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By Géraldine Perriguey
I have attended my first event in virtual reality from February 17 to 22, 2020. Attend conference or a summit in virtual reality, means that it takes place in a virtual environment and honestly, it’s terrific!
Moreover, attend an event in virtual reality is a great alternative to traditional events in the real world especially in this time of “Coronavirus, cancellations” all over the world. I have tried the virtual reality platform called “ALTSPACE VR” and attended the “EDUCATOR IN VR 2020 international summit“.
– I point out that this article is absolutely not sponsored. –
An event in virtual reality takes place in a virtual environment and several platforms offer these services, however, to attend the virtual reality international summit, “Educator in VR“, I went to the “ALTSPACE VR” platform.
👉🏻It is not necessary to have a VR headset to attend an event in virtual reality!
In order to join “Altspace VR” and attend to any events in virtual reality available for free, users must have either a Head Mounted Displays or a windows pc.
Below the head mounted display currently accepted:
More info about minimum system requirement for each devices here
Be aware that Altspace VR is not
Apple 🍎friendly .
👋bye bye Mac-book users like me 😩
You will need a correct internet connection. (from 20-40 Mbit/sec) and I believe you need 30-50 Mbit/sec if the speaker make live stream.
“2020Educator in VR” is a conference in virtual reality of the “Educator in VR” community which is an open, global and multiplatform community of educators, researchers and trainers exploring and collaborating with and in virtual and augmented reality. Educator in VR are the connecting fabric between academia and companies in the virtual reality education industry. In other words, impossible to miss this with XR PEDAGOGY!
I knew so litle about this community and it was my first time I attend the event in virtual reality: “2020Educator in Vr”.
2020 Educator in VR summit, in virtual reality, was terrific. Ticket price is free and allows you to attend conferences held by international experts (and yes they are really experts). The atmosphere is really nice, nobody complains that technology does not always work perfectly. Educator in VR international summit is to test at least once in your life.
“The “Educator in VR” summit has fused into a happening, It was like Woodstok” Professor Thomas Furness III (dit le grand père de la VR).
The events’ schedules:
Although attend in event in virtual reality is awesome, I was a bit annoyed by the schedules of the events because most of them were suitable for pacific standard time. Be aware that events schedules are indicated directly at the time corresponding to your computer time set up (I guess the same for mobile phone or headset). I was tricked between time announced on the website and time on the platform. As far as I am concerned, I am in the Caribbean and I do not have a lot of time difference with the United States, however for Europe it should not be easy to attend events.
It is impossible to miss the omnipresent American culture. As far as I am concerned, I love both spontaneity and enthusiasm, however it could perhaps surprise some people. However, it is possible that this may evolve, given the scale that the event is taking. Multiculturalism will surely take over in the future.
When your internet connection is too weak, (I suppose when it is less than 30Mbit / s) and the speaker decides to show you something on the internet, the sound of the speaker will quite often jerk. It may also happens when you consult a web page in Altspace VR, using Altspace Vr web browser, your interface freezes and you have to leave the conference room in virtual reality and re-enter to resolve the problem.
It is a bit disconcerting to see an avatar staring at you, in general it is because the person is adjusting parameters …or that it is just looking at you. However, the staring gaze of an avatar is a little uncomfortable. sometimes also, the strange things avatars are doing can distract you.
Educator in VR and all the participants, speakers and people on the facebook page and the discord are simply cool. They are brilliant, humble, simple and accessible people.
Most of the people were attending this events for professional or business reasons and yet, unlike many professional events I have attended, it was cool and relaxed. I did not feel that I was approached to sell me something or check what was on my badge. No one wears a badge, anyone can use a pseudonym and an avatar. I think this contributes greatly to equality.
When you attend an event in virtual reality there is no judgment because we are all in an avatar state. I even dared to choose purple hair like the XR PEDAGOGY logo, something I would probably never dare to do in the real world of my French culture.
The speakers really deserved a huge respect because making a presentation in virtual reality is not easy. The codes are different, the approaches are different, it is necessary to face the small inconvenience of the direct. I have not yet tested it myself, however it must not be easy to manage a presentation in front of avatars acting sometime a little bit weird, sending you emoticons to communicate with you.
During the conference, technical assistants assist the speakers in case of problems or to notify for example that the speakers were in front of their presentations and that the entire audience could not see the presentation correctly.
When the event starts you enter the virtual room and your microphone is muted. When you ask a question a small icon appears and if the speaker select you, your microphone is “on”(unmuted) and you can ask your question. Everyone in the room will hear you (and the sound around you:).
I couldn’t believe it! it is not necessary to have the VIP VIP premium plus badge and tipping the Security guard. -No, you follow the operator and you speak to him just as you speak to your friend. I did not come across trolls, maybe some people were embarrassed by this phenomenon.
As you can see on my Avatar selfie,(a selfie I took during the conference), we can take either pictures or selfies in Altspace VR. When you think about it it’s great because writing when you have the head mounted device on your nose, believe me it is technical.
Using a dedicated interfact in “altspace VR”, you can easily send small icons that everyone perceives. It is very simple and very practical. It allows you to indicate if you see the presentation correctly to the speaker, without everyone having his microphone activated in the room.
I was wondering how could I request the lectures I have missed. Personally, I didn’t know how to record what I saw in my headphones head mounted without avoiding my mobile phone to become an incandescent fireball. Fortunately, the Educator in VR community is there to put the recordings on youtube! Et voilà!
In the real world, I don’t know for you, but I have happened to have to leave while a speaker were spoking with a feeling of guilt mixed with shame because I have felt I embarrassed everyone.
Today, in “Altspace Vr” and during the “Educator In VR” summit, any attendee is able to leave the conference site, with one click and without embarrassing anyone.
It’s very nice to meet people who are from another part of the world just like that, while walking in a virtual park. The professional contacts I have met, were for me, very enriching and fruitful. In Altspace VR, you can request an avatar as a friend and chat with it, simply speak with it in the social space, or even, invite it to your virtual home.
En général un amphithéâtre (sur Altspace VR vous en avez d’autres comme le toit d’immeuble très sympa. Vous avez aussi un espace pour les échanges post conférence qui ressemble à un parc.
In general the environment was an amphitheater. There are other places to do conferences on Altspace VR such as roof top of a very nice building. There is also a place for post conference meetup which looks like a park. It feels you are going out of an inside place to chat in a more natural atmosphere.
The speakers were super interesting, knowledgeable and really committed to fuel you with insights and precise data. A wonderful sharing built on a human scale, in a totally virtual atmosphere.
In conclusion, feel free to test the “Educator in VR” summit, next year and come along chat with us in the metaverse. I have enjoyed attend this event in virtual reality so much that we are currently scheduling a series of virtual reality meetups on AltspaceVR.❤️❤️❤️