Text by: Veera Vuorio
What virtual possibilities do we have in the time of Covid-19? In these difficult times, people are opening up to new possibilities to collaborate and socialize within virtual platforms. Companies big and small are looking for new ways to work remotely and people in the entertainment industry are looking into new ways to host events. How does virtual reality change the way we work and socialize over the internet?
Working together with Helsinki XR Center (www.helsinkixrcenter.com), we are reviewing three different VR platforms offering different possibilities in today’s remote world. Our article covers the main aspects of three tools: Glue, AltSpace and BigScreen VR. All these tools offer different possibilities from remote working tools to virtual event organizing.
In order to get started, you and your team will need a VR headset. All these platforms work with SteamVR, Oculus and Windows Mixed Reality headsets, including HTC Vive, Oculus Quest, Varjo, Samsung Odyssey and many more.
AltSpace VR – A social VR platform
AltSpace is what we recommend for virtual events as well as casual get-togethers with your team. It’s a great tool for arranging events, internal meetings, announcements, and panel discussions. And it’s free!
Each event can have a host and moderator roles that add to the organizational features. It has easy to manage private and public events, and organizing and sharing an event is simple and easy. Creating an account is free and you need to create one on AltSpace’s website to host or attend events. After that, download the application into your VR headset through SteamVR and you’re good to go.
In AltSpace VR you can mass message guests, amplify your voice, add interactive features to guests such as a hand raise mechanism for questions and more with it’s host tools. Screen sharing is possible but only to a degree, as AltSpace only allows you to share a browser at the moment. Get AltSpace VR here.
And if you’re not interested in hosting events but would like to attend some, AltSpace has a great community of public event creators centering around VR. If you have a headset ready, go check some out!
Planning to host an event in VR? Consider AltSpace VR. Our favorite features include:
- Great host tools
- Avatar personalization
- Group teleportation
- A good variety of different places and settings
- Desktop view feature
Glue – A virtual collaboration tool
Glue is a cross-platform space designed for collaborative online work. It’s designed to offer tools for different sized teams with great tools for working and screen presentations. The calm and natural environments help to create a peaceful atmosphere and you can join either with a VR headset or a desktop.
With a great creative toolset, users can write notes, draw in 3D, arrange work items like to-do lists and photos in these spatial constellations. It’s a great way to organize thoughts and action points and share them with the team. Glue is a Finnish company and the only program on this list that has been specifically designed for teams to work remotely. The basic license fees ranges from 150 – 500€/mo, depending on the size of your team. Read more about Glue’s pricing here.
Planning a creative workshop in VR or looking for a solid VR collaborative space for your team? Go with Glue. Our favorite features include:
- Good graphics and soothing environments
- Great creative toolkit
- A natural feel – working in Glue feels intuitive and natural
- Desktop view feature
Currently Bigscreen delivers best in virtual movie nights as its name suggests. However, it has potential to be used in other ways too. Helsinki’s XR center tested how BigScreen can be used as a tool for virtual meetings. BigScreen VR is free to use.
The high-quality screen sharing feature could be used for example at remote audiovisual production reviews, video releases, and premieres, or any other meetings that require the use of a big screen. These situations need a feel of togetherness and quality, and there is a big difference if you are watching a video for the first time in a virtual movie theater together with your co-workers where you can actually see their presence, or alone at home staring at a small screen. Read more about BigScreen and download it here.
And after the screening, the discussion about the video can be continued together right away, “face-to-face” with spatial presence and simple body language.
Need a new space to review, watch and share video content? Consider BigScreen.
Our favourite features of Bigscreen VR:
- Great quality screen sharing via the big screen
- Flexible Screen Sharing
- Feel of intimacy and togetherness
- Customizable avatar