One of the new features in yesterday’s update to the Sansar client software was the ability to adjust the gravity level in your experience. Here’s the quote from the release notes:
Gravity scaling – Adjust the force of gravity as you create or edit your scene. Let avatars and objects fly in zero gravity or crank it up to make the scene heavier.
So, of course, somebody had to try it out and see how it works! Space Sailor made the following hilarious video of his experience in the Turkey Bounce, a zero-gravity funhouse filled with 80 turkeys. Because why not!
Someone posted a link to the VIBEHub website on the Occupy White Walls Discord server, and so I thought I’d check it out. (I did look at VIBEHub for the first time late last year, but nothing seemed to be ready to visit yet, so I left it.)
VIBEHub bills itself as, “The World’s First Crypto Based Virtual/Augmented Reality Marketplace & Hub”. So we’re looking at yet another blockchain-currency based virtual world, along with Decentraland and Mark Space. (I’ll let the three companies argue it out as to who was actually “first”.)
VIBEHub’s currency is called the VIBE. According to the website’s FAQ:
In order to watch concerts, partake in education seminars and workshops, attend meet and greets and go on Virtual Dates, You must pay in the VIBE currency to attend these events and social activities. VIBE can also be used to purchase digital assets, and vote on the platform as well.
The focus of the VIBEHub platform appears to be to present volumetrically-captured concert and education footage. They call this “Volumetric Video (Holoportation Technology)”:
What makes VIBEHub truly unique is that we are capturing performances and streams using Volumetric videos. This technology allows us to capture a hologram image of a performer or teacher in a live setting and place that performance or lesson in our own custom VIBEHub VR environments. This will create a one of a kind immersive VR experience that the world has yet to see.
Here’s an eight-minute video to show you what the VIBEHub platform looks like. Three avatars are taking a virtual tour of a museum collection. Note that the avatars consist only of disembodied heads, shoulders and hands—no bodies. They remind me of the Oculus Home avatars, or perhaps the Facebook Spaces avatars. (Not a good look.)
Here’s another four-minute video showing an avatar purchasing some music from another avatar:
VIBEHub is currently in beta for the Oculus Rift, with plans to support HTC Vive and PSVR in future. I’ve registered by email to receive an invitation to try out the Oculus VR beta. I haven’t heard anything back yet.
They also have a beta web browser-based app (billed as a “Beta web browser-based platform with all the social functionality linked to the VR platform”), but I couldn’t get it to work. Even more disconcerting, when I look at my user profile, all the fields appear to have been filled out by a different person called “ryanschultz”! This kind of security lapse does not fill me with a sense of confidence in using VIBEHub, especially since they expect me to purchase VIBE currency to be able to attend events like lectures and concerts.
Along with Decentraland and Mark Space, it’s definitely another platform to monitor over the coming year, as it continues to evolve. If I ever get a chance to try it out in my Oculus Rift headset, then I will let you know how it goes.
Yesterday’s episode of Endgame had as their guest none other than Kent Bye, creator of the popular Voices of VR and Voices of AI podcasts, consisting of hundreds of interviews with people doing work in virtual reality and artificial intelligence.
Kent talks with the three co-hosts of Endgame (Nomono, Poplopo, and Psych) in a wide-ranging discussion. He argues that virtual reality gives a more embodied, less dissociative, and less escapist alternative to the social media (Facebook, etc.) screen-based culture that is currently experiencing a backlash. He thinks that decentralized social VR on open platforms is going to be a winner in the long-run (he mentions High Fidelity as an example).
Here’s the YouTube livestream of yesterday’s Endgame episode:
There’s also an active Discord discussion channel run by the people behind Endgame, called Deep Thoughts (that’s how I found the link to this livestream). You can join it by clicking on this link.
Endgame continues to provide engaging, inspiring and challenging content. It’s one of the premier examples of the innovative use of virtual reality to build community. It’s must-see TV! Or come into VRChat to be in the studio audience for Endgame, which is held every Wednesday at 7:00 pm Pacific Time!