Why HTC’s answer to the Metaverse could go gangbusters
By Dominic Bayley
PCWorldMar 2, 2022 9:44 pm PST
Image: Dominic Bayley / IDG
While Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse is getting a lot of attention in the press, other companies are seeing value in the concept of an augmented reality universe, launching their own Metaverse-like virtual platforms. HTC, the creator of the HTC Vive virtual reality headset, and more recently the Vive Flow virtual reality glasses, is the latest such company to do this with Viverse. It announced new experiences for its Viverse platform at MWC 2022.
HTC has been in the VR space for quite a while, and from all accounts Viverse appears to be no small project. According to HTC, it is an “open virtual ecosystem where individuals can create, connect and share experiences through augmented reality.” The key to why it could eventually be as big or bigger than the Metaverse may one day become, is the company’s commitment to making it as open and accessible as possible.
HTC are saying the platform is being built around open standards like WebXR, which allows for any number of developers to essentially create games, applications, other virtual worlds and content, so the sky’s the limit on what kind of gaming, social, or work experiences could be possible in it.
By HTC’s account, it’s currently working with hundreds of partners to make sure users will be able to use the platform as they see fit, rather than having to adhere to strict and narrow developer guidelines. Some of those partners include:
Betaday – the world’s first interactive holographic music platform across mobile devices.
Engage – a virtual communication platform that provides immersive, collaborative environments for live events, meetings and training.
VRChat – a collection of social VR experiences to interact with friends, have relationships and build community.
Vive Sync – an all-in-one meeting and collaboration solution for VR.
Museum of Other Realities – a collection of interactive art and experimentation to connect, share and experience virtual reality art.
Attendees at MWC 2022 got to have a taste of how Viverse operates, taking part in a live demo that showed off the different devices Viverse can be accessed from. They also got to experience how users can move between Viverse worlds and venues like VIVE Sync and Engage.
So how does Viverse work? To get in and start living like an augmented being, you’ll need to first access VIVE Connect. This is the cross-platform space where you can access the worlds, games, apps and other content on offer in the Viverse. The good news is you can do this from just about any phone, tablet and virtual headset, so there’s no need to freak out if you don’t have VR gear.
Dominic Bayley / IDG
HTC have confirmed that you can surf the web in XR using VIVE Browser, which supports Web3 login, WebXR and WebAssembly and is compatible with a host of XR devices.
Transactions can be made in Viverse using the VIVE Flow, which is the first VR device to support a cryptowallet, allowing you to store and manage NFT and digital assets using WalletConnect.
HTC has also announced the company has introduced a parental control feature known as Vive Guardian to Viverse that allows parents to control what apps or specific content children can access.
If you want to see what all the fuss is about, you can visit the Viverse official website.
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