UPDATED: Tivoli Cloud VR Has Integrated Wolf3D’s Ready Player Me Avatar Creator: Now You Can Create a Tivoli Cloud Avatar from a Selfie!

Today, on a bitterly cold, -20°C winter day up here in the frosty Canadian prairie hinterlands (which felt more like -30°C when you factored in the wind chill from a strong wind), I was able to spend a convivial hour sitting around a campfire on a warm, tropical desert island, chatting with Caitlyn Meeks of Tivoli Cloud VR and a few other avatars (including a personable, OpenAI-controlled toaster named Toastgenie Craftsby, who every so often would spit out some toast, or even a delicious rain of hot waffles, during our delightful, wide-ranging conversation!).

Tivoli Cloud VR’s Desert Island (picture by Caitlyn Meeks)

Tivoli Cloud VR, a successor platform to the now-shuttered original High Fidelity social VR platform created by Philip Rosedale’s company of the same name (and based on HiFi’s open-source software code), has had a few new developments since the last time I visited, back in September! Among them is the full integration of Wolf3D’s Ready Player Me avatar creation system, as demonstrated in this two-minute YouTube video by Tivoli Cloud ambassador and well-known social VR personality XaosPrincess:

This is the same Wolf3D system which I first reported on back in September 2019, when High Fidelity issued an app called Virtual You, where you could take a selfie on your mobile device and then use that picture to create a HiFi avatar. As a matter of fact, I still have the avatar I created using Virtual You saved to my hard drive, and I hope to upload and resurrect him as one of my avatars on Tivoli Cloud VR! In the case of Tivoli Cloud, the app is fully integrated into the client software; there’s no need for a separate app!

Note that Wolf3D’s Ready Player Me avatar creation system is also used by Mozilla Hubs, although the Mozilla Hubs avatars are only head-and-torso, as opposed to the full-body, rigged avatars used in Tivoli Cloud. In fact, one of the people sitting around that campfire today was animating his avatar’s hands and fingers using a Leap Motion Controller! It was amazing to sit across the campfire from Max and watch him wiggle his avatar’s fingers in real time.

Max Huet, Caitlyn Meeks, and Roxie sitting around the campfire (all three avatars were created using Wolf3D’s Ready Player Me software)
Here’s a closer look at some Ready Player Me-created avatars, provided by Caitlyn Meeks of Tivoli Cloud VR

Using Ready Player Me, it is possible to create endlessly customizable human avatars—and Caitlyn tells me that you don’t even need to start from a selfie! You can just jump right into the program (as shown in the video above) and start creating your perfect virtual representation!

Here’s a thirty-minute interview with Timmu Tõke, the co-founder and CEO of Wolf3D (the creators of Ready Player Me), where he talks with Cristian-Emanuel Anton, the co-founder and CEO of MeetinVR, about VR avatars, meetings in virtual reality, and the metaverse. (MeetinVR is yet another social VR platform using Wolf3D’s avatar system to create their own head-and-torso-with-hands avatars!)

I suspect that we will see other platforms join Mozilla Hubs, MeetinVR, and Tivoli Cloud VR in using Ready Player Me avatars! Such corporate partnerships bode well for the future of the metaverse we will all live, work, and play in.

If you are interested in Tivoli Cloud VR, you can visit their website, join their Discord server, or follow them on Twitter to learn more. As I expect I will be writing more often about Tivoli Cloud VR, I have created a new blog category called (surprise!) Tivoli Cloud VR on the RyanSchultz.com blog (and I will go back and add all my previous blogposts about the platform to that new category).

UPDATE Feb. 10th, 2021: Daniel Marcinkowski of Ready Player Me has just published an interview with Caitlyn Meeks, the CEO of Tivoli Cloud VR, about the recent integration of Ready Player Me avatars, which you can read here.


Thank you to Caitlyn Meeks and XaosPrincess of Tivoli Cloud VR, and thanks to Rainwolf for the heads up on the interesting Timmu Tõke interview!

Pictures from Today’s Lockdown Dance Party in High Fidelity, Presented by XaosPrincess and Tivoli Cloud VR!

The second Lockdown Dance Party in High Fidelity is now in full swing!

