Topik: A Brief Introduction

Ryan turns over a rock. Finds another social VR app…

*sigh*

Here we go, again

Topik is a mobile Android app which bills itself as a social VR platform, according to this page from BetaList:

Topik is the first social app created exclusively for the rapidly expanding mobile VR segment. Developed by startup Vertecx, the Topik VR beta release is now available on the Daydream platform and with support for additional platforms planned for 2018.

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Now, I don’t have an Android device, otherwise, I would be tempted to download and try this one out. The only VR headset that Topik currently supports is Google Daydream.

Frankly, I’m starting to get rather weary of all the social VR platforms that are popping up. Make it stop!

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BeanVR: A Brief Introduction

BeanVR was a social VR app from a Chinese company, which appears to be yet another casualty of the competitive social VR marketplace. There are a number of year-old YouTube videos about this platform, complete with fractured Chinese-to-English translations:

BeanVR looked like a fun and cheerful place, while it lasted!

In this 15-minute video, Chinese lessons are taking place on the platform:

Unfortunately, BeanVR seems to have shut down completely. There are numerous complaints on both the Oculus store and the Steam store about the app:

Absolutely Garbage. There are no players, very few rooms, 6 characters to choose from, and most of the content is in Chinese. The whole experience was buggy and unpleasant all around.

…Bean VR is a 1:1 shameless knock off of Altspace VR but at 1/10th the content and stability.

Many people have reported on the Oculus store that they were not able to get the app to run at all:

Don’t bother to download does not work!! Does not work, all you get is the logo in a dark background or an error.

Their Twitter hasn’t been used since June 2017. It seems pretty clear that the product has folded.

LiveLike: A Brief Introduction

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LiveLike is a social VR app which allows you to watch live sporting events with your friends in virtual reality. According to their website:

LiveLike’s live streaming platform is a white label platform that allows broadcasters to stream regular or interactive VR content under their own brand with or without a VR headset.

LiveLike offers very simple, head-and-shoulders avatars which you can tint different colours, similar to the ones found in Somnium Space and Oculus Home:

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Among their customers is Fox Sports:

Eventual VR: A Brief Introduction

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The Scottish team behind Geekzonia seems to have moved on (or perhaps branched out) to a new social VR project, called Eventual VR. According to their website:

Eventual is a team of techies, VR fanatics, creatives and geeks. We build beautiful, bespoke shared virtual reality environments, fully managed and hosted in the cloud.

In the summer of 2016 our founders hatched a crazy plan to build the worlds first virtual reality comic-con, a world called Geekzonia which users could visit just by strapping on a VR headset and join thousands of other like minded geeks. One of our founders owns a chain of cafe / comicbook shops and was frustrated with the dull limits of physical space and distance (told you we were geeks)! We wanted it to be stunning, social and full of amazing geeky content, events and experiences, basically the matrix for geeks. We spent the next 9 months wearing VR headsets, building environments, testing voice communications and experimenting with innovative server technology until finally Geekzonia launched in beta in March 2017 (you can try it here).

A funny thing happened soon after, as well as world wide press coverage and the start of a loyal fan base of “geekzonians”, companies started asking us if we could build a social VR environment for them too. Although this wasn’t part of the plan (which was to build the matrix for geeks) it seems that the ability to share a virtual experience with large numbers of other people takes VR out of the gaming and entertainment niches and makes it a solution for many real world businesses.

Within weeks we had been approached by events, training, education and media companies and so Eventual was born to build beautiful shared virtual worlds, not just for geeks but for everyone. We’re excited to shortly be announcing the first of many virtual worlds  built and powered by Eventual and if you’d like to find out more we’d love chat so feel free to get in touch.

The platform has the following features:

  • Multi-user networking
  • User authentication
  • Integration with all major VR headsets
  • User movement and control
  • Avatar customization
  • Voice communication (VOIP)
  • 360 & 2D video streaming
  • Fully managed and hosted in the cloud
  • Full web-based content management system
  • VR Retail / Ecommerce

Here’s a promotional video for the platform:

They have released a demo app for iOS and Android devices for showing properties within virtual reality (which I have not tried).