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Software brings your PC's entire interface to VR

BigScreen keeps you immersed when you're watching movies or sharing screens.

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Virtual reality faces numerous challenges, but one of the biggest is having to take your headset off whenever you need to run a conventional app. What if you want to maintain that immersion, or just want to use a VR device as your only display? That's where BigScreen thinks it can help. It's developing software that places your entire Windows desktop in a VR environment. It's partly for the sake of immersion (you can have a massive, wall-filling screen without spending a fortune), but it's a bigger deal for social experiences. You can see a friend's shared screen as a separate virtual monitor, or play games and movies with friends who sit in using personalized avatars.

You can sign up for a public beta test today, and the finished software should be available for both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift when they're available in April. Samsung Gear VR support is due later in 2016. BigScreen is definitely going to be a niche app on launch (you're going to need an expensive headset and a powerful PC just to use it), but it's an important step toward turning VR from a once-in-a-blue-moon experience into something you use every day, whether you're catching up on Netflix or creating

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