Attend an event in virtual reality with Altspace VR, feedbacks for "Educator in VR 2020" summit.

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. –

 

How to attend an event in virtual reality?

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.

  • “ALTSPACE VR” is a social platform for virtual reality, a virtual place where people can meet and relax to exchange. No matter where you are in the world, no matter your nationality, your finances, your skin color, your disabilities or if you are an alien in the real world:  if you have an internet connection and a pc or, a virtual reality equipment,  you can come meet people. You may learn awesome knowledges and immerse your senses. Virtual reality is fooling your brain into processing the experience as if it were really happening, you are immersed in the sensation of presence.

 

  • The “petit plus”,  is the positive impact for the planet.  Attend an event inVirtual Reality  prevent a lot of carbone dioxide emissions in the atmosphere. Instead of traveling, staying in hotels and using a convention center, attendes are (safe?) at home. For Educator in VR summit: 7,587,489 kg of CO2 were saved, you can check the calculations in detail here).

 

Devices Requirements to attend an event in VR :

 

👉🏻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.

Good to know!

  • Be aware that most of the events in Altspace VR are in English for now.
  • You will need to create an account for Altspace VR and attend events in virtual reality
  • You must create an avatar for Altspace VR. I have opted for a young woman with purple hair but it is possible to be a robot with the capability to fly or a man. there are many parameters to customize your avatar.
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What is the "2020 Educator in VR" summit?

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“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.

What should we remember from attending this event in virtual reality?

“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).

👎 Weak points:

  • 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.

  • The culture is may be a bit homogenous:

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.

  • le “live stream” / la navigation web qui font bogger Altspace Vr:

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.

  • Other avatars:

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.

👍 Strong points:

  • The Educator in VR’ community:

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.

  • Avatars:

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 expertise and professionalism of the speakers:

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.😁❤️❤️

  • The backup of technical teams:

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.

  • The ease of asking questions and hearing questions:

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:).

  • The possibility to speak to the speakers after the conference:

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.

  • The ability to take picture and selfies :

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.

  • the potential of sending emoticones to interact:

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. 

  • The access of conferences on Youtube:

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!

  • The possibility to appear and disappear when we wish:

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.

  • The social network aspect :

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.

  • The environment for the conference, the atmosphere:

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!

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.

Conclusion:

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.❤️❤️❤️

 
 

By Géraldine Perriguey

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