Japanese Startup Cluster Are Developing a VR Meetup Platform
Alexander Neil / 2 years ago
Ever wanted to meet up with your friends or attend an event all from the comfort of your own chair? This could soon be a reality thanks to Tokyo-based startup Cluster who are working on the development of a virtual reality meetup platform that goes by the same name. The startup announced last week that they had already raised around 50 million yen (around £311 thousand) from a collective of Skyland Ventures, East Ventures and a number of other private investors.
The Cluster platform is designed to allow meeting organizers to hold presentations, talks, meetups and other events or gatherings all through the medium of VR, allowing them to sidestep the many inconveniences of setting up these events such as location and cost. All participants have to do in order to attend if don a VR headset and join the event, inside it, they are represented by their own avatar, which are currently boxy-looking people with images displayed on the ‘face’. Once connected to the event, they are able to see their surroundings, such as a presenter on stage, group-projected images or video and other attendees as well as being able to communicate in a number of ways including emotes.
Cluster say that this is a win-win for both organizers and attendees as it makes holding and attending events vastly more convenient for all involved and frees you from worries of travel and cost that may normally challenge attendance. Thanks to advances in networking and server technology, Cluster makes use of protocol optimizations designed for the Internet of Things in order to allow events to support thousands of concurrent connections without them taking a toll on the server.
Currently, a beta version of the Cluster software is available for download on their website with Windows and OSX versions of the client currently available. Even without a VR headset, users can make use of the meetup software as a normal desktop application so you don’t feel left out without an expensive VR headset. In future, Cluster plans to add support for Android, iOS and GearVR platforms to allow the software to reach an even wider audience.