VIBEHub Has Launched Their Platform

Back in March I wrote about a new, blockchain-based virtual world called VIBEHub. There has been much grumbling on the VIBEHub Telegram about the recent lack of news in terms of product development.

Well, I discovered today that they have completely redesigned their website and launched their platform:

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You can visit what they call “hubs” using a web browser on your desktop or, if you are using a WebVR-compatible browser, you can also visit them in your VR headset.

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You can create your own hub, and even charge an admission fee for entrance. Here’s a brief tutorial video from their YouTube channel:

Interestingly, there are future plans for many different kinds of experiences, everything from music to gaming to education to comedy, listed in the left-hand side panel. These are all listed as “Coming Soon”:

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There’s also a Marketplace, where you can spend VIBEHub credits (their blockchain-based in-world currency, called VIBE) on things such as avatars:

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Currently, the only way to get VIBE credits is to buy them using cryptocurrency (they support the MetaMask wallet). They say that you will be able to buy VIBE credits using your credit card in future.

You have a choice of a robot or human avatar. I must admit that I found the robot avatars to be kind of cute:

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But I found the human avatars to be, well, let’s just say “aesthetically challenged” (at least compared to other platforms such as Second Life and Sansar) and leave it at that. The oversized hands and overly-long fingers are the stuff of nightmares:

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(You have to go through the avatar selection menu every time you enter a new hub. It does not appear to remember what you saved from the previous hub.)

I found the brand-new platform to be somewhat buggy, both in desktop and in VR mode. Hubs seem to take a long time to load (and I have broad bandwidth and a fast gaming computer).  In desktop mode, either I could not move my avatar at all, or I could not get him to stop running. In VR mode, I found that I could move, but I could not turn. Rather a frustrating experience overall. But it’s early days.

The new VIBEHub website home page webpage states:

We support HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Daydream by Google, Samsung Gear VR. Don’t have a VR/AR headset? No problem we also support WebGL/WebVR on compatible modern browsers on your desktop or mobile devices. Other hardware platforms like Magic Leap and PSVR coming soon. Experiences will vary depending on device capabilities. However no one gets left out.

Magic Leap One support “coming soon”? That would make VIBEHub the first platform to support both VR and AR headsets. I’ll believe that bit of marketing hype when I see it.

VIBEHub is the second cryptocurrency-based virtual world platform to actually launch (after Mark Space, which is rather underwhelming). It will be interesting to see how the platform develops over time.

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The Telegram Discussion Groups for the Various Blockchain-Based VR Projects Have Been Endlessly Entertaining…

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There seems to be some sort of rule that blockchain-based virtual world projects must have a discussion group on Telegram Messenger. I am a member of the Telegram discussion servers for various blockchain-based VR platforms:

And the endless stream of discussion, argument, and sometimes outright vitriol has been quite entertaining at times. For example, one impatient wag posted this animated GIF to the VIBEHub channel:

There appear to be a lot of disgruntled VIBEHub investors and spectators, who are upset with the lack of communication from the company on product development.

And then you get the endless propositions from people who are peddling cryptocurrency and ICO promotion schemes:

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I’m glad that I don’t have to field all these requests …it’s overwhelming!

Then you get the flat-out spammers:

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If you’re interested in following the ongoing circus, you can find links to the Telegram servers from each of the companies’ official websites (there’s usually a link to all their social media near the top or bottom of the page, just look for the paper airplane symbol):

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Of course, you don’t have to subscribe to all these groups; you can just subscribe to my blog instead! I promise to keep you all up-to-date on the latest shenanigans in this area. I’ve just updated my blog to make it easier to subscribe.

If you’re not already a blog subscriber, just look for the FOLLOW RYANSCHULTZ.COM VIA EMAIL section on the left-hand side panel of my blog (right under the Search box), enter your email address, and press the black FOLLOW button. Then you will receive an email message every time I make a new blogpost to this blog. Easy as pie!

VIBEHub: Yet Another Blockchain-Based Virtual World

VIBEHub Picture 2 March 2018
Picture From the VIBEHub White Paper

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.