AltspaceVR is a virtual 3D world combining networked avatars, 3D spatial sound and an integrated web browser. It provides immersive collaboration in virtual reality or on a standard desktop computer.
The games are among the most popular entertainment in terms of VR. But if you want to experience something new, more social, or just hang out with friends, AltspaceVR is the place for you. This is a virtual meeting space that works on several major platforms. It allows people to meet and interact online using avatars. AltspaceVR supports Windows Mixed Reality, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and mobile virtual reality such as Oculus Go, Gear VR, and Google Daydream.
Here’s what to know about this social virtual reality platform.
AltspaceVR is a virtual event platform with originally founded in 2013 and later acquired by Microsoft in 2017. The company offers a environment of mixed reality where users from all over the world come together for meetings, participate in yoga classes, and have any kind of shared experience. Microsoft bought the platform in order to take advantage of its powerful immersive technology architecture.
Between 2013 and 2017, AltspaceVR organized a total of three funding rounds, raising $15.7 million of investments. In February 2021, it announced an official integration with the larger Microsoft ecosystem.
The integration allows users to Minecraft, Xbox Live Where Office 365 to consolidate their connection, which makes the AlTspaceVR experience more secure. AltspaceVR introduced a host of customization capabilities. Thus, users have more control over their avatars and facial expressions.
AltspaceVR, the different features
AltspaceVR is among the most popular virtual meeting landscapes for events, business collaboration, and even education. Since its launch, the virtual reality environment has attracted countless users, who appreciate the flexibility of the platform. You can experience daily events, create your own meeting experiences, and even connect with people in the 2D world.
The AltSpaceVR ecosystem works with a VR headsets, including Oculus and Windows Mixed Reality tools. You can easily host and start your own meetup within the platform, without the need for extensive coding knowledge. Features include:
- The compatibility of the best VR headsets
- 2D cross-platform support
- Easy access with Steam downloads
- Customizable meeting and event environments
- Full access to the directory
- Security and privacy controls
- Extensive development features
- A video camera broadcast
- Custom avatar creation tools
- Amplifying your voice
- Public or private meeting spaces
- Unlimited scene management and capacity
- Hosting of event panels
- Screen sharing and content sharing
- Audience interaction tools for events
AltSpaceVR is ideal for companies wishing to unlock the benefits of virtual reality for their teams, without spending a fortune on custom development strategies. The system is easy to use. Furthermore, it is comes with SDKs to create shareable applications. It’s possible to customize pre-existing templates if you don’t want to start creating something from scratch.
What does the platform offer?
AltspaceVR lets you share VR experiences, whether in your personal or professional life. You can either attend public events scheduled by others or host your own, opening it up to the entire online community or keeping it private.
A calendar of public events
Much like events on Facebook or LinkedIn, AltspaceVR will have dozens of events on its calendar at any given time. This ranges from spiritual encounters like a group meditation, to learning events like sessions on cryptocurrency, general science, business networking and more, all in VR.
AltspaceVR allows to follow specific channels according to your area of interest. Among them are humanism, diversity and inclusion, spirituality and music festivals. Just like on YouTube, you will be notified each time a channel is uploaded. In addition, you will be alerted to participate.
AltspaceVR comes with a predefined set of VR environments. these cover common public spaces such as streetsas well as more fantastic places like an enchanted meadow or a mythical library. Event hosts on AltspaceVR can choose from these worlds when planning a gathering.
Microsoft Mesh compatibility
AltspaceVR Enterprise Edition is based on Microsoft Meshwhich means that you will be able to benefit from a 3D photorealistic presence and space multiplayer experiences. This makes AltspaceVR a great app for collaboration, corporate events, and employee engagement gatherings.
What kind of VR events are there on AltSpaceVR?
Here are some types of events you will see on AltspaceVR:
- VR training or educational conferences
- Television games
- Political debates
- Film streaming events
- Award Ceremonies
- Religious or local meetings
- alcoholics anonymous dating
- Treasure Hunts
- Social gatherings
- AltSpace Unity Dating
- AltSpace Development Meetings
- comedy shows
- Open mic shows
- Group therapy sessions
- LGBTQ communities and support groups
- VR / World tours
- Live shows
- Nightclub events
Note that this list is not exhaustive.
If you’re using a connected headset, make sure your computer meets the minimum recommended specifications for Altspace. In VR, download the app from the Oculus Store (for Oculus headsets), the Steam Store (for HTC headsets), or the Windows Store (for Windows Mixed Media headsets). Then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process. You can also download Altspace for desktop mode if you don’t have access to a headset.
Create an account and an avatar
To create your account, make sure you have installed AltspaceVR on your device. Then launch the app. Select “Register”. Complete the registration form, then select “Create”.
You can customize your avatar. This means that you have the ability to create and to express your identity in AltspaceVR as you wish. You will be able to change your avatar’s clothes and clothes color, body shape, body height, facial features, skin tone, hair style and color and more.
To customize your avatar, select “Me” from your main menu. On the left side there will be main categories, including: Body, Head, Face, and Clothes. You can open each main section to see all the options it contains. Select any option to see it in your avatar preview. Once you are satisfied, select “Save”.
A use case
In June 2015, a specially designed 3D environment was created for a exploration of a volcanic lava lake led by explorer Sam Cossman. This tour summed up everything an immersive and memorable online learning experience should be.
AltspaceVR can also be used effectively to organize virtual meetings or tutorials where the concept of “discussion space” is important. With its integrated spatial audio, it allows groups of participants to separate into different areas and have conversations without disturbing others due to overlapping noise.
Since all of this can happen in a single virtual area, it reflects what happens in real-life situations and makes joining and running sessions very intuitives. The use of headphones or a headset is essential to avoid any audio feedback during the session. The AltspaceVR platform works well in standard 2D and VR, provided you set up Oculus Rift on a properly equipped desktop computer.
Some recommendations for running virtual sessions on AltspaceVR
The real world rules of engagement apply just as much in the virtual world, whether in 3D virtual reality or a traditional conference call. First of all, you must make people feel welcome when they enter a session, especially new users.
If there is one delay or technical problem in the procedure, let people know what’s going on. Besides that, engage the audience with questions and encourage participants to collaborate. Finally, don’t just replicate an actual PowerPoint presentation in a virtual world. Use the unique perks of space instead.
AltSpaceVR vs VRChat: what’s the difference?
Both VRChat and AltSpaceVR are excellent introductions to the world of collaborative virtual reality. To develop bonds between the members of your team and create unique learning experiences, these are the solutions to be preferred. They will allow you to create custom environments and avatars for your specific needs.
Plus, they come with public events that you and your teams can attend. You can also access both tools via a range of VR headsets, or on a 2D environment like a PC. But with AltSpaceVR, you get a more professional, but still user-friendly virtual environment, to share ideas and work together on a variety of tasks.
You can access all kinds of content to improve your teamwork. There are also videos and screen shares for additional context. While AltSpaceVR appears to have been designed for more professional and educational environments, VRChat is more informal, designed for making friends and bonding online. You can play games with people you meet, explore public worlds, and even sculpt ideas with other users.
VRChat offers much more freedom when it comes to creating and customizing avatars, featuring avatars complete with eye-tracking and lip-syncing. VRChat immerses teams in a fun and playful experience where they can build their own worlds, attend events, and express themselves with hand gestures and emojis.
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AltspaceVR: The essentials to know about the social virtual reality platform
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