Did anybody not see this coming?
Social media is kind of the biggest industry out there, we evolved to be social creatures so finding a means to monetize the need to interact with one another is theoretically easy money, just ask MySpace.
Ok, so that’s kind of a cheap shot. But the marketplace has seriously opened up over the last few years, with dozens of sites bringing their own unique spin and method of sharing: Facebook and Tumblr have versatility, Instagram and Snapchat have the greater focus on rapid image sharing, and Twitter has rapid spread of ideas and popular news.
What they lack is a level of personal interaction, face to face conversation and a degree of body language that not even Skype can provide. Enter virtual reality, we’ve longed for a means of immersing ourselves utterly in an entirely mutable environment, one shaped by our wants and desires that we can populate with elements of our personality. It didn’t take too long for someone to put the idea into practice. Introducing vTime:
Starship are a British company working in VR and AR ideas and products, and vTime is their next major project, expected to launch next month for PC and Android. While it’s fully compatible and intended for VR headsets like Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear and Google Cardboard, anyone with the program or the app can join in on discussions, or simply observe.
I like this idea! I really do, and while VR is still in the long slow climb to claiming its place amongst the major gaming and tech products it’s birthed a wide variety of exciting products. While I think that as a concept using VR for social interaction has a long way to go, once it’s off the ground and people have their hands on it, it can be adjusted and improved and eventually it could become a dominant force on the market. Of course at some point they’ll have to stop improving and adjusting or risk becoming Facebook.
Games like Second Life and Habbo Hotel may be fading from the public eye but they still have their diligent following. Their explosive market dominance and social MMO environment grabbed a lot of attention, attention that it still holds today. It’s always possible that vTime may experience the same temporary popularity, but it’s got a unique element that could take it a long way in a competitive market.
If you’re interested in getting involved early, Starship have a mailing list so that you can get up to date information. Otherwise I think this is going to be one to watch. It’s portable when necessary, but deeply involved when you have somewhere to sit. It has some fantastic business applications, a lot of versatility, and a lot of directions it can take in the future.