Social virtual reality: how long is there to wait?

For several years now, many have been actively communicating more on the Internet, in social networks, rather than live. But soon another innovation awaits us - social virtual reality.

First, we communicated with friends via ICQ and MSN Messenger (if you managed to find these computer messengers), then Skype came and allowed us to communicate by voice with relatives, friends and work colleagues. A little later, the Skype developers added the ability to make video calls, thereby radically changing the messenger industry and taking remote communication to a whole new level.

People could communicate for free (only an Internet connection is needed), while seeing their interlocutor on the screen of a gadget or computer. Today, almost all messengers already offer the possibility of video calls, there is nothing surprising in this. Much more interesting is the next stage in the development of online communication, which is likely to be social virtual reality.

The term Social VR used in the English-speaking community appeared not so long ago, if we compare it with the date of the appearance of virtual reality glasses, while many online publications have already appreciated all the pros and cons of the new type of communication.

Social virtual reality is a separate network where two or more people, even in different countries of the world, can virtually be transported to the same place, communicate or perform some actions, that is, you yourself will form the environment around you. This can be an ordinary (virtual cafe) or, for example, Red Square.

Unfortunately, no company has yet managed to develop a platform where you could create a virtual copy of yourself, so images in social virtual reality are limited to avatars for now. That is, your face will be closest to reality, but still it will resemble some kind of life simulator in the form of The Sims.

There are a lot of third-party companies that are working on the development of all kinds of gadgets to bring virtual reality closer to our world, for example, the OhRoma gadget will allow you to transmit smells in the virtual world. Humans are social in nature, and shared experiences create strong bonds like nothing else. Virtual reality allows us to complement our lives with experiences that would otherwise be impossible.

Social VR has a great future - there is no doubt about it, but when will the day come when we will stop using current messengers and will communicate on social virtual reality platforms?

At the moment, the largest players in this area are Facebook, AltspaceVR, and VR Chat. The first company has all the necessary funds, and Mark Zuckerberg, at a recent Facebook conference, talked about the potential of virtual reality in the life of every person on earth, but no one can officially use their product called Spaces. AltspaceVR and VR Chat have already launched their apps.

Social virtual reality from Facebook

It is necessary to understand that this industry is greatly hampered by the high cost of virtual reality glasses (~ 40, 000 rubles) and the technical characteristics of mobile devices. To transmit a high-quality image via the Internet, one of the latest versions of smartphones is needed, which obviously not everyone has access to, and if we also take into account the low data transfer rates in many countries of the world, then social virtual reality is only at the beginning of its journey.

In addition, people should have a need or an ardent desire to constantly use Social VR in their lives, but what can I say if multiplayer virtual reality games are still not very popular. If you played games using VR glasses, then you probably know how cool it is, but again, assembling your computer, buying those same glasses and the games will cost a pretty penny today. If you're interested, you can read a more extensive article from leading mobile and social game developers, Plarium, on the future of VR technology.

In our opinion, social virtual reality will become popular when every tenth house will have virtual reality glasses, and they will appear only when fans of computer or console games acquire at least one pair. That is, first, the popularization of VR games should take place, and only then the turn of Social VR will come. It is highly unlikely that this will happen the other way around.