The future is now

This content is supported by my patrons.

I’ve been meaning to post this for a while, but when Apple updated macOS to Catalina last year it totally broke the drivers needed to enable the 3rd party wifi card. I know this is on the more extreme end of nerdy, but it can be really fun for anyone.
I think this is a particularly beneficial time for this kind of technology because it provides a simple escape from your everyday surroundings, which we’ll all need more of as quarantines drone on. If you do set this up then comment your immersed VR handle, and I’d love to put together a virtual co-working space for a few hours of culling or anything else you want to work on.
Here are the simple step by step instructions to augment the video included in this post!
Parts needed:
If you’re not connected to a Gigabit router for optimal performance or your devices won’t connect because your network is prohibiting the connection, follow these steps to connect your mobile VR headset directly to your MacBook! (For Windows users, comparable steps can be found here.)
  • Install the corresponding Mac OS X driver for the USB WiFi Adapter
  • For access to the internet, connect to your slow router using the USB WiFi Adapter you purchased.
  • Go to System Preferences > Sharing, and setup WiFi Direct using the following settings:

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  • Once you’ve set your SSID and password under WiFi Options, check the Internet Sharing checkbox on the left.
  • Connect your mobile VR headset to your laptop’s broadcasting WiFi Direct connection you just setup.
  • Enjoy Immersed VR without lag!

Captions from video:

The dream is real the future is now and there is no better time to play around with some next-level nerdery than when you’re stuck at home on a month plus long quarantine. I’ll show you exactly how to use lightroom or any other app as a virtual computer display in a vr workspace. This is next level nerdery, but that’s probably something we could all use right about now. So being that most of us have been stuck at home for two weeks with no end in sight. I wanted to make a short but full tutorial about how to edit or cull in vr. This is something i’ve been doing for years. If you want to see evidence of that here’s some footage of me in an airport. Remember when those were a thing?

Using this exact vr rig to cull in lightroom. Now, this is of course borderline extreme nerdiness, but it’s actually really fun if you already own a vr kit you can do it for a very low-cost. All you need is a vr headset. This is the oculus go, but you could also use the oculus quest or the oculus rift, but the go is the most portable easiest to use now in addition to that. You’re also going to need a third party wi-fi card into the usb c wi-fi network adapter. And if you’re curious about the exact parts and the links to them, I have that linked in my patreon article with this video. You can click the link up above and it’ll take you straight to my article that outlines in detail the parts that you need and links of where to buy them, both the hardware parts and the software parts, but you need a third party wireless card and you need a laptop. This is my regular 13″ macbook pro, obviously the more powerful the laptop the better but it doesn’t take much once you’ve got your wifi card and you got your laptop and you got your oculus headset. All you need to do is install a piece of software called immersed vr. This is the only one i’ve found that works in mac os and they’ve existed for a while. You do have a free trial with them or you need to pay $10 a month to use the service.

What’s really cool about immersed vr is they actually let you create virtual chat rooms so if you have another friend maybe stuck at home doing the same thing you are with a vr headset be in a virtual space together. It’s pretty simple to install it and then it puts a little app login with your immersed vr user name and then you install the immersed vr app in your oculus headset. This whole setup a workover just one wireless network if you want, but the problem is latency the delay between when you make an action and when the vr responds to it, that’s why you need a secondary wi-fi adapter for your computer one for your computer to share its own network directly with the headset so that they’re connected one to one and then the other wi-fi card to connect to the greater internet so that everything functions as it should and by the way, once you set all this up, it’s as easy as just plugging in the wireless card and opening the app.

There’s hardly any setup once you do the legwork of the initial install of everything. Okay. So i’m opening the vr app that I installed through the immersed subscription that I purchased. Of course with any headset controller you do have the wireless joystick to use but once you’re in your vr space, you don’t actually really need to use the joystick for anything you will function as a mouse pointer, but that’s kind of ridiculous. It doesn’t work very seamlessly at all. You can use your mouse track pad just like you normally would after that. It’s literally as simple as opening lightroom, or whatever app you want and just use it as you would expect. Now, I wouldn’t trust the color accuracy in your vr headset or maybe just use this for culling or something, but they do give you tools with the app the immersive vr app to calibrate your monitor if you want to try and manually calibrate the gamma the brightness. Overall quality and everything like that. It does give you a nice little connection strength meter and again, if you’re using a second wi-fi adapter card for your laptop, your connection strength should be completely maxed out in full with no latency.

What’s really amazing is that you can actually go up here to the immersed app and create additional virtual displays. So i’m just going to create one additional virtual display and now it’s like i’ve connected an external monitor virtually to my laptop and I can move either display anywhere, I want in the environment up down around I can enlarge them. I can curve them. I can move them closer further away from me and they literally work as an external hard drive so I can click and drag files or folders or extra apps or email or whatever over to the additional displayed just like having a second monitor the real world simple as that. So for now for the sake of clarity, i’m going to get rid of that virtual display, but depending on how powerful your computer is, you can literally have up to three displays on this computer driving at one time, which is kind of crazy. But for now, I just want to demo one display what you’ll use the majority of the time. You can make it small you can make a huge you can bring it really really close to you. You can place it anywhere in the vr environment. And by the way, you can choose from a variety of different vr environments right now. I’m just like in an open field which is kind of relaxing. You can go to 3d rendered spaces like the front lawn of this really fancy house. Give that a second to load. So that’s pretty cool little bit relaxing and get sound effects with any of these vr worlds. Here’s a relaxing night scene pretty cool. And then of course you can just get a straight static backgrounds that are not animated and don’t have sound, but are really relaxing to look at it. After that you are literally just floating with your screen in vr space and there is a way but can’t quite remember there was a way to curve the display which is kind of neat you can have this nice visual gentle curve, whatever you choose.

However you decide to present your your display. Lightroom and everything else that you use works exactly as you would expect. So as I look around everything just kind of holds in place with the monitor and you know again if you’ve utilized better touch tool actually edit entirely using shortcuts without having to look at anything on your screen and really without having to use your mouse much at all, so I highly recommend better touch tool and I have a separate patreon link walking through that. If you’re just looking for a fun way to sort of escape your quarantine environment. Yeah, I highly recommend this is super fun. I used it before the current situation that we’re all in it when I would travel so on an airplane at night or something yes again, I understand the geekiness factor of all that but yeah on an airplane I could be in a virtual environment that didn’t feel so claustrophobic and just fun to change things up.

The big key is leveraging a secondary wi-fi adapter like this one which again i’ll link two in the article on my patreon through the igtv description of a secondary wi-fi card really cuts down on the latency so feels like real time and what you’re seeing on your display correlates really well with your mouse strokes and all that. So it’s super fun. If you already have one of these try the immersed vr app for 30 days and yeah buy if you want. Again, what is really cool if you have a friend that is using this exact same setup you can join chat rooms and you can look at their screen while they look at your screen and you actually collaborate in a vr space, you know from one person’s home to the another. It’s super cool. If any of you end up doing this drop me your immersed handle in the comments on this igtv video and I would love to just hang out and have like a virtual edit session or something like that. I think i’d be really fun.

Ask any questions in the comments here, or continue the discussion in the newly renovated group forum!
Sam Hurd

Sam Hurd


Starting as a political news and celebrity portrait photographer in DC, Sam was instantly drawn to wedding photography as a space to promote more inventive ideas. Sam’s focus is on photographic techniques that are deceptively simple but have the potential to transform difficult or uninspiring shooting environments into one-of-a-kind opportunities for every photo made.

Most reviews, technical write-ups, and other photo nerd content is posted first, and exclusively, over on his patreon.