when will nolo support IOS?

when will nolo support IOS?


  • Try iVRy's software if you mean iOS for desktop VR!
  • I mean with my iphone
  • @tony There are a couple of apps that support using your iPhone as a HMD for VR apps that run on your PC with Nolo doing the tracking. There isn't much chance that there will ever be support for using Nolo for tracking for VR apps that run on your iPhone, as the iPhone doesn't have USB host capabilities (it can if you get the digital camera adapter, so you may be able to hack something together on a Jail-broken device), and Apple doesn't allow the kind of access that would be needed to get this working. LYRobotix could make another version (or in theory some kind of adapter) and make a proper USB accessory for iPhone, but TBH that's not where they're heading right now...
  • Well, their Kickstarter page mentions that "For the Mobile VR mode, iOS is completely compatible and we will release an iOS SDK for developers." so it's normal for iOS users to expect that support is coming eventually.

    I sure hope they did manage to use it on an iPhone before they made that claim.
  • @Zomby ; That is a bold claim I did not know about. I really don't see how they plan to pull that off, because first up, there's no way to plug it into the phone. In order to make iPhone accessories, you have to license the "lightning" chip from Apple, go through a whole bunch of assurance tests and write the software. Unless you went the "rogue" route and used a pirate chip, and wrote your software without Apple's blessing. But then of course you'd also have to have pretty experienced iOS developers to pull it off. So, it's not impossible, but I wouldn't hold my breath...

  • @iVRy Sorry to ask, but iphone is not "compatible" to some usb hub?
  • edited August 3
    @Tux0Topo ; Plugging things into a phone (that you'd normally plug into a PC) requires that it support USB host or USB OTG (neither of which are supported by iPhone). There is a camera adapter that gives it USB host capabilities, which could in theory be used to connect Nolo. That is, if Apple gave some (accepted) way for you to speak to devices connected to it (which they don't). So LYRobotix would have to make an official iPhone USB accessory (licensing chips, going through approval etc.) and write a driver for it, neither of which I see happening in the short term. *Someone* (not me) could reverse-engineer the protocol, and implement it on a jail-broken iPhone with the camera adapter. It would be a labour of love, because whoever did that would most likely be the only person using it.

    That is as much as I know about USB hosting on iOS. Maybe I'm wrong, who knows? At the very least you'd need some way to physically plug it into the phone, which doesn't exist at the moment. Plugging both into a USB hub will definitely not work for that purpose.
  • Okay... i thought maybe there was some usb hub with otg cable -ish for the iphone... As you can see, i'm very ignorant in apple affairs... :D
  • Here's the official guide for iOS users. 

  • the experience on iphone was..........terrible!!!
  • @tony ; Are you referring to using it with iVRy or Trinus? If you haven't tried iVRy you can find it on the app store here:


    If you were referring to using it with iVRy, I would appreciate it if you can detail your issues in this thread:


  • edited August 9
    So, I had a chance to try NoloVR connected directly to the iPhone with the iPhone camera adapter (actually I had to use the old 30-pin camera adapter that I have with a 30-pin to Lightning adapter, so two adapters plus the USB cable). The iPhone displays the message:

    Cannot Use Device
    NOLO: The connected device requires too much power.

    However, the green light does come on on the HMD tracker (which AFAIK indicates NoloVR is working), and stays on, which means that Apple is not killing power to the device, or rejecting it (probably because NoloVR hardware appears as a USB input device like a mouse or keyboard which does have some support on iOS). The word "NOLO" in the message is coming from iOS, so it recognises that the USB device is called NOLO and doesn't complain about it being unsupported hardware or some such. So the next question some time down the line (I don't have a lot of time to play around with this), is whether or not an app can actually read the NoloVR hardware without having to jailbreak the device. Watch this space.

    I also tried it with the Samsung S7 USB host adapter (that ships with the phone) connected to the iPhone via a lightning to micro-USB adapter. In that instance, the phone didn't give any messages and the lights stayed off on the Nolo hardware. So whatever is inside the iPhone camera adapter it is not a simple USB-OTG adapter like Samsung.

  • edited August 9
    It turns out that LYRobotix would have to make a special cable/adapter for using NoloVR with a non-jailbroken iPhone. They would have to register with Apple's MFi program, and then make an adapter/cable that had a Lightning connector and a licensed MFi authentication chip to go between the phone and the HMD marker. They'd then have to develop an iOS SDK based on that which used USB-HID to communicate with the NoloVR hardware (like it does on Android and Windows), and get that certified with Apple. They'd then be able to use the "MFi" logo and sell NoloVRs in Apple Stores.

    Even though you could hack up a working solution on a non-jailbroken phone (you with infinite time and USB development experience), you would never be able to get it to work on later than iOS 6 devices, as they have put checks in to the USB-HID manager on iOS to only be available to the "Springboard" (shell) application on the phone. Even if you somehow managed to get past that you'd never get the app into the app store as it would be using private verboten frameworks on iOS.

    TL;DR: Only LYRobotix with a lot of effort and extra cable manufacturing could do this.
  • edited August 9
    Aka: Apple and their walled garden wins again :sweat:

    However, I bet if there wss an update to the HMD or a dock that powered it and transmitted over Bluetooth that would be an easier route to connect to iOS.
  • @bigelowed It's more about Quality Of Experience, which is a driving philosophy at Apple. I don't get paid to fluff tech companies, they're all the same to me, but I can tell you FWIW from a developer's point of view (and to some degree user) their stuff works way better (more reliable, smooth, more performance out of less hardware etc. etc.) than Google's Android.

    So it may be a bitter pill to swallow from a hobbyist point of view, but they have to make 100% sure for their device that if (for extreme example) your baby started choking and you needed to dial the emergency services while the NoloVR was plugged in, that you'd be able to, in all instances (not for instance have the phone crashing when you disconnect the cable or some such). That's their story.

    I did think about bluetooth, and wondered whether the hardware had a chip hidden in there somewhere. There's a problem, to power the Nolo without a battery, you'd need to plug it into the phone's USB. If you add a battery, it becomes too heavy (or leaves you with the same cable you're trying to avoid).

  • Sure, it works better because they have total control over the whole chain ( from hardware to SDKs to software ), but when it comes at the cost of delayed support for new fields like VR and AR that's the double-edged sword/cost of it.

    I know the reason why iPhones still sell though and it's because Apple has a "it just works" brand image that customers love, and the difficulty to release an app let alone jailbreak an iPhone and pirate them makes it great for software developers who want to make money too.

    If the phone still powers it without jailbreaking then maybe it would work just fine anyway, but otherwise I was thinking a small battery pack that can be clipped onto the headband at the back of the head, shouldn't be too heavy in that case.
  • @bigelowed ; What's really weird is the iPhone 5 onwards has very good (orientation) tracking for VR (best outside of GearVR on mobile that I've seen). They haven't (until now) made any noises about VR/AR, and there's not much interest/support for VR apps on iOS, so it's hard to understand why they would have bothered (I'm glad they did of course!).

    I'm going to see what LYRobotix says about their iOS plans. Camera adapter costs "Apple tax" (probably $40), then some kind of bluetooth adapter on top of that starts making the whole thing kinda pricey for what it is. They must have had some plan.
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