More events than meetings

Altspace is one of the oldest VR meeting apps . On the one hand you can use it to meet friends in private rooms where only you hear what is being said, but you can also go exploring in rooms and environments to meet others. You can play board games, draw, watch a standup show, sing karaoke and a variety of other activities. When you start Altspace you end up in a lobby which is a common space for everyone. Then you can either create a private room and invite others, or visit any of the activities available. You can also see a schedule of upcoming group activities - you could say that the focus of Altspace is to gather groups for specific “events”. There have been live concerts, weddings, game nights, meditation sessions, language lessons and lots of other things. Altspace has previously had apps on both Mac and Android phones, but those versions were abandoned over time. There is now a new Mac version in beta!  The avatar system has recently been completely revamped and you have a great amount of freedom to customize your own digital alter ego.

If you want to delve deep there is a quite complex world-building editor which includes import from Unity, but there are also many high-quality environments from which to pick from the start.

The biggest drawback for Altspace as a tool for “normal everyday meetings” is the lack of in-session interactivity. Sure, you can interact socially, and the “floating emoji” feature is a nice touch, but you can’t draw on a whiteboard or annotate documents/objects etc.

Altspace has been used for many huge events during covid-19. Before summer it was the central platform for the Educators In VR Summit with over 6000 attendees. It also recently hosted the VR version of Burning Man, during which it piloted many advanced functions for cool custom-built worlds and events.

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