Back in November, Oculus quietly released the Oculus Social Alpha app for Samsung Gear VR. The app immediately became one of our favorite experiences on the platform.
Oculus Social is an entirely different experience from the hundreds of other gaming and video apps available for Gear VR. Considering that Facebook owns Oculus, the app is an early representation of what the future of social interaction in virtual reality will look like.
The entire experience is quite simple. You select from a range of avatars, everything from a Viking to a scary clown, and then choose from a menu of eight different rooms to join. You can decide to enter a Vimeo room or a Twitch room. Upon selecting a room you will find yourself transported into a virtual theater, either on the moon or shrunken down to the size of an ant. This theater is basically a virtual chat room, where you and 4 other avatars gather around a screen to watch either Twitch streams or Vimeo videos.
We can tell you from spending hours upon hours in rooms, most of the time is spent just chatting with individuals from around the world. It is very easy to lose track of time.
The one thing that is constantly brought up in Oculus Social rooms is the need for more control of content displayed on the screen. Spending hours and hours watching the same Vimeo videos or Twitch streams gets boring after awhile; so we had an idea.
We are all watching the same screen and reacting to what we are viewing in this fantastic social environment together – why not host the very first karaoke night in Oculus Social Alpha?
With some quick tests tweaking a Twitch broadcast that we hosted and streamed ourselves, we invited fellow Scouts and a few friends to pop in a Twitch room, kicking off our very first karaoke night! It wasn’t without its hiccups, recording in a Gear VR headset is often unreliable and Twitch streaming in the room sometimes failed to initially show for users. In the end we worked it all out and even decided to host a second night of karaoke as well.
So being the virtual reality camera man that I am, why not record all the sessions and give you a taste of – well you can decide for yourself by watching below.
The take away from this all, karaoke in virtual reality can be just as bad as karaoke in real life. Sometimes you crush the song, but often times you totally bomb it. At least now when its your turn to sing, you can do it from the comfort of your couch, all in front of a robot, a fox, a Viking, and a clown.
Let us know what you thought of Oculus Social Karaoke and be sure to subscribe on YouTube!