Riftmax Theater

Posted March 25, 2014 by David in VR Software

They say never judge a book by its cover and in this case it’s certainly true.

Looking at the screen you may think that Riftmax is an unpolished Virtual Reality media player but you would be hopelessly incorrect as what Riftmax actually represents is a completely new way of interacting with people from all over the globe in a way that will truly revolutionize communication as we know it.

riftmax 1Riftmax lets you login from anywhere in the world and chat to other users and share your media files but what really makes Riftmax stand out is the sense of presence you get  when you’re logged in using your Oculus Rift.  When you’re logged into Riftmax you have a full body avatar and when you nod you’re head your avatar nods its head. When you wave you’re arms your avatar waves its arms, if you have a hydra controller that is.  This is the same for all the users of Riftmax and when you’re in conversion with other Riftmax users you completely forget you’re talking to an avatar and start to really feel the presence of the person you’re talking to.

Riftmax has a few different areas for you to arrange meet-ups and broadcast media files. Most are based around a Cinema with 6 different theatre designs for you to use. When you login first you will be in the lobby area and you can join a public theatre or setup a private theater if you wish for you and your friends.

riftmax 2

Riftmax also has a TV staging area where they have hosted a talk show similar in style to the late show where they have invited developers and leading VR enthusiasts to share their latest developments and thoughts on VR.  The show was hosted by REV VR who is a prolific Video blogger on Youtube and quite a singer as we found out later.

For me to create this review I was invited to login on Karaoke night to meet some of the developers and key personalities of the project. I’m not much of a singer but I had some of my most enjoyable Virtual Reality moments to date as I chatted to likeminded enthusiasts and got a full tour of the system with lead developer ( Caine ). He met me an hour before the main even and walked me around the Riftmax pointing out features and letting me know about future updates.

One of the unique features of Riftmax is called 4D movie projection. This is where you’re watching a standard 3D movie and elements of the movie become part of the environment your sitting in. For example if it’s raining on screen it will also rain in the Theater you’re sitting in. The Riftmax chat system also uses 3D sound where the voices of the other users get louder or quieter depending on you’re proximity  to their avatar mimicking real life audio.

riftmax 3Riftmax is a little rough around the edges and can be slightly laggy with its audio feeds from other Riftmax users but this could well be a connection issue with the other users and not the software itself.

As I experienced Riftmax with a group of users I was completely immersed in the moment and couldn’t shake the thought that what I was witnessing are some first steps in a communications revolution.

With the upcoming updates that Caine pointed out and some other refinements this is truly one to watch as its potential as a Global communications tool is there for all to see.

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About the Author

David

David Whelan a professional web developer has been a serial early adopter of the latest technology. From an early age playing on a C64 he always dreamt of entering virtual worlds and exploring the endless possibilities that could be offered up by the platform.

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