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Vircadia, LPI, and the Web

Written by Kalila L

May 4, 2021

Introduction 👋

The pursuit of living and working in virtual reality is a long and difficult road. It requires software at its foundation that is versatile yet also resistant. An open source, decentralized, and scalable architecture is required.

We’re very happy to announce that the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) is partnering with us in this effort.

Vircadia Interface currently runs natively on Windows, Linux, and MacOS. This enables users to use their desktop (or VR) to attend virtual worlds with up to hundreds of people in a single instance. While performance and capability are high due to the native implementations, the native implementations are also a barrier to entry: it’s difficult to ask someone to download a large unknown application to try something out. It takes time and effort!

If only we could simply give a link to someone like we do with photos and videos, then suddenly there would be little excuse to not check something out. Discord is a good example of this: you can share a link to a server and all you need is a web browser to attend! The cost to try it is low while the potential reward of joining something interesting is high.

Virtual worlds should have the same simplicity, especially for a first-time experience. You should be able to visit a virtual world with others simply by opening a link in your nearest device’s web browser.

Vircadia, Web, and WebRTC 😲

With this pursuit in mind, the team is moving forward with expanding the open source Vircadia Virtual World ecosystem with the creation of the Vircadia Web interface, version of Interface that runs in your web browser.

We will enable this by adding support for Vircadia’s servers to communicate with web browsers over WebRTC (high performance networking built into your browser).

This means that from anywhere and with (virtually) any device, you will be able to visit virtual worlds with others in real-time complete with spatial audio. Android or iOS? No problem. Oculus Quest 2? You got it. Or maybe you just want to check out an event or expo without all the hassle. You should have the option to attend with whatever device you have within reach.

Also, for the full fidelity experience, you will still be able to download the native interface to your computer.

    A Journey with Friends ❤️

    We need friends to help make this next step in the open source virtuality journey feasible alongside our current work.

    With the partnership of the Linux Professional Institute (LPI) we’re able to embark on this ambitious project. 😊

    Our shared pursuit of all things free and open has brought us together; supporting the effort to make Vircadia a viable open virtual world development platform.

     

      Q & A

      Can the Vircadia Interface support Android?

      Yes, it can. However, continued support for deployment to platforms other than Windows, Linux, and MacOS has proven a large task for a small team. Therefore, outsourcing the technical load of multi-platform deployment to the browsers is a more amicable route.

      Will Vircadia Web support WebXR?

      Yes! WebXR will enable you to enter the virtual world in VR from your browser. However, the initial run for this project will focus on making Vircadia accessible in the web browser through PC and mobile first.

      As a company: How are virtual worlds relevant to me?

      Communication is a universal aspect in company operations.

      Virtual worlds can serve as a place for meeting and collaboration among employees that provides deeper interaction.

      For customers, associates can communicate in a way that is more human. For example, they can demonstrate products and services directly in 3D – “in person” – and answer questions throughout.

      As an organization: How are virtual worlds relevant to me?

      Regular meetups can be held with attendees joining from any part of the world on virtually any device.

      Spatial audio makes a world of difference, allowing people to interact naturally and move away from the crowd for 1-on-1 communication.

      No matter the size, Vircadia scales to serve 4 or 400 users in one virtual world.

      As a school: How are virtual worlds relevant to me?

      A college, university, or school can reach students remotely or even worldwide instead of being limited by geography.

      Teachers can interact with students in real-time, in an environment that makes sense: avatars that enable movement with natural audio.

      Tech & Artist: Vircadia supports the sharing of 3D models and world scripting in real-time. This allows for a complete learning environment that can be accessed from anywhere.

      What sets Vircadia apart?

      Ownership

      Vircadia is distributed under the permissive Apache 2.0 license. This means that your organization can own the software in its entirety – both servers and clients.

      Scalable

      A Vircadia powered world can hold hundreds of users in a single instance.

      Flexible

      Vircadia can serve almost any use case, commercial or personal, because of its flexible architecture.

      Accessible

      Vircadia is available on Windows, Linux, and MacOS, and with the addition of Vircadia Web, it will be accessible on Android, iOS, and Quest 2 as well.

      Thanks to this month’s testers and code reviewers!

      The community and active development group is larger and more diverse than you’d expect!

      There is much time and effort put into continually testing and reviewing new changes to the Vircadia project’s many core components.

      Dale Glass

      Code Reviewer

      HifiExperiments

      Code Reviewer

      JulianGro

      QA

      Basinsky

      QA

      CtrlAltDavid

      Code Reviewer

      Aitolda

      QA

      Silverfish

      QA

      Join the Metaverse Revolution

      Vircadia is a FLOSS decentralized virtual worlds platform. It is cross platform, with support for Windows, OSX, and Linux. Development is distributed across many volunteers and committed through their various contributions, big and small.

      Documentation

      We need documentation writers! The platform is constantly evolving and has plenty of documentation to help new users and veteran develoeprs alike take full advantage of it. Even the small things make a huge impact.

      If you are multilingual, our international users could use your help!

      If you simply want to help out on small things such as typos, errors, short guides, etc... your help and participation is appreciated!

      Development

      We need developers! Vircadia has many components, you can contribute to any of the following:

      • Native Interface
        • C++
        • JavaScript
        • Web Apps (Vue, etc.)
        • QML
      • Server
        • C++
        • HTML + JavaScript
      • Metaverse Server
        • TypeScript
      • Web Interface
        • Interface created with Vue
        • HTML + TypeScript
        • Engine created with Babylon.JS
      • Web SDK
        • TypeScript

      Engine. Platform. Metaverse.