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When September rolled around, I knew I wanted to learn more about creating virtual reality and augmented reality experiences by enrolling in a course at Imisi3D – Extended Reality Creation Lab based in Nigeria. It was my intention to study how V/X/A realities can influence people’s behavior as part of my thesis project. While the training was challenging, it helped me see the potential of using technology and the wealth of resources that Africa possesses.

During the course, I learned about Microsoft’s AltspaceVR, a virtual reality (VR) social platform. To put it simply, it enabled users to build and enter virtual environments in which they could have real-time conversations with other users. People could interact in a variety of ways, including by participating in shared activities like watching movies, playing games, or joining virtual communities for similar interests. A wide range of virtual reality headsets, including the Oculus Quest, Rift, and Vive, was supported by the system.

Users could make their own unique characters and set the look and feel of their virtual environments. We intended for AltspaceVR to be a community hub where people could meet and talk to one another in real-time. Users might also invite others to visit their virtual locations, making for a more involved and immersive experience than would be possible in the actual world.

Microsoft, however, has since discontinued AltspaceVR in favor of Microsoft mesh Many people were caught off guard by this announcement, and it is now unclear what will happen to them in the long run. Microsoft has said the shutdown was due to technical issues and a desire to focus on other products, but other people suspect it was owing to a lack of return on investment.

While the loss of AltspaceVR’s community is regrettable, virtual reality as a whole will not be eradicated by its demise. Users can also find and join a wide variety of other social VR platforms and online groups

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