If Ready Player One gets anything right about the grand vision of VR, it’s that the future of the metaverse needs to be inherently social. Some of the best VR games out right now are solitary, single player experiences (such as Skyrim VR) but until we can enjoy things of that qualtiy, or higher, online with other people (looking at you, Sword Art Online — OrbusVR is a good first step) then we’re not really living up to the promise of VR.
As a result, a vast multitude of companies are creating their vision for what social VR could be like. Bigscreen lets you use and share your desktop inside VR and attend movie premiers, while Altspace lets you meet up and attend events or just hang out with friends. VRChat is a super-concentrated dose of the internet, in VR form, and Rec Room welcomes users of all ages for fun, often silly, adventures. Needless to say everyone has a different idea of how to use VR for social interaction.
Today, Mozilla is debuting “Hubs by Mozilla” which is “an immersive social VR experience that is delivered through just your internet browser. You simply click on a web link to begin interacting with others inside virtual reality” according to a prepared statement.
Firefox Reality doubles down on the web as a platform for VR, AR, and mixed reality and Hubs seems like the first real use case of that commitment. Using WebVR to power Hubs, you can launch a room in just a single click — almost like a VR version of an old school AOL chatroom. All you need is a URL and you can share that Hub with other users without the need for an app store or download of any kind.
It also aims to support all VR headsets from the Rift and Vive to the Daydream or even Google Cardboard. Thinking about the possibilities with the impending launch of Oculus Go are quite dizzying.
You can try it out right here. If you do, let us know what you think down in the comments below!