We got sick of all the Zoom happy hours, birthday parties, and company get togethers. In parallel, serendipity largely died - you could no longer run into a friend or co-worker or interesting new person given social distancing.
So, we put together Pluto - built on webRTC with MediaSoup and webGL with THREE.js and many other technologies.
Pluto is a browser-only VR space (no headsets needed) for spacial video chats and hangouts. You can move around in using first-person shooter-like controls. Sound decays with distance so different groups can break up and hang out.
Just drop in a link, and you can attend an event over video (no headset, no nothing). Create a virtual world in just one click!
Everything is represented in 3D which means people can randomly run into each other and serendipity can finally happen again.
We have built out a number of worlds using Blender to construct 3D models of :
-Admont Abbey Library
-A room in old Austria.
You can go to https://pluto.video to try it in your own VR in-browser world. It is best tried out with friends but can also be fun to explore the virtual world solo.
Come check it out and let us all know what you think!
It is still early / janky but we wanted to get it out there and get some feedback :)
We will be hanging out at an instance from 11am to 1:30pm PT at https://team.pluto.video.
Pluto was partially inspired in part by new social experiments on the web like Clubhouse, Gatherly, Rally, Rambly, Sonar, Teamflow, Yorb and others....
I’m confused. Does it work with a headset? The mobile site isn’t clear on this. I have an Oculus Quest, and for a moment I got excited to see a browser-based VR chat app (the Firefox Reality browser has good VR plugin support). If it doesn’t work with headsets at all, then in my view VR is a misleading adjective.
From a quick glance there seem to be no WebVR/WebXR support in there (nothing checks for VR hardware and the minified JS doesn't seem to have any obvious API references).
Combining video of the face mapped onto a virtual space really seems like the winning combo - there are a few groups doing this and it's the only thing I want to nudge my professional contacts to try out.
Take that as a small glimpse of what it's like to be on the autism spectrum.
I think the main problem around adopting such tech is that, existing workflows and habit loops are pretty mature (though not ideal). Zoom / hangout meetings, chat on slack etc. Because of that, it's hard to 'remember' to login to such virtual office spaces that would enable those convos.
I want to hear if there are teams that were able to adopt successfully and what level of early enforcement was required to create that habit loop (i personally hate such enforcement, but might not avoidable).
i would love this for use with my friends. we would get to "be" there.
It would be nice if there were alternatives to login besides Google (like email?).
I have some feedback:
It would be cool to have some really interesting sculpture art to sort of seed groups of people talking in the museum level. I'm specifically requesting like a mutating 3d fractal sculpture that might invite people to gather. Or a campfire.
I thought that having all the different worlds is cool but if everyone is in one location and you're in a different world it's easy to get isolated.
Along the same lines, it would be cool if the size of the level sort of scaled with the size of the group in some way.
It's like a frictionless, lightweight second-life. Congrats. Now we can have true house parties online.
Why the name Pluto? I feel like I've run into quite a few projects sharing the name. Are you going for something related to the underworld?
(also, pluto+video made me think of pluto.tv - a live tv app)
"Please respond to the strongest plausible interpretation of what someone says, not a weaker one that's easier to criticize. Assume good faith."
However, given how strongly people feel about the term, happy to use something different in the future to avoid ambiguity. E.g. "Virtual spaces" or "Spatial video".
Really the intention was to simulate aspects of the real world and in particular to virtualize human interactions in an online space.
Thanks for pointing this out.
(Submitted title was 'Show HN: Pluto in-browser VR spatial video chat'.)
Too bad Twitter still doesnt have editable tweets :/
Reasons I prefer Pluto to other products
- Easy to sign-in
- Faster to load
- Doesn't lag
- See my friends' face (killer feature versus an avatar)
- Spacial video chat
Good job guys!