Beloola – Social VR

Beloola is social virtual reality on the open web.

Screencap of my first visit to Beloola, a social virtual reality website.
(I’m the girl in the leather jacket)

I kid you not. I saw it. I tried it. WebVR, no plugins. It works. Today, March 7, 2016.

They’ve got everything you’d need to have a social experience in a virtual world. Avatars with moving parts. Pick your clothes and appearance. A bunch of gestures you can control. Many different worlds. Freedom of mobility. And a chat window.

What else could you want?

Users.

I’ve been in there a few times now – got my avatar all nice-lookin’, and went in search of some folks to interact with. Eventually, I ran into an avatar that interacted with me – he introduced himself as one of the staff. How cool. That was the first time I’d met a stranger in a virtual world.

(Here’s a post about the time I met my daughter in a virtual world)

I found out about Beloola on Twitter. Not much of a trace of them out on the web – and I think there are a couple of reasons for that.

First, their website is 100% virtual world. Which is to say, no text. No words. Which is a fabulous impediment to getting search terms indexed by search engines.

Second – they’re French. So, I reckon most of their footprints on the flat web are in French – which makes getting English search terms indexed by search engines even more difficult.

So, they aren’t that easy to discover. And most of the “people” I did find in there, appeared to be disconnected from any kind of user or AI that gave a darn about other users. Some people interacted with me – some just stood there, staring blankly at nothing, or just randomly slid away as I was trying to ask them questions. In Beloola, the avatars that are connected to users actually appear to walk. I suppose the ones that appear disconnected, are simply connected through a “headset” or a Google cardboard, and don’t have many controls to work with.

Screencap of me looking for users to interact with on Beloola
I think they were all in demo mode – or zombie mode…

Anyway, I think this thing is great. Uber-primitive, of course – it’s a bit of a wild experiment, and the first thing of its kind. A little much for my gnarly old computer – but it’s just sluggish, not crashy.

But, cool as it is, it sorta falls flat when there’s no-one to interact with. That’s my complaint about this website – there’s no-one there.

Just tried it again – yup – no-one.

Other than that – wow, these folks are on the right track.

Very cool. Check it out. beloola.com

 

 

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Author: Pete

Editor-in-Chief, Lead Software Developer and Artistic Director @ 3dspace.com

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