Where Thoughts Go is a unique social network where users can share intimate thoughts and emotions in an immersive and inviting way, in the form of anonymous audio entries. The app has now launched in Early Access on the Oculus Rift, and is expected to eventually come to all major platforms.
Update (6/2/18): Where Thoughts Go: Prologue has launched in Early Access for the Oculus Rift, priced at $9.69.
Original Article (12/11/17): Inspired to create an online environment in which humanity, intimacy, and emotion can be explored, while avoiding the typical misinformation, clutter, and privacy concerns of the popular social networks, developer Lucas Rizzotto is building a VR app that he hopes is the beginning of a new era in online thoughtfulness. Where Thoughts Go is an experimental social network built around a collaborative, anonymous audio diary, sharing similarities in tone with the PostSecret and StoryCorps projects.
As shown in the announcement trailer, the audio recordings are contained within floating, ‘sleeping’ orbs, organised into different ‘chapters’, each with a different introspective question and associated environment. Simple interactivity with the orbs is possible with motion control; the experience will support all major VR hardware, but is likely to feel most engaging when used with the Leap Motion hand tracking system. To progress to the next chapter, you’re asked to leave your own audio message behind, for others to discover.
The press release stresses the importance of anonymity, saying the creators have “no intention of collecting personal data from users beyond a login email” and that it will offer additional privacy tools such as voice modulation.
“This is a small part of a bigger plan to push the world towards a new internet centered around meaningful emotional interactions,” says Rizzotto. “I wholeheartedly believe in the power of VR to make us more thoughtful people by giving us a platform to think, explore perspectives and arrive to our own conclusions. And I believe Where Thoughts Go will grow beyond anyone’s imagination.”
This is a departure from Rizzotto’s previous VR/AR projects, like his educational MyLab app and CyberSnake game for HoloLens. On his official website, he writes “my career goal is to make technology invisible, seamlessly blending our digital and physical worlds into one extraordinary reality that can make us better humans beings and change our outlook of the world forever.” Where Thoughts Go is a bold first step towards fulfilling that goal.
Disclosure: Rizzotto recently wrote a guest article for Road to VR about the future of AR, VR, AI, and Education.