The Virtual Desktop app for the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive offers a glimpse at a future without monitors and brings Windows into virtual reality.
The application was developed by Guy Godin for the most popular virtual reality (VR) headsets and costs only $15. With Virtual Desktop users of Oculus Rift or HTC Vive can enjoy the full Windows experience in VR.
According to Silicon Angle, while wearing the VR rig, the Virtual Desktop app blends the concept of a desktop "screen" with a virtual space. In the future, as more people begin to use VR as a workspace, it is certain that user interfaces will evolve away from the concept of "screens".
The online publication Engadget speculates that Virtual Desktop may take us close to another display revolution. Users can have their entire Windows desktop projected on a movie theater screen. The display floats atop user's choice of backgrounds and it brings to mind augmented reality interfaces from science fiction.
Once they are in virtual view, users can resize the size and distance of their desktop. Virtual Desktop allows easily browsing the web, going through email and reading long articles for hours on end, just like the traditional Windows interface.
Virtual reality provides a virtual space for users to interact with virtual models of non-physical objects. This can be a great help, for instance, to workers who deal in designing or crafting consumer products. VR also provides a foundation for three-dimensional charts and a capability of new controls for data analysis.
When it comes to watching videos, Virtual Desktop is particularly impressive, since users can freely enlarge the screen for a more cinematic experience. Since both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are limited by their displays, you won't get the full resolution of 1080p HD videos. But the image still looks clear and sharp in full-screen mode.
The Virtual Desktop app also provides support for viewing 360-degree photos and videos. For instance, to enjoy an immersive clip from YouTube you just need to copy its URL to your clipboard and insert that into Virtual Desktop's settings app.