The ghost howls

A blog of virtual reality, startup and stuff



The greatest problem of Social VR is friction, not adoption

Today I was reading an UploadVR article about social VR: the article showcased how social VR will be enormous (with Facebook and others investing lots of money into it) but it has a present problem called adoption. I agree with everything inside that article (I’ve in this blog various articles that say that social VR is cool, like this one): social VR will be enormous and super-important (let’s all think how it will be cool to meet in VR with our far away grandpa or how it will be cool cooperating with teamworkers that are on the opposite side of the planet); but currently it has a clear adoption problem, meaning that very few people have VR devices, so we can’t meet with our friends in VR: many of my friends do not own a VR headset (some of them do not even know what VR is), so having a social VR ecosystem is very difficult. It will need time, they say: when we’ll all have VR devices, social VR will be huge, will be fantastic.

An example of AltspaceVR environment and avatars (image from AltspaceVR Inc.)
An example of AltspaceVR environment and avatars (image from AltspaceVR Inc.)

And I agree. Or maybe not. After reading the article I had a “ehm, no” feeling. In my opinion, social VR will be great, but it will not be enormous. I mean, it will be like Skype (and Skype is a service we all use) but it will not be like Facebook. And the reason is friction. Continue reading “The greatest problem of Social VR is friction, not adoption”

Can Standing in a Dark Room With VR Goggles on Your Face Really be Called Social?

Today I’ll have a great post here in my blog. Sasha Le Baron, who is a VR passionate that knows virtual worlds much more than me (he’s a Second Life user since long time!) has accepted to write an article about social VR for me. You should know him, since he’s the one that introduced me to BigScreen VR and VRChat. I’m very happy about this, because of his experience in this field. So… this time I won’t say any more words and I will leave all glory to him… so, here you are his article (after a funny video)…

First let me say I’ve partaken in the VR the Cool Aid, I have been waiting for VR to drop since @GreatDismal first described it back in the day. So, my opinions are, shall we say, biased. That being said, there is a lot of pushback from the uninitiated suggesting that VR is anti-social. Let’s unpack that in the context of the current state of Social VR. Continue reading “Can Standing in a Dark Room With VR Goggles on Your Face Really be Called Social?”

Social VR: meeting your friends in Virtual Reality with Bigscreen VR and VRChat

2 weeks ago I reserved some time to encounter virtually my friend Sasha. I got to know him some times ago on Twitter because he was interested in my work in full body virtual reality and soon he proved to be very friendly and supportive. Unluckily he lives in Canada, while I’m in Italy so it’s very hard for us to meet.

But but but… we’re two VR passionates and he’s a super-fun of virtual worlds… so he said to me “why don’t we meet in VR?“. I immediately liked the idea and so in the end on February the 1st at 17.30 Italian time we managed to finally meet in VR. This is a little resumée of my experience.

Being naive about virtual worlds (I’ve only tried AltspaceVR some times ago) I let Sasha pick the right application. He proposed BigScreen VR.

Bigscreen logo (Image by Bigscreen)
Bigscreen logo (Image by Bigscreen)

Continue reading “Social VR: meeting your friends in Virtual Reality with Bigscreen VR and VRChat”

VRideo shuts down

While I was preparing my next article, a great sad news arrived to me: VRideo shuts down. With a long, sad and warm message on their blog, they closed their platform yesterday. They were one of the most famous VR video apps (they had 700.000+ installations), they were compatible with lots of headsets (I remember VRideo being one of the first non-gaming app for GearVR), they raised a huge investment (2 million dollars!), they were super-cool… nonetheless, they’re closing. Continue reading “VRideo shuts down”

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