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VZfit Explorer Feedback
#1
So far, I've tried a few of the featured rides in VZfit Explorer which makes it really easy to get right into a ride with interesting locales. I wasn't sure how well the transitions between frames would work, but the fuzzing out and in works pretty well at lower speeds from what I've noticed and it worked better than I anticipated. One feature that could be cool or useful would be showing few second videos with a quick speed through or highlights when you hover over a ride to give you a preview of the featured rides and maybe an upvoting system along with that (also recommendations based on previous rides and compared to other users?). I like the freedom with the Google Maps Street View, but courses with defined distance and start/end points and approximate times could help for exercises as well as maybe multiple stage rides over the course of a few days like the Tour de France or longer trails/roads. An overlay to keep track of your best times or go against your own or a friend's ghost would also be nice motivators to make it more fun. A geocaching type thing to try and find cool natural features or details caught in the Street View footage (a screenshot mode to capture cool views or moments or gamification with objectives could go well with Explorer).

The main issues I've run into are steering with the head tilt, recentering the bike, and the rendering with objects jutting out really far. It feels like I need to tilt my head too far to the point where it's uncomfortable to steer and a sensitivity slider may help with this. Without any additional hardware, I'm not sure how well steering can be mapped from natural motion to VR besides the headset, but maybe the Oculus Quest controllers could be mounted to the handlebars with brackets or somewhere else to detect movement or pressure to better map leaning into a turn. The Quest head leaning tracking may work better than the Go, but the Go is all I have to go off of at the moment.

For the recentering, I often have issues with it and can never reorient the bike back with the road, even when I try recentering while facing another direction. I think it would help to make sure that recentering puts you and the bike parallel to the road instead of just reorienting the bike. I typically exit out and restart a featured ride to fix the orientation of the bike to the road. It's really disorienting going along a curve with the bike facing off at a slight angle not in the direction I'm moving. It may be better to have the bike go along a fixed track with transparent dotted or dashed lines along the road showing the path since this gets rid of the recentering or isn't dependent on the head tilt tracking and I can lean naturally into a turn without needing tracking. This could be a separate "lock to path" mode if people still want to have the freedom of steering. With a fixed path, it may also help the rendering artifact issues I see occasionally as well.

On the beta feedback side for VZfit Explorer or VZfit Play, it may help to have dedicated forums or threads for feedback rather than everyone creating their own threads. Looking forward to using Explorer more and I need to give VZfit a try.
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#2
Thanks, lots to consider!

> One feature that could be cool or useful would be showing few second videos with a quick speed through or highlights when you hover over a ride to give you a preview of the featured rides and maybe an upvoting system along with that (also recommendations based on previous rides and compared to other users?)

In our next update (http://virzoom.com/mybb/showthread.php?tid=39) we're planning thumbnails and a ride sharing/upvoting system based on how much other people ride each!

> I like the freedom with the Google Maps Street View, but courses with defined distance and start/end points and approximate times could help for exercises as well as maybe multiple stage rides over the course of a few days like the Tour de France or longer trails/roads.

We're also adding endpoints and navigation to ride in our next release, for exactly this intent. You'll also be able to resume long rides (like Tour de France) where you left off or restart them or ride in reverse.

> An overlay to keep track of your best times or go against your own or a friend's ghost would also be nice motivators to make it more fun.

We'll have something like that, like at every mile along a ride to say what percentile you're in. So 52% would mean you've reached it ahead of 52% of previous riders. Though we don't want to put too much emphasis on virtual speed, because a) anybody can lower their resistance or difficulty to artificially inflate that, and b) we want people to enjoy rides at their own pace and resistance/difficulty that gives them best workout.

> A geocaching type thing to try and find cool natural features or details caught in the Street View footage (a screenshot mode to capture cool views or moments or gamification with objectives could go well with Explorer).

It's like you are reading our backlog! I'm sure something like this will appear in a future release.

> It feels like I need to tilt my head too far to the point where it's uncomfortable to steer and a sensitivity slider may help with this.

Funnily enough, learning to steer is a bit like riding a bike for the first time. Try tilting your head earlier to make larger arcs, and also slow down your pedaling rather than tilting more to turn tighter. We've found that decreasing sensitivity without learning to do those things makes people tilt/lean too much. Increasing sensitivity like you are suggesting might be a good option, if you want to tilt less for the same effect, but we've seen by default that can freak people out who are learning. I'd love to hear what you think after another week of riding!

> For the recentering, I often have issues with it and can never reorient the bike back with the road, even when I try recentering while facing another direction.

