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Controller Docking and Individual Window Focus are Now Added in SteamVR Dashboard

SteamVR’s latest beta update brings forth significant enhancements to how a user can use their personal computer within VR using the SteamVR dashboard. Certain applications can be chosen for display rather than the entire desktop, and a user can also dock window views to controllers inside the VR app.

For a long time, SteamVR has supported convenient viewing and interacting with PC desktops with the help of the SteamVR dashboard, but a range of simple yet robust features are added with the new beta update (version 1.17.2).

The first feature is a user’s ability to add separate windows to the dashboard, which allows them to quickly move between certain apps just like shifting from one monitor to another.

The second feature is that users can dock any virtual desktop view, such as individual apps, to their left or right controller. This enables the window to remain within their VR app even if the SteamVR dashboard is closed. It will help make video feeds, chats or other background applications easily understandable within the headset itself. Not only that but when the dashboard is open, users can also use a virtual pointer to interact with the app attached to their hand.

While the latest SteamVR dashboard functions are important and useful, they also indicate the improved future of SteamVR. For example, only a total of 4 virtual desktop views (whether applications or desktop views) can be accommodated, but extra views cannot find room to show as new buttons. However, the update indicates that the interface is subject to future modifications that will allow more views simultaneously.

Additionally, the only method users can use to enable apps to stay visible when the dashboard is closed is by docking them to their controller. For a list of games, usually the seated ones, the best way is to easily float the window and set it at a specific location. Although this looks like a great way to up the work, users can expect much more in the coming updates.

At the beginning of 2020, Valve announced that it is planning to deploy SteamVR 2.0. Even though the world has experienced several enhancements since then, the company may have fallen a little too short of the set goal because it still uses a 1.## version number. However, the improvements being made to the features of the dashboard and its complete support for OpenXR feels like Valve’s steps towards the much-awaited 2.0, which is expected to be a relief for uses worldwide.

If you want to get a preview of the update, follow these steps to join the SteamVR Beta version:

  • Right-click on SteamVR, Properties, and select the Betas tab
  • Choose SteamVR Beta Update from the drop-down list
  • Update SteamVR

According to the company, this version (1.17.7) presents a significant upgrade to window-to-controller docking, which is a user’s ability to place the window wherever they want around the controller.

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