KinoVR is a kind of wireless adapter app for iOS. It advertises a connection to SteamVR games straight from a computer, including the fan-favorite Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It also advertises the allowance of movement within a virtual space, though an ARKit is required for that feature to work. It can be downloaded here.
In preparation for this app, I was extremely skeptical. How could my phone, which was mostly limited to 360 video, handle Skyrim or another powerful game? I had a SteamVR-compatible game ready in my library, and set off to see if that truly was the case. The game hit the market in late 2016, but it wasn’t fully functioning with its main selling point (the use of SteamVR) until June 30, 2018. The following video was posted on Kinoni’s Facebook page.
KinoVR for iOS was just updated with SteamVR support. On ARKit-supported iPhones it also has location tracking enabling room-scale VR! Check this video to see how it works. Please install latest Windows Streamer version 1.60 from http://kinoni.com/rdrivers to start using 6 DOF tracking and more.Kinoni Windows Streamer also runs now faster, all KinoVR and KinoConsole users should install the latest server for best performance.
The game also advertises 60 frames per second in the wireless connection between the mobile device and the PC, which is another thing I found very hard to believe.
First of all, getting the whole thing set up was a nightmare. My computer didn’t trust a thing that was being installed on it (Kino requires a desktop download to establish the connection using its third-party software, which can be found here) and getting the connection set up was very finicky. I had an extremely difficult time setting up the connection between the phone and the laptop. When I say difficult, I mean I was in this for two hours and gave up three times to attempt to complete this review.
Once in the app, I was heavily disappointed. To access my Steam game, I had to purchase their “Pro” version, which supposedly included everything in the app. In the free version, I could find my computer (eventually). Actually playing the SteamVR game long enough to get a sense for how it worked, including audio, or really doing anything that involved anything interesting with this app would require me to pay the six dollars needed for the pro version. I declined to do this, and it resulted in one of the most boring experiences of the year.
In my game, I could see, but not hear. Audio wasn’t included without the pro package. After less than 45 minutes in my game, my access to the service was taken. It took longer for me to set up the game than it did to run out of time using it.
The concept is fantastic, I will give it that. I like the idea of bridging the gap between console VR and the common cardboard experiences used by most consumers. To improve on it, Kinoni needs a bigger budget, so as not to require so much money for so little use, and they need gaming technology to advance to the point where their concept is consumer-grade. I think this idea is slightly ahead of its time, and faulty connectivity was the largest problem with it. Establish it more securely, and they have something really nice here.