This week AltspaceVR launched a Slack integration which makes it easy to quickly pull team members into a virtual reality meeting space for some real-time communication.

At SVVR 2016 this week, AltspaceVR CEO Eric Romo talked about the company’s new VR Call app on Android, which aims to simplify the process of connecting people through the AltspaceVR social platform. The app focuses on connecting friends and family, and allows users to easily send invite links to friends through their existing social channels; those links pull users into a specific AltspaceVR room.

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“If you haven’t had the experience of connecting with loved ones, who might be thousands of miles away, in VR, you should do it,” said Romo during a keynote presentation at SVVR 2016. “That sense of physical space, that the person you love is standing right there in front of you, when you [only] get to see them once a year… is something that you will never forget. And this is why we think a billion people will use VR.”

But Romo said that after launching the app the company quickly identified a group of people that it wasn’t quite serving: colleagues and professional contacts. Internally they found that they would often end up using the VR Call app to create a room in AltspaceVR for a meeting, then they would paste it into Slack. And while technically that worked fine, they wanted to make it even easier. Thus the AltspaceVR Slack integration was born.

The integration installs a little bot within your Slack organization which gives you access to the /vrcall command. Type the command into any Slack channel, follow it with the name of the room you’d like to create, and the bot will automatically make the specified room and post the link into the chat instantly.

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Anyone with AltspaceVR installed which clicks on the link will be sucked into the space. Thanks to the company’s multi-platform approach, you could have a team member joining the room from Gear VR, another on the Rift, and even someone without a VR headset joining through their PC with desktop mode.

The more fluid the experience of getting people in and out of VR together, the better, and AltspaceVR’s Slack integration feels like a smart first step toward making the company’s social space more appealing for spontaneous usage.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Sam Illingworth

    Well, I can’t really judge without trying it, but given that you appear to be looking at basic cartoony robot avatars the phrase “That sense of physical space, that the person you love is standing
    right there in front of you, when you [only] get to see them once a
    year… is something that you will never forget” sounds like he might be over selling it a little! I want to try it though.

    • Joey Chalker

      As a current AltspaceVR user I can say that even though the avatars may be ‘cartoony’ or however you may want to put it, the feeling that you’re there with somebody else is very real. anyone that currently has a leap motion as well can see there hands in AltspaceVR and that really adds another level of immersion. First thing I did was play rock paper scissors with someone and it was awesome to actually be able to do that with others and not physically be there.

      • Sam Illingworth

        Cool! Wish I knew somebody else who was getting a VR headset so I could try it!

  • Ujjwal Kushwaha

    are they really an avatar or they are cartoons type robots?
    if you are going to connect the family or friends by VR i am sure you have to give a real experience to them when they use that room.
    And not only providing the best environment you can use a moving hollographic avatar.
    ist’nt possible?
    tell me.