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Assign a keyboard/joystick/any usb input device to activate camera on HTC Vive


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About to try the sitting down option with the HTC vive and not utilise the room scale.


I am going to try Vorpx and try my flight simulator out. I may also try other titles too such as ARMA 3.


Now. What would be EXTREMELY useful (in fact - so useful that it could make or break the experience) is if i could assign a button on the joystick to activate the camera on the HTC vive so that I can see the real world and then be able to utilise a switch on the thorttle stick as an example. Or perhaps reach that beer on the side as another highly possible probability.


It doesnt have to be a joystick. It could be a button on my steering wheel, or keyboard. However, preferably the joystick as that would be not having to lose my position in the real world.


I have a 3rd monitor that displays cockpit information too. This could still be useful if i could activate the camera on the HTC vive with a click of a button and see the display. The click it again to return and deactivate the vives camera. (or perhaps push and hold for on release for off)


I would imagine that it would be possible. Something that makes a lot of sense. Something surely that is a feature I have just failed to see in the manuals and online?


At the moment, i think the camera can be activated by double pressing the mouse? (i quickly read somewhere) not good for a shooter such as arma 3.


Assigning a key press to another device makes a lot of sense.


Any ideas?



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Hi , I haven't heard about being able to do this, but I will ask around to see if it's possible.


It sounds like you're aware of how to turn the camera on - are you aware there's a hardware shortcut to turn on the 'Tron view'? There's a button on the left hand side of the HMD, which if you double 'click' (press? tap?) it brings up the blue-ish 'Tron' style view. That should be enough to, for example, locate your beer. It only outlines objects however, so it's no good if you wanted to read a keyboard, for example.


For your cockpit info, to read that, you'd probably need to use the camera in default mode, which is when 'Allow Camera for Dashboard' is selected in settings, you'll see a small camera feed above the right controller in VR. For your purposes however, I'm not sure it'd work great because it might be hard to read the text on-screen.


I don't know of any flight simulators integrating VR support (yet - maybe someone can correct me?) but some flight-style games, such as Elite Dangerous, allow for it. It's a far cry from the real world simulation stuff but you might still enjoy.


I'll still ask around and see if it's possible to remap, though.

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I am glad you understand what I am trying to acheive.


I must admit, I am quite suprised there isnt the ability to program a switch of some kind. Hold for full view camera on - release for full view camera off. Everything is there. The camera, the utility, the operating system. It wouldnt even have to involve windows. Just a feature in the vive preferences panel. The GUI. I know I make it sound simple - but along with what has already been done, I cant imagine it would be any more difficult to do - the benefits would be huge.


The main bonus of being able to switch to the real world on the fly is hand position more than seeing anything in any great detail - albiet useful. Maintaining hand positions on the throttle and stick as well would help. Making sure I am flipping a switch for landing gear instead of dump fuel for example.


Vorpx is a program that allows you to play non 3d stereo games in 3d stereo.


Bit of tweaking needed to get things to look right - but in most cases I understand it works quite well.

I know its been used with FSX. I dont know about X-Plane 10/11.


DSC Flight Sims has incorporated the tech and has it built in, as has the makers of Project Cars.


BMS Falcon (4.33) is unlikely to support or intigrate the tech into their engine although there are clever individuals looking at it. Someone has managed to get it working using Vorpx - but with problems with the HUD.


In some ways, its  a good job that the Vive is in its infancy and doesnt offer all of its full potentials yet. The fact that you cant just use it with any simulation you like - i think i would lose my job!!! not to mention my family :)


How good are the developers of HTC Vive/Valve software at listening to suggestions? is there anyway of getting a message to them about it?


Thanks for you reply anyway. Really appreciate it.


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Hey ! Yep, what you want to do is exactly what I thought - basically ensure you don't have to take your hands off your controls.


I can certainly pass your suggestion on (I did ping some folk about this - no response yet). It's probably not as simple as we think, but doesn't seem impossible.


If I had to guess (and I am), I would imagine the option to have the camera 'take over' your field of view while in VR wasn't implemented to prevent people from accidentally pressing it and either getting confused, or maybe injuring themselves in VR. As it is now, the 'real' camera mode is a small window over your right controller as you know.


Of course, it's quite possible that VR development teams might choose to use the camera in exactly this way. I want to find out if that's possible myself. So stay tuned, hopefully I'll get an answer.

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Hi Stephen,


Thats great. Thanks.


I think for when you are in room scale - stood up looking around - you will have the controllers in your hand and are unlikely to have a keyboard in your hands or a joystick. The controllers are all you could practically use in that mode.


However, in the sat down mode, then yes - definitely a worthy feature to have this ability. I dont think it would be a concern since it would be such a deliberate action to activate it.


In any event, thanks for your time. I didnt realise you had the ability to scroll the office chair to the other desk and ask the developers. (so to speak)







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I heard some thoughts!


Apparently Valve opened up camera support with the OpenVR SDK a while back, so the short version is: what you want can be done, but it would need to be done by a developer on a per-application basis.


So for example, you might need that support in VorpX, or your preferred flight simulator game. I think it's something that could potentially be added as a SteamVR setting, but that's down to Valve.

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I was just about to reply!

Was thinking about it last night. My thoughts and your reply have me here:




Very interesting. I'm not a programmer but have limited knowledge about what is possible and this has led me down a path which I bet is already being looked at.


Havent googled yet -but I bet someone is working on a API that can be used over the top of any application.






Really appreciate your help. Its nice to know that this forum works!


Great stuff!


Thanks again Steve!  (can I call you Steve?)



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