Say goodbye to AltspaceVR | AR post

The social VR community was shocked and shocked to learn that AltspaceVR was shut down. New tech applications come and go, leaving many users in tears, with few remaining, while this platform has been taken away from us in the prime of life, and many seem to be wondering where to go next.

AltspaceVR’s Sun Down

January 20, “AltspaceVR to Sunset the Platform on March 10, 2023” appeared at the top of the company’s homepage. An email was also sent to users.

“When AltspaceVR first launched, our vision was to create a place where people around the world could connect and interact in real time.” the team wrote “It was a bold vision, and with the help of our passionate community, the platform has become a place for users to create lifelong memories, build precious friendships, find love, and even get married IRL (in real life).”

Most of the posts are nostalgic for a platform that was released in 2015 and was purchased by Microsoft in 2017. The post also encouraged “the many creators and developers who are part of the AltspaceVR community to host final events and download content.”

“The decision wasn’t easy as it’s a platform that a lot of people have come to love, providing a place for people to explore their identities, express themselves, and find community.” wrote the team “It has been a privilege to help ignite the passion of our users.”

Why, Microsoft? why?

The team writes that it is shutting down AltspaceVR to “shift our focus to support the immersive experiences powered by Microsoft Mesh.” Microsoft Mesh is the company’s mixed reality platform announced within AltspaceVR during Microsoft Ignite 2021. Featuring Alex Kipman and James Cameron, the event saw the platform as a tool for humanity.

“A dream you dream alone is just a dream. The dreams we dream together are called reality.” Kipman quoted John Lennon at the time as saying: “We tend to separate dreams from reality. But is it?”

Since then, Microsoft has focused on Mesh as an enterprise tool rather than a dream for collaboration. At Microsoft Ignite 2022, CEO Satya Nadella announced that Mesh will integrate with Microsoft Teams. Nadella also announced an integration between Microsoft Teams (possibly with Mesh) and Meta’s Horizon Workrooms at Meta Connect 2022.

“We knew early on that we wanted this to be a great place to get work done, and with Microsoft, we can do that.” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the event.

What about your company?

Shutting down AltspaceVR to focus on the enterprise platform is an odd play given that almost no one using it is doing it for enterprise use. The always-packed calendar of events included comedy shows, community events, support groups and devotionals, and musical performances. where will they go?

Some of the events you know and love about AltspaceVR are already happening on multiple immersive platforms. e.g. live VR comedy show rendering failurer started with AltspaceVR, but also has a home in Horizon Worlds and VRChat. Similarly, the Polys Awards are held in AltspaceVR, but also on Mozilla Hubs, ENGAGE, and more.

But what about the experience only in AltspaceVR? Do you like BRCvr’s Burning Man experience? An email from the organization said there are plans for future events on other platforms, but we are politely waiting for the book to be closed for good on this chapter.

“Leaving AltspaceVR is difficult for all of us who loved building this incredible community.” BRCvr co-founder Athena Demos said in an email. “Before announcing plans to continue the virtual Burning Man experience, I want to honor the incredible friendships and creative partnerships we have forged at AltspaceVR.”

XR Safety Initiative CEO Kavya Pearlman said in a tweet that the platform has been hosting events like Metaverse Safety Week for several years and is in talks with the group’s tech partners about moving to another platform. No official announcement has been made.

the king is dead Your Majesty, may you descend longevity.

AltspaceVR had no enemies, but plenty of competitors. When the blog post’s eulogy went live on Twitter, representatives from several immersive platforms spoke at the table.

There was no glory in the tomb, but tweets from Somnium Space, Spatial, and Mona invited displaced world builders to take the event and space with them. It may be an option for events and assets, but it is not a meaningful option for users.

As mentioned in the blog post, users can download data from the platform. But there’s not much you can do with it. Photos taken within the platform can be kept, but avatars are non-transferable. You can download the profile data of users you’ve met on your platform, but it won’t help you connect with users on other platforms.

And what platform is that? Where shall we meet next? A few solutions have already been named.

where will we go

While VRChat is a proven and robust platform, it’s not necessarily friendly to new users, especially when it comes to avatar creation. It has more tools and options than AltspaceVR, but it can feel unwieldy. Somnium Space falls into a similar category.

Space is a strong competitor. The lightweight and easy-to-use platform runs inside your browser, which is another strong bonus. Integration with Ready Player Me also means that creating avatars is easy and importing avatars if you already have them is even easier. Mona falls into a similar category.

Mozilla Hubs has done a lot of work, but they charge you. With the new $20/month subscription price, many casual users will no longer log in.

ENGAGE is a solid free option, but requires an app download. The same goes for Horizon. Especially if Meta lives up to its promise of making the platform usable on hardware other than the Meta headset.

VIVE has also been building immersive products, but those products tend to be clunkier than many users would like. Virbela has also demonstrated that it requires a free app download, but is a capable, powerful and user-friendly platform.

end of an era

This was the first immersive world I entered. The fact that you don’t need a headset to enter the free, easy-to-use platform makes it an incomparable VR primer.

See also: Hands-on review of AltspaceVR

I have many fond memories of this platform both before and after I bought my first headset. For the first time, it really felt like I was seeing eye to eye with someone from across the country. Even after years in the industry, there were times when I would only wear a headset to shoot hoops outside my VR home. You will miss AltspaceVR.

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