UPDATED! Sensorium Galaxy Update: The Now and the Not Yet

I have been monitoring the progress of the ambitious social VR platform Sensorium Galaxy ever since I first wrote about it on my blog in October of 2020. There have been a couple of very slickly-produced videos recently released by the company, teasing a forthcoming performance by superstar deejay David Guetta on the platform:

In a second video, David is shown being scanned in high resolution in order to create his avatar:

A recent tweet makes it sound like David Guetta’s performance in Sensorium Galaxy is imminent:

David Guetta – The #1 DJ in the World – is the next of ’The Chosen Ones’ to set off for Sensorium Galaxy’s PRISM World – the epicenter of entertainment in the digital metaverse. Don’t miss his upcoming epic shows. Register now to get early access.

Unfortunately, when you do register, all you are presented with is a downloadable technical demo, which requires a high-end gaming PC with either an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive tethered VR headset (alas, no Valve Index support yet):

The Sensorium Galaxy tech demo has some fairly steep hardware requirements

This is NOT a platform for the Oculus Quest crowd! While the social VR platform has not yet launched, the company is already selling full-body avatars in its online store for you to wear while attending future shows:

The company is also demoing its AI bots, including releasing a couple of “interview” videos, where they respond to a reporter’s questions:

I must confess that these chat bots, while certainly able to string together English sentences in response to questions, leave me a bit cold. Why you would want to engage in chitchat with an AI-enabled NPC, other than for novelty’s sake, to test it out for a few minutes? I’m not 100% convinced that a social VR platform really needs a feature like this, especially one where the obvious focus is on music performances.

With its provision of a ready-to-accept-your-cryptocurrency store before the actual product launch, its high-resolution scanning of celebrities, and its audacious, selling-the-sizzle-instead-of-the-steak promotion, Sensorium Galaxy reminds me of nothing so much as the ill-fated MATERIA ONE (formerly called Staramba Spaces; you can follow that sad saga here). MATERIA ONE, while embracing celebrity endorsers such as Paris Hilton and Hulk Hogan, foundered for any number of reasons: misplaced priorities, overweening ambition, and a limited target audience given its requirement for high-end PCVR.

Frankly, I’m not quite sure what to make of Sensorium Galaxy so far. I do know that, with my current hardware setup, that I cannot participate in it. The company is definitely trying to generate some serious buzz for the product, and I wish them every success in what is becoming a rather competitive marketplace for virtual events.

But as far as I can tell, and based on what I have seen and read so far, there’s a bit of a gap between the now and the not yet. I will continue to monitor Sensorium Galaxy as its develops!

UPDATE August 11th, 2021: I came across this April 2nd, 2021 press release which says:

Sensorium Corporation today announced the closed beta launch of Sensorium Galaxy — a social metaverse uniting people through high-quality virtual experiences. Selected users have gained access to the platform to explore worlds PRISM and MOTION.

The main goal of this closed beta test is to collect valuable insights to enhance the experiences at Sensorium Galaxy ahead of its public launch in Q2 2021.

“Sensorium Galaxy is revolutionizing how the arts are created, distributed, and enjoyed. From music festivals to dance shows, we’re creating the world’s first social metaverse where everyone can get together, experience high-quality virtual content, and find new opportunities for self-expression,” says Vladimir Kedrinsky, CEO at Sensorium Corporation.

“The SG beta test helps us streamline the in-platform user mechanics, and get actionable insights before the metaverse goes public in the upcoming months. Participants of this invite-only beta test are able to experience some of the sophisticated user-level mechanics that Sensorium Galaxy has to offer,” explains Ivan Nikitin, Head of Product at Sensorium Corporation.

So it sounds as though a lot of work is going on behind the scenes.

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