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Synchronized video playback across multiple Devices (Samsung Gear VR)

Specs:

Samsung Gear VR (SM-323)

Samsung Galaxy S6 (SM-G920F)

OS: Android 6.0.1

The Problem:

I’m searching for a possibility to control one or multiple Gears via a single external device. The key feature I’m looking for is to start/pause/resume a video, while someone else is wearing the gear. (like in a representation) It’s not necessary to be able to start the app from externally, even if being able to do so could become handy. A different player which can be controlled in this way would be satisfying too.

The optimal solution would be to have one external device which acts as controller for multiple Gears at the same time. At least some kind of external controller for each single device would be a step in the right direction.

Here are the solutions I’m currently working on and tried so far:

1) MilkVR / Samsung VR Apps

https://samsungvr.com/portal/content/gear_vr_synchronization

According to this official website from Samsung this would be the ideal solution to the problem. However, I found some information’s that Samsung renamed this app into “Samsung VR”.

So far, I couldn’t find much information’s about the “Samsung VR” app, like exact functionalities, hardware requirements or at least some official statement from Samsung whether or not this app is supposed to be the successor of MilkVR.

Besides all of this, it seems like MilkVR is only available within the USA. So even if MilkVR is still developed and can therefore be run on the named system, I’d first need to find a method to bypass the region lock.

2) Controlling via Bluetooth

Another possible solution I’m researching at the moment, is using some kind of Bluetooth controller with build-in multimedia keys, since the official player is supposed to support those. The question in this case would be, whether or not it’s possible to link one of those controllers to multiple devices at the same time.

The first test with one generic Bluetooth-based controller (Hi-Shock PG-9033) was disappointing so far, since I was only able to control the volume, seek and going back and forth in the menus. But I wasn’t able to start/pause/stop the playback independent of the built-in menus. Of course, the Bluetooth remote could be replaced with a computer or smartphone generated Bluetooth signal for example.

3) Controlling via other transfer methods

Another thought I had was to send the commands via WLAN or USB, but since I couldn’t find any implementation of that within the built-in appstore I don’t expect this to be a possible solution.

Closing words

If someone has some information’s or experiences whether or not some of these ideas could possible work I would be glad to hear them. Even if there’s another entirely different approach to this problem I would like to hear that too since I’m starting to run out of ideas.

Thanks, in advance

  • One Bluetooth peripheral can't connect to multiple hosts at once, so your option 2 is a non-starter. – Dan Hulme Apr 26 '17 at 13:39
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Ok, the Samsung support answered me and the Samsung VR app is indeed the successor of the MilkVR app. It has all the functionality, described in the official SamsungVR website I’ve linked in the question above. The presentation mode with one device controlling them all works fine so far.

All though the app is indeed official only available in the US and Canada, I found out, changing the country within the google account settings is already enough to download the app over the google playstore and oculus appstore.

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Our company worked with the VRSync solution. Bit hard to find but a great solution for this problem. You can play content to unlimited devices from your desktop.

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