TuringVR is building a customizable alternative to the static home spaces of VR headsets. It’s called holos and while the alpha testing is closed to limited number of people, the developers are planning a larger open beta for later this year.
The hub is still in the early stages of development but turingVR is adding more customization features all the time. The software is planned to be offered for free with both free and paid “native VR applications, web applications, and spaces” available through a store.
The holos home space is currently only accessible through an alpha program that will launch in the next few weeks. At the time of writing, company representatives confirmed that over 400 people had already taken the plunge into holos, with more joining all the time.
Those same representatives also further elaborated on the full scope of holos – including its price, platform compatibilities, and eventual release date – during an interview with UploadVR.
UploadVR: Can you give me a brief history of turingVR?
turingVR: We are a team of four VR enthusiasts located in Madison, WI. Along with co-hosting the Madison VR Meetup over the past 8 months, we have also been developing small projects for VR over the past two years. We’re always trying to help VR reach its fullest potential. Holos itself has been in development for about half a year. While it may be likely in the near future, we are not currently investor funded.
Is holos exclusive to the Vive and Rift? Or will it run on PSVR, Gear VR, etc.
turingVR: Right now, holos runs on both the Vive and the Rift. We believe users should have the freedom to choose their hardware, so we plan to support additional HMDs in the future. We believe in a system where headsets are open and accessible and we think that a lot can be accomplished when the platforms start to interact with each other.
How does social interaction work on holos?
turingVR: During our alpha stage, social interaction will come entirely through web cards, which have functionality similar to mobile apps. You will be able to use the social networks that you’re already used to. Social that truly takes advantage of the medium will take time, but finding the right solution will come with time.
Have you had any contact with the big VR companies? Are they supportive of this product?
turingVR: We haven’t had direct conversations with either Oculus or HTC, but we were lucky enough to receive a Vive Pre in February. With that being said, we’d love to incite discussions in the industry around how we can all help improve the capabilities of VR and bring more people into the ecosystem. A rising tide lifts all boats.
When do you think a full product will launch? What sort of extra features do you want to have in the final version?
turingVR: We are currently focused on testing, gaining feedback, and improving our alpha. Later this year, we will make holos available to everyone in the form of a public beta. The main feature we want to have for the beta is improved customization, but we are always thinking of ways to integrate social with our home-based approach.
Will Holos be a free app or will it cost money? If so, how much?
turingVR: Holos, is, and always be, free. The holos store is where people will be able to download both free and paid content in the form of native VR applications, web applications, and spaces.
I find your aesthetic similar to another company: Owlchemy Labs. Do you see another company building something similar to holos? Do you think Oculus or Valve will create their own version of this?
turingVR: Very interesting question. I think that studios like Owlchemy Labs are great at making games that are quirky and fun, but also very natural. Job Simulator is usually one of the first demos that I show people. I think that they’ve got a great thing going and only see them continuing to excel at making great games. Oculus and Valve are focused on making a great storefront and overall system to facilitate that. Any way that Oculus and Valve are able to improve the experience for VR users is a win in our book.
How deep will customization get? Will I be able to build my own home room from scratch? Import picture and assets? Personalize the UI?
turingVR: In the alpha version, users will have the ability to choose from a number of spaces as well as the ability to add, remove, and instantly reposition objects in their current homespace. User control is extremely important to us, so we plan to improve and add customization features as we move from our alpha to our beta.
We will bring you all the news on holos as the project continues to evolve.