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vTime Has Arrived

As if there were any doubt left, it looks as though virtual reality in its various guises is finally here to stay. It may have taken a few false starts to get it fully off the ground, but there’s now a market, competition, content, affordable kits (as well as the flashy overpriced ones) and perhaps more importantly there is more than just games. I think the success or failure of the genre may very well have ridden on how thoroughly the possibilities it offered were explored, and they are most certainly being toyed with, even if the depths have yet to be fully examined.

vTime (formerly known as Starship) are released their new social media platform last week, a virtual meeting space for users to sit and interact with one another in a more conversational manner than they’d be able to across more “traditional” forms of communication, and have a better experience doing so. Combine Skype and Facebook and plunge it into a CGI world where friends can gather round, talk, and share media in a more natural meeting-room format, but from anywhere in the world. But if you read this article then you already knew all that, but there have been a few developments.

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For a start vTime has now finally landed on Oculus Rift to coincide with the launch of their final product, and as one of the biggest names in the market that’s going to be a huge boon, although these days it’s not so limiting a thing to be on Samsung Gear or Google Cardboard. Second, vTime offers fifteen environments to choose from for your meeting space, but they also allow you to meet in your own 360 photos, or any you have saved, not all of us are lucky enough to own a 360 camera. It adds a level of personalization to the new platform that could very well be its making, and while I think there’s a lot more that can be done to elevate it yet further, the product they’ve launched with seems good enough to start gaining a few early adopters.

And that’s really what comes next. While VR has a keen audience and a growing library of products, vTime will need to get a fair slice of the market in order to thrive, and I sincerely hope it does, but there is a competitor on the market that has an edge they’ll need to outdo.

Altspace VR is a virtual reality calling service, more strongly akin to Skype than to other social media platforms. It looks set to be the biggest competitor to vTime a day has the backing of a key demographic, because Dungeons & Dragons has created a virtual tabletop experience for players to come together from across the world in a way that’s more interactive than the options available to us at the moment such as Roll20.

vTime has its niche for certain, and given time and support it has the potential to become a major player in the market. If you’ve already got a VR kit of any variety then vTime is definitely worth signing up to, it’s not a good enough reason to by a kit on its own, but VR has plenty of benefits of its own to draw you in. Call this a rather useful perk.

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One response

  1. Here is the best use of VR I have found (free to download off Steam.)

    Like

    June 1, 2016 at 9:10 am

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