First I want to make sure you are recentering by looking down and hitting our button. Recentering with the Oculus controller does a subtly different thing. But yes I hear you'd like an option to straighten the bike along the road. One way to do that now would be to select "Reverse Direction" twice from the Options menu. Each time reorients you along the road.

> It may be better to have the bike go along a fixed track with transparent dotted or dashed lines along the road showing the path since this gets rid of the recentering or isn't dependent on the head tilt tracking and I can lean naturally into a turn without needing tracking.

While that sounds good, we believe this is guaranteed to make you simulation sick, as described in https://virzoom.com/blog/vr-that-moves-you/

Control over directional navigation with your head look is key to synchronizing the rotational acceleration your eyes and ears sense. The steering input is separate, coming from head tilt on the Go and head deflection on PC/Quest, and deflection can feel more natural. But learning to navigate one step at a time is the key to enjoying Explorer and Play.

> With a fixed path, it may also help the rendering artifact issues I see occasionally as well.

Heading directly between dots on the road does indeed minimize image stretching artifacts. Using the 3rd person view minimizes it even further, though some people feel better closer to the ground so comfort isn't entirely related to artifacts. Note we can't eliminate them because the sense of motion you feel is a trick with the images, not a fully constructed scene.

> On the beta feedback side for VZfit Explorer or VZfit Play, it may help to have dedicated forums or threads for feedback rather than everyone creating their own threads.

Agree we'll need to segment it once we see the different kinds of posts people make. For now I expect it'll all be feedback!

> Looking forward to using Explorer more and I need to give VZfit a try.

Great! In VZfit Play, while you are learning to navigate we recommend spending most of your time in levels marked "Comfortable", which are flat and give wide room for error. When you feel ready then spend more time in "Moderate" which have more turns and hills, and only after those feel good spend time in "Intense" levels in which you fly. You can try anything at any time, but the first time you move up we'll offer a warning and tutorial.
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#3
Thanks so much for sharing your feedback and impressions after using Explorer z06blaze.

I won't repeat what Eric already said, but a lot of your suggestions (or equivalents) are planned, so it's great to hear you want them.

FWIW I dig the idea of having a few seconds of preview video for Suggested Rides, animated gif style. As Eric noted, we currently have static thumbnail's planned for next release, but I'll make sure we consider mini-videos with speed through / highlights for the future.

Regarding re-centering - can you tell us, are you using the Oculus Controller to recenter? Or the 'look down and hit recenter button' using A button? Both methods should work, but turn out to have a differences under the hood, so knowing will help us diagnose and fix.
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#4
I just got my Quest and did a couple rides using the Explorer. A couple notes on what I have found. I think that I will really like some of the rides and this software is the reason that I got the Quest., I did notice that when riding with objects close to the road, they appear really distorted. I did a quick ride around my neighborhood and the houses were really distorted and barely recognized. Some jumped out into the road an others were set way back. I don't know if there is a way to improve this. I did another ride out in the desert and this ride looked a lot better. The transactions were fairly smooth and the ride was enjoyable. I would imagine that a ride through a city would be almost unrideable. Hoping that things will continue to improve with regards to the transitions and smoothing of objects. Until them I guess I will focus on the wide open environments.
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#5
Glad you're enjoying it!

Open roads, or roads with buildings/bushes/crops on the sides that are a consistent height come across best.

There's something we released on the Go recently, called monoscopic rendering, which may also reduce your sense of the artifacting. Monoscopic means the scene is rendered the same both eyes, instead of separating them to create a stereo effect. Some people have said mono reduces their ability to sense depth artifacts, so we could provide that as option on the Quest.

We could also try smoothing the depth changes, which would produce a different kind of artifact but may be less distracting to some people.
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#6
Think I would prefer less depth to get less distortion.
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#7
Cool, we'll try monoscopic for Quest and smoothing options next sprint.
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#8
Great news.  I have an elliptical that has Ifit and it has the ability to use Google Street view.  Only on a flat screen and in 2d, but it is a lot more enjoyable to view with no objects morphing out to look like you are on drugs.  Mostly interested in the scenery and not so much worried about 3D.
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#9
iFit just shows a slideshow of images, correct? It’s true that’s least likely to make you feel discomfort but removes what we do to feel continuous motion over a road. The more we remove depth, the more it’ll feel like a slideshow, but can provide options that go from one end to the other to suit people’s sensitivities.
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#10
First of all, great product!  I've been in software for 30 years and you exceeded my expectations.  I'm a mountain biker but had a road bike friend over yesterday and was telling him about it.  Ironically for some reason he mentioned the real "Road to the Sun" route.  I was able to tell him that I had just ridden it that morning.  He's a member of the local club and plans to spread the word.

Any plans to make it possible to manage "my rides" in my account section via web browser?
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