Caitlyn Meeks announced from the stage that the next Lockdown Dance Party will actually be held on alpha-test version of the Tivoli Cloud VR platform, a fork of the HiFi source code, instead of in High Fidelity itself. While this is exciting news, it is also a sad moment, as today’s event might very well be the last major event to happen on the now essentially closed-down social VR platform High Fidelity. It is truly the end of an era. (And here is news on what High Fidelity, the company, is planning to work on next.)

So here are a few pictures I took to commemorate the event, which is on now and running until 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time today, Saturday, May 16th, 2020, with DJ Kreolis and DJ BrainStormer spinning tunes. Here are step-by-step instructions to join the dance party!

I chat with XaosPrincess during the amazing light show by BrainStormer
Caitlyn and XaosPrincess address the crowd
Busting a move on the dancefloor to DJ Kreolis

This is also likely the last time I will ever see my customized High Fidelity avatar, which I created using the now-withdrawn Virtual You mobile app:

Of course, it wouldn’t be a HiFi dance party without Chocka dancing on the stage!

Like I said, the end of an era. The final picture is courtesy of XaosPrincess:

Tivoli Cloud VR: A Brief Introduction to a New Social VR Platform Based on the Open-Source High Fidelity Code

Tivoli Cloud, the company started by the former Strategic Evangelist and Director of Content at High Fidelity, Caitlyn Meeks, after HiFi’s abrupt pivot to enterprise users, has moved from San Francisco…to Adeje, on Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, off West Africa. Tenerife is dominated by Mt. Teide, a dormant volcano that is Spain’s tallest peak.

In a new blogpost titled Hello! We’re building a spatialized metaverse from a volcanic island, Caitlyn writes:

Unlike a super villain’s volcanic island lair from a James Bond film, ours doesn’t include an atomic doomsday laser, but does have shirtless German tourists and open air restaurants. It is from here, the volcanic island of Tenerife, that we started engineering a spatialized metaverse architecture.

By we, I mean Caitlyn Meeks, former chief evangelist at High Fidelity (that’s me), and my partner, our CTO and co-founder, Maki Deprez, an accomplished programmer and VR content creator. Together, we’re building a spatialized metaverse on the architectural foundations first laid by the open-source virtual reality company, High Fidelity. We believe this architecture, and its future progeny, will become the foundation of the spatial networking metaverse we’ve all been waiting for.

She goes on to explain what they hope to do with a fork of HiFi’s code:

Spring 2019 was a tough season for High Fidelity, when business circumstance pivoted the company away from the metaverse and production shifted towards a seemingly more commercially viable remote coworking product. The company’s virtual world servers were abruptly taken offline.  The metaverse project largely dropped off the radar. There’s a lot of theories about why the company decided to sunset its metaverse project, and I’ll not go into them here.  What’s important is that the company made core parts of the architecture open-source so it could survive exactly this kind of situation.

The Xerox Alto, first created in 1973, introduced the point and click desktop interface used everywhere today. It never went to market. Today, this interaction model is at the heart of every Macintosh and Windows computer. Similarly, we feel that the spatial computing architecture engineered at High Fidelity, and its progeny, will become the backbone of spatial computing for decades to come.

VR Winter is probably coming, but like the title says, we’ve been literally working from a volcano in the Canary Islands.  It’s keeping us warm and fired up.  To that end, we’re weaving together our own spatialized metaverse using some of the core architecture innovated at High Fidelity, Inc.

It is the small mammals that survived the ice age. We’re not a big company by any means, we’re just a plucky little startup who wants a metaverse. We’re haven’t got money to make sexy videos, our shares are currently worth way less than penny stock, we’re not going to have a flashy “initial land offering” on a blockchain. In fact, we’re going to stay away from using the blockchain for now. What we do have is more than enough server resources, donated to us by Amazon, Google and Digital Ocean via the WXR Accelerator and First Republic Bank.  What we do have is a groundbreaking open-source metaverse engine, seven years in the making. Most importantly, what we have is an understanding of what needs to be done to get people to actually use it, and perhaps even love it. And as far-fetched as it may sound, we think we’ve got just enough technical skill and moxie to do it.  

Caitlyn Meeks and Maki Deprez, the co-founders of Tivoli Cloud

If you want to follow their progress on this undertaking, here is their blog. You can also be among the first to follow the company on Twitter.