Valve has added a feature to the SteamVR beta that allows users to overlay Windows applications or windows while playing VR games. The windows and apps can also be pinned to the controller.
New in SteamVR beta 1.19.6 is the ability to always have a desktop window of your choice in view while playing VR games. Earlier this year, SteamVR already added the option to link windows or apps to the controller. Users will then see it when they look at their hand. The new method is suitable, for example, for gamers who want to see a chat application or streaming site continuously while playing a VR game.
In the new beta it is also possible to switch between always visible floating windows and hidden windows linked to the controller. This can be done by grabbing the window and moving it towards the controller, or pulling it away from it.
The windows displayed in VR are view only, so there is no accidental interaction. When the pause button is pressed, the controller can be used as mouse input on the window in the VR view. For now, the functionality is only in the beta of SteamVR. It is not yet known when it will come to the release version.
Floating Window in SteamVR – Image via RoadToVR