vTime Creators Give us a Guided Tour of Gear VR’s Newest Social App


vTime, the newest social VR app in the Gear VR store, is different. It’s seemingly the first social VR app to use the familiar ‘friending’ mechanic borrowed from traditional social networks, which essentially creates a digital handshake that allows users to start sharing information with one another.

Note: the few lags you see are exclusive to the 2D observer mode. All interactions within the app itself were smooth and lag free.

I sat down with Paul Hollywood, Starship’s Product Development Director, to learn more about the social VR app. And what better place to talk about vTime then from within the app itself?

Hollywood took me to each of the app’s themed chat rooms, or ‘Destinations’, that can currently hold up to 4 people. We jumped from private beach to mountain cliff edge in private conversation—except for Jez, the silent and invisible observer who watched from the special vTime 2D mode for PC.

vtime mohawk viking
the future: dressing as a Hawaiian-Techno-Viking inside a multi-user 360 photo of Liverpool

Our talk spanned everything from Starship’s philosophy on VR, to the team’s unique way of creating wide open spaces given the limitations of current mobile processors—all the while punctuated with scuttling crabs and hooting owls that acted as ambiance and the occasional conversation starter.

While the Liverpool-based team is currently focusing on the mobile side of VR, with their Gear VR app already on the store and a cross-compatible Google Cardboard app coming to Google Play some time in Q1 of 2016, Starship also have a PlayStation VR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift, so we hope to see much more than mobile support for vTime in the near future.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.