Starship Group, the makers of the social app vTime, today announced early access release of their Google Cardboard app, which allows anyone—provided you own one of the supported Android phone models—to enter the space and chat with Gear VR users.
We went hands-on with vTime when they released their Gear VR app back in December, and the amount of detail and interactions that the app can squeeze out of a mobile processor was frankly surprising. Although you’re clearly on the near-side of the uncanny valley in respect to their customizable avatars and curious entities that fly, swim, and waddle around you, the environmental richness of the chat spaces simply can’t be denied.
vTime—or what Starship calls its ‘sociable network’—allows up to 4 people to connect at a time in variety of virtual environments, from sandy beaches to sheer rock faces. Boasting a social network-style layout, vTime offers a friends lists, suggested friends list, and a ‘random matches’ section for chatters looking to make new acquaintances. Gaze-based UI elements make the entire experience hands-free, so even the most basic Cardboard phone adapter will do. While you’ll find some overlapping Gear VR-compatible phones on the list below, there’s a number of late model handsets that promise to run the ‘full vTime experience’ just the same.
Compatible Phones for vTime Cardboard
- Nexus 5
- Nexus 4
- Nexus 6P
- Nexus 6
- LG G3
- HTC One M9
- Samsung S3
- Samsung Note 4
- Samsung Note 5
- Samsung Galaxy S6
- Samsung Galaxy S7
- Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+
- Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
The app itself is identical to the Gear VR version, save a new Cardboard-specific ‘Magic Window’ feature that lets you chat and manage your contacts without having the wear the headset. Of course, smartphones alone—even flagship handsets—can’t deliver the same consistency or low latency headtracking that the Gear VR headset does, however as the first social app on Cardboard, vTime will be acting as a sort of a ‘social VR acid test’ to potentially millions of users.
Starship CEO Martin Kenwright said: “Launching on Cardboard allows us to introduce millions more people to possibilities that social VR presents. vTime proves that virtual reality doesn’t have to be isolating. We’re intent on creating a network in which conversation and communication is both natural and engaging, allowing our users to create a real human connection with vTime users across the world.”
Starship maintains that vTime will be cross-compatible for all major virtual reality headsets by the end of 2016, including Gear VR, Google Cardboard, PlayStationVR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.