The first time we attended a national senior living conference, VR was brand new to most people. We made a decided commitment to approach the market from an educational perspective, which meant that we spent a lot of time giving people the opportunity to experience the wonders of VR for the first time (if you still haven’t taken the chance to immerse yourself in the magic, we encourage you to reach out and schedule a demo!). While we obviously found a lot of joy in showcasing our own platform and took a ton of pride in seeing the emotional reactions to everything we’ve built, we also loved simply allowing people to try out apps from the larger VR ecosystem. This is, after all, how VR has been built up over the years – early adopters letting people try on their headset and play around for the first time.
There were two applications that always stood out to us – Fruit Ninja (we used to have big internal competitions here) and Tilt Brush. From the moment it came out, Tilt Brush has been an application that I’ve loved. To me, it shows the breadth of what VR is capable of – you’re given the world as a blank slate, and you can create anything your heart desires. The limit is your imagination, and it’s hard to not find that absolutely inspiring.
So…when Google announced that it was open sourcing Tilt Brush, the energy was palpable. It’s no secret that multiplayer has been a popular feature request for years, and our company has always been focused on using VR to improve social health…so we knew we wanted to jump right in. And, well, we did. A few hours later, we had our first working prototype of Multiplayer Tilt Brush and were playing a highly competitive game of tic tac toe. See for yourself (I admit, one of us is not very good at tic tac toe…)
Our team does weekly social hours (on Zoom currently, of course), and just last week we were talking about how we wanted to try to host a game of “VR Pictionary” in Tilt Brush. It sounded fun, but without functional multiplayer… the original plan was for everyone to watch a single 2D screencast with a single artist, while everyone guessed at the same time. Now, the game has totally changed. Next week, we’ll be having our social hour in Tilt Brush. Of course, we’ll want to get this into the hands of the greater community too – both with our community partners and the greater Tilt Brush community.
Thinking about how this all plays out for our mission as a company…our hope is that soon, we’ll be releasing a version that allows all of the communities we work with to join together in an international pictionary competition. We see a near future where we’ll be working with creators in the Tilt Brush community to bring immersive art therapy to senior living residents, allowing users to create together with some guidance, or watch live as artists recreate famous paintings within one of our RendeverLive™ sessions. The future for VR artistry is bright, and we’re excited to be a part of the movement!
About Tom Neumann, Cofounder & CTO, Rendever
Tom was an early adopter of virtual reality, and developed some of the first significant applications in VR in the early days of the consumer VR industry. One of the first apps he ever launched publicly has over 1 million downloads, and he was among the first to build a social world in virtual reality, implemented the first YouTube video player in VR, and developed software allowing apps from certain hardware-restricted app stores to be experienced on other hardware platforms. He has architected most of the major technical and user-facing components of the Rendever platform, has consulted with major organizations to help bring their VR interests into light, and leads development for both Alcove and the Alcove Playground.