Vicarious Inc. is getting ready to expand the reach of its social media platform beyond the limited install base that Google Daydream offers. The company announced that it would be releasing two versions of the Vicarious app this month that would allow smartphone users who don’t have Daydream-ready phones to access the content people share on Vicarious.
Vicarious allows you to create "experiences" to share your life’s adventures with others. It supports 360-degree video and photos, and it allows you to place 2D videos, photos, and text within a 3D environment to create a uniquely immersive experience. It also supports social features to make it easy to share your content with friends and family.
Vicarious’ founders started working on the social platform in the summer of 2015. We had the chance to speak with the two founders of the company in November that year, and they laid out their plans for the platform. At the time, the founders were pursuing VR platforms, and they didn’t seem interested in supporting non-VR devices.
It’s hard to predict how quickly people adopt a new medium like VR, and many analyst predictions overshot the reality of the VR adoption rate. Sometime between us speaking to the company in November 2015 and May 2017, when Vicarious Inc. released the Google Daydream app, the company decided to reevaluate its VR-only approach and rework the platform to support 2D screens.
The Vicarious app for Google Daydream is a hybrid application, which can operate with or without a Daydream headset. The Android and iOS versions are similar, in that you can use the apps with or without a VR HMD. The two new Vicarious apps support Google Cardboard devices so you can get the immersive experience, but if you don’t have a Cardboard headset, you can still take in the content people share on the platform.
The mobile Vicarious apps aren’t available yet, but they are both coming soon. Vicarious Inc. said that Vicarious would be available for iOS devices on September 14 and that the Android version will arrive two weeks later on September 28.