Imagine a performance event with unlimited tickets. No matter how many people showed before you, there would always be a spot for you. AltspaceVR’s FrontRow is making that dream into a possibility.
AltspaceVR rooms are limited to smaller attendance numbers because of hardware limitations. GearVR is capable of sufficient performance with 30 to 40 people logged in, and PCs can typically handle around 100 users. But Eric Romo, AltspaceVR’s CEO, told us that while his company was figuring out the best way to scale for larger events, he realized that people don’t want to go to a show and be long distances from the performer. Everyone wants the best seat in the house. It’s not important to have thousands of people in the same space as long as everyone gets to experience the performance in the same way.
FrontRow allows AltspaceVR to offer limitless event sizes, while still offering great seats for everyone involved. It allows thousands of people at once to watch the same live performance, and everyone can have a front row seat, or a private showing for that matter. FrontRow scales up by mirroring the event to as many individual audience locations as needed. As attendance grows, the platform automatically adds more capacity. Each audience area is greeted with a mirrored copy of the live performance.
“FrontRow allows everyone who attends to have a front row seat. Do you want to have a private party and attend the show with just your friends? You can do that,” said Eric Romo, CEO of AltspaceVR. “Do you want to enjoy the show just by yourself? You can do that. Do you want to have the traditional public event experience with 50 new friends? You can do that, too.“
We met with Romo and Cymatic Bruce, the company’s head developer, inside AltspaceVR this week for a live demonstration of the mirroring technology. Romo was on the floor with us, and Cymatic Bruce was the performer for the night. His avatar was being projected into our space from a different location. There was no perceivable lag in movements or speech.
AltspaceVR is introducing FrontRow this tomorrow evening for a live comedy performance by Reggie Watts. The company expects the event will have the highest attendance of any AltspaceVR event to date. Watts will be performing a comedy routine live while using an HTC Vive. Cymatic Bruce told us that Watts will also be wearing a Perception Neuron motion capture suit from Noitom, so his whole body will be represented in VR.
Update, May 25, 2016, 9:50am PT: The Reggie Watts show is not tonight. It will occur tomorrow evening at 8pm PT.