Accompanying today’s launch of AltspaceVR, the company behind the application, also called AltspaceVR, has released an updated build that further expands upon social features and also adds a selfie function because, you know… selfies. Additionally, recently added environments help round out the platform’s VR social spaces.

Social scalability clearly received much attention for the launch build of AltspaceVR. A new Socialize button in the game’s menu brings up a list of all players inhabiting the social platform. You can see the total count of online users and the spaces in which they reside. If you roll your mouse over a user you have the option to warp to them or to ‘follow’ them, adding them to your friends list.

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Another new button, the Events menu, brings up a list of events happening within AltspaceVR. Users can see the date and time of specific events like meetups or presentations, and visit the venue with a single click. The Events page also exists on the web; clicking the Visit link in your web browser can automatically launch AltspaceVR and take you to the appropriate space (provided that you have it installed).

The ability to ‘follow’ friends and find them within AltspaceVR’s many spaces will be essential as the userbase grows. Similarly, having a good way to find out what structured events are happening within the space will also be important for keeping users coming back. While there’s certainly more functionality that will be needed in time, like a proper profile that can be customized, users who have used prior AltspaceVR builds will appreciate this social foundation.

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The latest build also adds an Apps item to the menu which allows users to launch any of AltspaceVR’s web-based apps which can be networked such that users can interact with them together in real-time (like a chess board, for instance). These apps can be beamed into ‘holographic’ spaces to be shared with the room, similar to how players can beam their personal web browsers onto shared screens within a space.

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And what’s the point of life, real or virtual, if you can’t take a selfie? AltspaceVR has now satisfied the selfie-starved with a camera button that automatically snaps a photo facing your avatar. What’s more, it instantly uploads it to a unique page, allowing you to share it with ease. The page includes the venue where the selfie was taken and anyone can click Visit to launch Altspace and visit right from their browser.

AltspaceVR CEO Eric Romo acknowledged that Convrge, who snuck in selfie functionality in an April Fool’s update, had beat them to the punch, but he remained proud of his company’s own method of integration which allows for instant interaction with the photo.

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Also recently added are two new spaces. One is a massive theater area with balcony seating and a celestial backdrop.

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The other, a beautiful desert oasis, is a stark contrast to the industrial architecture of AltspaceVR’s other environments. Here’s to hoping that we see more like it.

Join Road to VR in Altspace for a Taste of SVVR

Want a good reason to give the latest build of AltspaceVR a shot? I’ll be live at AltspaceVR’s SVVR afterparty, finding guests to jack into the social VR program for a series of in-VR interviews that you can watch and interact with directly in Altspace. Interviews will begin around 7:15pm PST this evening, May 18th (find the time in your timezone here). When the event begins, you should be able to launch into the interview space right from the event page (provided you’ve got AltspaceVR installed). See you there!

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