French VR company VRrOOm is launching a six degrees of freedom (6-DoF) social VR platform that operates within the VRChat live platform, and enables multiple users to take part in live events, and includes the possibility of real-time photo-realistic representation.
Louis Cacciuttolo founded VRrOOm in 2016 after working three years at THX in San Francisco.
In September 2018 he launched VRrOOm’s XR Festivals App – developed in partnership with Paris-based Bemersive – in the Venice Film Festival. The app allows film festivals to broadcast VR content during a one-month window after the festival itself.
VRrOOm now works with more than 20 film festivals and markets, including Cannes XR, Strasbourg, Paris 360, Annecy, Sitges, Qingdao, and Stereopsia.
VRrOOm is also a founding technology partner of UniFrance’s MyFrenchFilm festival, and its films can be viewed via the XR Festivals App.
“For me virtual reality is a dream come true,” says Cacciuttolo. “It brings the emotion and intensity of films, live events and the performing arts to the audience wherever they are located.”
Cacciuttolo is now taking this vision one step further with a new VR platform that offers six degrees of freedom (6-DoF) – giving users the freedom to explore locations and perform real life tasks in VR.
Currently in a prototype form, as showcased during the UniFrance Rendez-Vous, the new platform will be commercially launched in March, initially as a B2B service for festivals and institutions, and within 12 months as a B2C service.
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Rather than observing VR or AR content from a fixed vantage point, the new 6-DoF platform enables users to choose an avatar and enter a virtual space – a museum, concert hall or other venue, in which they can interact with other users, including performers, in real time.
The project – developed in partnership with technology developer Antony Vitillo (New Technology Walker) and architect Lapo Germasi (Manifattura Italiana Design – Turin) – will be branded as the world’s first VR cultural center.
Users will be able to walk around the VR cultural center, visit different installations and take part in collective events. For example, if users use VT trackers they can take part in multi-user dance performances within the space.
“Immersive theater is a big new trend, especially in places such as Los Angeles, New York and London,” says Cacciuttolo. “This offers the next step in immersive theater. We can change sets, actors can wear virtual costumes, be transformed into monsters or animals, all in real time. Neither the audience nor the performers need to be physically located in the space. You can talk with the artist, and even dance with them if you want.”
One of the first events planned for the new platform is an interactive hiphop battle with dancers located in different parts of the world, open to all users.
The platform is built inside the VRChat platform, a free multi-user online virtual reality social platform.
“VRChat has over 7,000 users at any time, which is huge for VR,” enthuses Cacciuttolo. “My new Social VR platform operates within VRChat, optimizes it and offers some brand new features. In the B2B stage of the new service, institutions and event promoters can rent our platform and reach a much wider audience through a multi-user immersive experience. As 5G technology rolls out we will offer the platform on a B2C basis.”
Cacciuttolo is discussing the possibility of using the new platform to host the opening ceremony of the Venice Virtual Reality competition in September, which can be streamed live on the platform and enable multiple users to interact remotely with the presenter and enter the 360 degree movies being screened.
“It’s basically a parallel world,” concludes Cacciuttolo. “We can develop new initiatives for concerts and museums and extend our partnership with film festivals, and start hosting their activities in real time and reach a broader audience from all over the world. It can also be used in film markets enabling sales agents, distributors and broadcasters to meet in a virtual environment. I think it offers very exciting opportunities for the film industry, even for traditional 2D films.”