Google VR Daydream Labs Teases Social Experiments

The Google VR team is exploring and sharing the possibilities of multiplayer VR with bowling and puzzle collaboration.

After unveiling Google’s VR eco-system Daydream during the keynote at their annual I/O developer conference, Google is showing off more of their latest VR prototyping from the team at Daydream Labs.

Daydream Labs is a way for the Google VR team to explore different applications and interactions for virtual reality, pairing engineers with designers to rapidly prototype concepts. They have already started sharing their learnings with the VR community and this week, they are focusing on social.

Being in VR with others can greatly amplify and improve upon the immersive experience, so the Google VR team is sharing a few things they’ve learned so far.

Simplicity can be powerful: In the Vive demo bowling video below, avatars can be simplified to just a floating head with googly eyes and still convey a strong degree of “emotion, intent, and number of social cues.” When combined with hands and spatial voice audio, you can create a greater sense of shared presence. You don’t know how many times i’ve tried to give others a high-five in social VR experiences – it’s a great feeling.

Join the party: Sometimes it can be tough to know where to begin when joining a VR experience with others. This is when creating shared goals for multi-player experiences becomes important. The puzzle video below depicts how one can join another person and immediately start breaking the ice by partaking in an activity that you can play with together. Another thing you’ll notice in the video is the variation in height of the users, where the Google VR team adds that, “height is such a powerful social cue in the real world and we can tune these settings in VR to nudge people into having more friendly, prosocial interactions.”

It’s fantastic to see Daydream Labs continue to share with the community what they’ve learned so far and look forward to future insights. You can check out more of their recent lessons learned from VR Prototyping from their Google I/O talk.

About the Scout

Jonathan Nafarrete

Jonathan Nafarrete is the co-founder of VRScout.

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