Personify and AltSpaceVR are aiming to change the way you think about video conferencing
Virtual Reality and Augmented are two of the hottest topics right now. Microsoft is working hard to get its HoloLens ready to counter Oculus Rift but both of these companies are focusing more on gaming. There are several startups who are working on using virtual reality to bring a more immersive experience in socializing and video conferencing. Two of such startups are AltSpaceVR and Personify.
AltSpaceVR is a virtual reality software company that transform two-dimensional web-content into interactive virtual spaces with the help of virtual reality. It allow users to stream videos, play games and work entirely in virtual reality. The company is backed by many investors including Google Ventures to provide the best virtual reality experience there is.
AltSpaceVR provides users with a platform to create their own three-dimensional space and interact with their friends, family or colleagues. There are endless possibilities to what you can do inside a virtual space. Users can watch a movie together, play a life size chess game or talk about work by displaying their presentation in the virtual space.
Virtual reality can become the next big thing in social interaction. Many cannot live their dreams in real life but in virtual space they can create anything they want and live it. Similar to the addiction of Facebook, AltSpaceVR can become the social network in virtual reality and everyone will use it. The company has opened its chat rooms to beta users and the results are impressive.
At the moment, the technology needs a lot of hardware to work together. Users need 3D cameras, a VR headset, motion sensor controllers and an above average personal computer for an optimal experience. Presently, we interact with people across the border through video and voice calls but with AltSpaceVR we can be one step closer to them.
Imagine a group of friends living in different countries remembering the time they used to watch Super Bowl together? With AltSpaceVR they can create their own TV lounge, sit together in virtual space and watch Super Bowl together. They can make the same reactions they would make in real life with the help of motion sensors.
In terms of work, users can interact with each other in the virtual environment and talk about the design changes or upcoming sales pitch. A car concept model can be uploaded to the virtual space for the other person to see and comment. No need to wait for large files to download and guessing where the fault lies, with AltSpaceVR the manager can just point where the design needs modification in real-time. A meeting space in the virtual world connecting everyone. AltSpaceVR is building the future for us but it still have a long way to go.
Personify is another startup that is working on changing the way we interact with each other. Personify is a software company that utilizes 3D-cameras and Microsoft Kinect to bring immersive video experiences. The technology is developed to bring a more meaningful experience to the users. The difference between AltSpaceVR and Personify is that the former uses Virtual Reality to create a virtual spaces and the latter uses your desktop as the virtual world.
Personify uses the word “Teleporting” because it operates like a green screen. The software will use 3D-cameras such as Intel’s Real Sense technology and remove the background behind you and embed your face or body on to the screen. With the help of Personify, you can bloat out of that square window box you are stuck in traditional video conferencing softwares and virtually be anywhere on your desktop.
A lot of softwares now allow video calling such as Skype, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, Viber and the list goes on. Personify is offering something more, a more immersive and entertaining experience which is nothing like we have seen before.
Personify is great for work because you can “teleport” yourself on top of your presentation and give a sales pitch to a customer or another company. You can work on spreadsheets, presentations or other things with your colleagues in a virtual environment on your desktop. Personify is just like a green screen but for video conferencing. It will help you hide your background so the interviewer cannot see your dirty room or anything you want to hide.
This is the first major advancement in video conferencing and it is free. All you need is a 3D-camera which only comes with high-end laptops or buy a standalone Microsoft Kinect. Standalone 3D-cameras are also available but they are not available for the mainstream market as yet.
AltSpaceVR and Personify are two excellent innovations which will take social interaction to a whole new level. They can even reduce the concept of isolation since many people on social networks feel isolated and the conversation is less meaningful. At the moment, both softwares are quite ahead of their time because right now not even the virtual reality technology is not perfected. Oculus Rift and other VR headsets have a long way to go before they are available to every consumer. The costs of VR is high and support from developers is still lacking.
The first real VR headset, Oculus Rift will launch later this year and Microsoft’s Hololens is still in development. Samsung, Sony and HTC are also working on their own VR headsets but they need plenty of revisions. Since the hardware is not ready, the software cannot be fully utilized. 3D-cameras are still in low quantity and not many companies are investing in them. Even Microsoft is not paying as much attention to Kinect as before because it was specifically designed for gaming and it failed.
AltSpaceVR and Personify are technologies of the future and it will take at least 2 years before they can be utilized by the majority of users worldwide. Never the less, thanks to them we know how the future looks like and what we can expect from virtual reality which is knocking at our door steps.
While the future is not quite here yet, you can still find the lastest technology in video conferencing in our CRS Buyers Guide to optimize the quality and proffesionalism of your video conferencing experience.