from a first person point-of-view gives the most immersive and lifelike effect.”
Getting Everyone Involved
After a whole year of tirelessly working on bringing this concept to life, CLOVR is now ready to fully bring the app to the next level.
On March 6, they’re turning to crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, for their campaign that’s set to run for 60 days with a funding goal of SGD5,000.
The funding will go into developing an iOS version, optimisation of the app as well as fixing the UI design. Once the campaign has ended, backers will be given a unique code for them to get first access to CLOVR by June. The global launch for the public is set for September where it will be available to download for free.
It all sounds cool so far, but I was curious on their monetisation plan. CLOVR explained their main sales generator will be through a subscription model.
You’ll be given a free trial period and when that’s done, you can choose to subscribe to get full access to the app for as low as $0.99/month.
Backers will get early access to the app and your subscription will start after the global launch, depending on how much you contributed.
Opening Up More VR Possibilities
Although CLOVR is geared for gamers who want to try VR firsthand, it also has game developers in mind.
Once they have officially launched, CLOVR plans to release its API to developers through its VR platform, which lets them produce VR-ready content to be shared to users. In the pipeline, they hope to have Google Daydream, Oculus VR & HTC Vive controller support as well as Augmented Reality & Mixed Reality support.
With VR having a bright future in gaming (estimated to be worth $45.09 billion by 2025), I can see why CLOVR’s excited on its potential. In the long run, they’re hoping to go beyond the gaming scene and evolve into an AR/VR Cloud Gaming Platform.
Content creators and consumers will come together to form a community passionate about various forms of VR content (VR games, VR education, VR business applications like real estate, travel or fashion).
“Ultimately, it is our passion to make VR gaming affordable and available to the masses. Right now, almost anyone can get access to a simple VR headset.”
– Jeremy, Digital Marketing Strategist at CLOVR.
“The idea of CLOVR is to bring the adoption of VR one step further, by providing a simple solution (an app) that allows people to enjoy their favourite games in VR.”
- CLOVR’s official website can be found here. You can also sign up to be notified about their Kickstarter campaign when it’s ready.
Feature Image Credit: CLOVR