Oculus has added Google Chromecast support to the Samsung Gear VR headset, so users can stream virtual reality experiences to their TV using a new cast button on the Oculus mobile app. This means that other people can now watch what you’re doing inside virtual reality — an option that’s long been possible on tethered headsets like the Oculus Rift and PlayStation VR, but absent from phone-based mobile VR.
Oculus brags that Gear VR is the only headset to officially support Chromecast right now, although Google is including Chromecast support in a Daydream VR update rolling out later this year. Most tethered headsets are already indirectly connected to a monitor or TV, so they can mirror the headset display automatically.
People watching a cast won’t be able to interact with apps or get the full experience of being in the Gear VR. But this option can make VR seem less isolating in a group setting, and it’s easier to guide new users through the interface when you know what they’re seeing. While this may not be what most people mean by “social VR,” it’s still a welcome update — as long as it works well.