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Virtual Desktop VR Streaming Gets 'Synchronous Spacewarp' On Quest 2

Virtual Desktop VR Streaming Gets 'Synchronous Spacewarp' On Quest 2

Virtual Desktop now has a its own take on Facebook’s Asynchronous Spacewarp (ASW) – and the extrapolation is actually better.

UPDATE June 16: SSW is no longer in beta, now available in regular Virtual Desktop.

Since just after the first Oculus Quest launched in 2019, without official PC support, Guy Godin’s app Virtual Desktop has offered wireless PC VR streamed over your home WiFi network. Facebook initially rejected this – meaning users had to apply a patch from SideQuest – but eventually relented and recently launched a similar feature called Air Link.

asynchronous spacewarp
Illustration from Facebook’s ASW launch

Air Link, like the Oculus Rift headsets, has a feature called Asynchronous Spacewarp. It kicks in automatically when your graphics card isn’t meeting framerate, forcing the running app to render at half the refresh rate of the headset and extrapolates a synthetic frame after each real frame. When graphics utilization drops low enough, ASW deactivates and the app returns to normal rendering.

Virtual Desktop’s new Synchronous Spacewarp (SSW) feature works somewhat similarly. But unlike ASW, SSW extrapolation runs on the headset itself, not on your PC. That means it works with any GPU and doesn’t have the PC performance impact of ASW.

Godin says he worked closely with Qualcomm, the maker of the Snapdragon XR2 chip in Quest 2, to make this possible. SSW isn’t available on Quest 1.

We tested Virtual Desktop’s SSW and found it has noticeably better extrapolation than Facebook’s ASW, as you can see in Godin’s provided video above.

Snapdragon XR2’s new Motion Estimation feature powers SSW

Like with ASW, you can disable SSW if you don’t want it.

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