If you are looking to build virtual reality experiences on Windows Phone, there are two potential methods around the web. One option is a Unity framework that works with Windows Phone called ALPS-VR. A second option is to build a Unity app with a custom gyroscope head tracking script.

Windows Phone VR?

Can you build VR for Windows Phone?

ALPS-VR

ALPS-VR provides responsive head-tracking, a head gesture navigation system, side by side rendering, barrel distortion and chromatic aberration correction. ALPS-VR is also compatible with Android SDK 3.2.

To get started:

  • Download the Unity package from the ALPS-VR GitHub (alpsvr-wp.unitypackage).
  • Import it into your Unity project.
  • Drop the ALPSCamera prefab (ALPS/Prefabs/ALPSCamera.prefab) into your scene.
  • Work your magic and make the scene look nice.
  • When ready, go to Unity’s Build Settings (File > Build Settings), choose “Windows Store” and set the SDK to “Phone 8.1”.
  • Click “Build” to build your app!

ALPS-VR’s official website appears to have disappeared, so their GitHub is the source of truth for now!

Custom Gyroscope Head Tracking in Unity

As mentioned above, tech evangelist Pete D recently put together his own VR gyroscope tracking for Windows Phone. That link has a guide to how he did so, including code samples! He also has a follow up article covering barrel distortion! (Thanks Pete for the update!)

The Future

In future, we may have official Oculus SDK support for the Windows Phone if an announcement by Oculus in 2014 was any indication! More recently, Microsoft’s team in Russia held a hackathon for VR using Windows Phone, so their VR efforts are potentially ramping up!

More Info

Feedback!

If you do give ALPS-VR and Windows Phone a try, let us know how you go with it! If you find any other useful resources that are helpful, please send me links so I can share them with others on this post and across the site.

Image credit: Original VR Kit image from Thurrott, ALPS-VR Unity screenshot from their GitHub Page

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