Could Altspace VR Becomes The Virtual Facebook?
Social virtual reality is just around the corner. Redwood city based Altspace VR, demonstrated at Upload VR’s world tour kickoff tour just how easy it is for user to engage and communicate with one another inside the virtual world.
In the demo, “Cymatic” Bruce Wooden showed us AltspaceVR’s ability to project virtual web browsers, such as Youtube, into the virtual world similar to viewing a large billboard. Any conventional website can also be displayed on one of AltspaceVR’s virtual screens.
Altspace enables users to join the virtual world to have a chat, watch a Netflix movie together, have a virtual meeting, and much more.
In the Altspace, you are able to see other avatars (represented by real people) walking towards you, looking at you, and if they are talking to you. We were able to move freely and encounter other avatars that were people experiencing the demonstration as well as AltspaceVR employees from their Redwood City office.
AltspaceVR is still in the early stage of development, the company did raise 5.2 million seed round funding in 2014. Investors include Google Ventures, Foundation Capital and Tencent.
The primary focus for AltspaceVR is in nonverbal communication. AltspaceVR maps a person’s head as they move around perfectly in sync with their avatar in the virtual space. Just a few weeks ago in experiment, Altspace was able to accurately identify user’s expression simply by tracking their head movement.
Now with the Intel Realsense Camera integrated in their future product, Altspace will be able to track hands in the virtual world, providing even more non-verbal communication through hand gestures.
Altspace is in the process of working with other data sources in an effort to explore new ways of capturing physical movement and enhancing non-verbal communication, as peripheral hardware and data evolve to support more advanced detections and interactions.
Technologies such as eye tracking and facial recognition will definitely be on their future menu.Currently, the company is signing up early developers to participate in beta testing.