Announcing Hyper Room Beta

Hi everyone! Today I’m announcing the beta release of my VR remote collaboration app for the HTC Vive: Hyper Room.

In Hyper Room, you create “rooms” in VR that you can share with other people, who can then join your room. Once someone’s in your room you get shared voice chat and presence, and you can both draw in 3D together a la Tiltbrush, or use tools like a whiteboard. Everything’s in real time so you see an avatar synced with their movements, and the strokes get rendered as the other person is drawing them. Pretty cool huh? Scroll down for the download link!

Social Whale(?) Painting!

I foresee it being useful for team collaboration and brainstorming, and the plan is to extend it to have features oriented towards that. Think math/equation manipulation, CAD file inspection, code reviews, and anything you might want to work on with multiple people. Imagine if each of your team members had a VR headset and controllers, you could be anywhere in the world and still collaborate like you’re in the same room. In fact because of the power and flexibility of VR, aspects of it will be better than working together face to face.

Even Steven is excited for the ever more distributed future of the workplace.

My dream is that the children of the future will struggle to understand why people ever went into a physical office. These children that grew up with VR everywhere will also need an explanation of the computer mouse, “Why would you have a device translate 2d movement in the 3d world into 3d movement on a 2d screen?”. Seriously it’s weird when you think about it.

Download

Anyways, the beta can be downloaded here:

https://storage.googleapis.com/nodejstest-1364.appspot.com/builds/hyper-room-0.0.2.zip

Please note that currently Hyper Room exclusively supports the HTC Vive*

Before you launch Hyper Room please make sure you have:

  • SteamVR running.
  • Your default/current microphone set to your Vive’s microphone.
  • A good internet connection. This is mostly for the voice chat, if you can run Skype or Hangouts then you should be fine.
  • Other people to try it out with!

Controls:

  • Right trigger to draw.
  • Swipe the right touchpad horizontally to resize the brush.
  • Click into the right touchpad to switch between eraser and brush.
  • Click into the left touchpad to activate teleport mode. A parabola will appear and teleport you to where it lands once you release.

Please note that this is a beta release. There will be bugs and performance may not be optimal. Additionally, there are some limitations specific to the beta:

  • Rooms can only have 3 people in them at one time. This is a limitation for the beta and will be raised pending on data collected on server load.
  • You can only have 5 rooms per account. This is also a beta limitation. Premium users will have unlimited rooms.
  • I only have servers provisioned in the US. If you’re in other regions, depending on your internet connection you might experience significant lag.
  • Really big rooms(think 2 people painting for an hour straight) can get laggy. Improving performance here is my number one priority right now.

The beta will be updated regularly. Your client will check for the latest builds available, and let you know when you need to update. If you notice any bugs, have issues with your account, or have a feature request, please email me at yoshiki@hyper-room.io

Some upcoming features:

Whiteboard features:

  • Whiteboard Capture. This will let you save an image representation of your whiteboard you can share with people outside of Hyper Room.
  • Placing your own whiteboard. Each room gets one whiteboard right now, but the ability to freely add and re-position whiteboards as you desire will be added.
  • Clearing a whiteboard of brushes with one click.

General:

  • Room downloads! This is sort of possible right now but the format isn’t well documented, and not ideal for outside consumption. It’s your data though so you should be able to export it freely. Exports to the .tilt file format are planned too.
  • Image uploads! This will be a lot of fun. You’ll be able to draw on them and stick them onto whiteboards.
  • More brush types.
  • More environments. I’ve been wanting to make a zen garden for quite some time now.

There’s a lot of cool stuff planned for the premium edition too if you need lots of rooms and team management features. If you’re interested in a future premium subscription, email me at yoshiki@hyper-room.io, subject line “Premium”.

Also, if you want to try out Hyper Room but don’t know anyone else to use it with hit me up! I’ll invite you to one of my rooms and we can hang out.

*If/when I get my hands on an Oculus + Touch kit, I’d definitely love to support those too. Hit me up Palmer!