VR Chat & Social VR

Posted February 28, 2015 by David in VR Software

We all know that Virtual Reality is going to have a major impact in the world of gaming and entertainment but little has been said about how Virtual Reality is going to change the world of communication and human interaction.

vr chat 2VR Chat is one of the trail blazers in this social area and Virtual Reality Reviewer is long overdue a visit to Graham Gaylor’s and Jesse Joudrey’s Virtual social meeting hub.

When you first boot up VR chat you are greeted with a pretty sky box and an options screen where you can choose from a selection of Avatars. A useful feature that VR chat offers is the ability to import your own custom avatars which leads to hilarity as you can be talking to a quite standard looking person one moment and the next your chatting to a Land Shark ( I’m looking at you Rev ).

After you choose your Avatar settings you are brought to the room selection screen. This has a wide variety of areas you can choose from and lots of user generated locations. Locations range from lush floating islands to large theatres. Two unique locations I came across were the Sector 17 Train Station from Half Life 2 and the SVVR Scan room which is made up of a series of photos all stitched together in a 3D environment which you can explore. This room was particularly interesting as it felt really strange walking through the environment and kind or reminded me of an A-HA music video.

vr chat 3One of the most enjoyable times I had in VR has got to be the social meetup which was held back in January where most of the active VR community members got together to celebrate VR Chats first birthday and VRs strong social presence. This event was spread over a few hours and was hosted not only in VR Chat but also in Riftmax and Janus VR the other leading VR social meeting points.

This social event was a great success and it has got to be some type of world record for most VR users in a chat room. VR Chat even provided virtual champagne and we all posed for a Virtual Selfie.

One great feature of VR Chat is the ability to open up a portal to another room and invite the users of the current room to walk through it to visit a new location. The portal effect looks great in VR as it shimmers and bends light around it. You simply walk through it to be teleported to the next location.

The real success of VR Chat is the ability to allow you to chat to users from all around the world but feel like they are in the room with you. Even at this early stage VR Chat has some great features like an app that installs in your taskbar allowing you to view what users are currently logged in even when you’re not in VR mode yourself. Also the loading transitions between rooms is well thought through as it shows you a progress bar and a pretty sky box so you have something to view as you wait for the room to load. User Avatars are a great success and will load on the fly to allow you to log into a room faster and the sound quality is for the most part pretty good with little or no noticeable lag. In fact I would say I experience less lag in VR Chat then I do when using Skype.

vr chat 1Overall Jesse and Graham are doing an amazing job with VR Chat with new rooms and features appearing on a regular basis. It’ weekly meet ups are a great place to get in touch with the development community and have even been graced with the presence of Palmer Lucky in the past.

If you’re looking for a simple and intuitive virtual chat space with great voice audio then VR Chat is the place to be. Simple to setup and easy to use it really is an essential app if you want to keep in touch with people in the VR community. VR chat also won two Virtual Realty Awards last year and the importance of this cannot be understated as it shows how important Social VR is going to be and how it will play a big role in VR’s future and I’m sure Chat VR will be there every step of the way.

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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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