It seems as if every day there are new developments in the world of virtual reality; and each is more impressive than the last. It was only a few weeks ago that we saw the debut of the Oculus Social App, and recently Altspace VR has become available on the Samsung Gear VR and it is the first step in making virtual reality into the social space that we all imagine.
At last there is a virtual space where you can meetup with people from across the globe and interact with them in a myriad of ways. The image above gives you an idea of the space that Altspace VR drops you into; imagine a big house that you are free to explore. Additionally the two figures you see are avatars which represent a person in this app. The cool thing about this app is the unlimited potential it has; you can see two people watching Netflix in this image. In Altspace VR you can also stream YouTube videos, show specific webpages, or play any of the numerous games they have around the space. Altspace VR encourages users to use a headset with a microphone because talking to other people in the space is a big part of the social interaction of this app. The staff at Altspace VR also host featured events where they stream movies, have comedians, do a question and answer with the developers, and more. These events always see a high turnout and it’s during one of these events that the app truly shines and you see the potential of a virtual social space like this.
Altspace VR is currently available on the Samsung Gear VR and will be supported on the Oculus Rift when it comes out; however this app is also available for desktop PC users. There are currently a few features available to PC users which are not available to Gear VR users. Desktop PC users can play Dungeons and Dragons with a group of friends, which is the perfect solution to hardcore players who have had a friend move away; or someone who doesn’t have anyone to play with. Another cool feature which exists is the ability to make private rooms or spaces; and the implications of that feature alone are endless. Being able to virtually host a movie night with your friends, have an international conference call, or conduct a focus group where everyone is in a different place, is a truly interesting notion.
This app is great at bringing people together, whether it’s your friends joining you or the strangers you meet along the way; it’s easy to see that this app is going to be the social space within virtual reality that we’ve all been picturing.