How to Hack into Sansar Using an iPhone

Mike Sutton (a.k.a MojoDallas) has posted a YoutTube video in which he demonstrates how you can use your iPhone and US$30-50 worth of hardware and software to hack into Sansar! Basically, your iPhone is turned into a VR headset. I have an iPhone and I’m really tempted to try this!

Torley Linden Rides the Boogie!

Out on the floor
There ain’t nobody there but us
Girl when you dance
There’s a magic that must be love
Just take it slow
‘Cause we got so far to go
You gotta feel that heat
And we can ride the boogie
Share that beat of love
I want to rock with you (all night)
Dance you into day (sunlight)
I want to rock with you (all night)
Rock the night away
–Michael Jackson, Rock with You
Here is Torley Linden, getting down in his VR headset at Galen’s Clockworks Club Demo experience. (I did get permission from him to share this video on my blog.)

Comparing Sansar and High Fidelity: A Few Thoughts

High Fidelity VR Talent Show 3 21 April 2017

Caption: Drax interviews a contestant on the High Fidelity VR Talent Show, April 21st, 2017.

Since January, when I upgraded my personal desktop computer to a high-end gaming model and got an Oculus Rift VR headset, I have been exploring in both Sansar (where I was lucky enough to be part of the closed beta test) and High Fidelity (HiFi for short, which has been in open beta for some time now). High Fidelity is the new company of Linden Lab’s founding CEO, Philip Rosedale. And of course, Linden Lab, under the leadership of current CEO Ebbe Altberg, has launched Sansar. It’s only natural to compare and contrast the two VR-capable virtual world products.

There’s lots to love about High Fidelity. Some of the experiences (or sims, or whatever HiFi calls them), are fun and funky, like Mexico. You can take and share snapshots. You can import your own customized avatar (if you have the technical skill to know how to do it). They have a basic, in-world “prim building” tool which you can use to create simple objects. You can stream audio, so you can have in-world performances.

And I must confess that HiFi has just been killing it lately with respect to promotion, public relations, and live-streamed regular content like The JimJamz Show and LIVE in High Fidelity with Michelle Osorio. They’ve hosted popular events such as the first talent show in VR. Linden Lab staff should be taking copious notes on how High Fidelity assiduously promotes their brand via social media. (I do hope that Atlas Hopping with Drax and Berry will become the first of many live-streamed shows in Sansar. And apparently, Shoutcast audio streaming will be coming in the next release of the Sansar client software.)

One thing I also love about High Fidelity is that you can fly! This is something which always gives me a bit of a thrill when I lift off from the ground in my VR headset. And guess what? You can even sit down! 😉 I’m going to keep ribbing Linden Lab about this until they support object animations…something that is also supposed to be coming soon.

But there’s currently no way for content creators to make money in HiFi. There’s a store, but everything is free. There’s currently no way to pay for something, although Philip Rosedale has mentioned that they are looking at using cryptocurrency to support financial transactions in the future. Also, because HiFi is open source, some content creators are unhappy that it’s just too easy for other people to steal your content. Maxwell Graf mentioned this when I interviewed him. He said:

Generally, I am a proponent of open source, but content has to come from somewhere and sometimes it comes from places it shouldn’t and is used the wrong way. I saw a lot of IP and copyright issues that concerned the hell out of me, basically.

But by far the most irritating thing about HiFi to me is the glitchy software update process. High Fidelity automatically installs its Sandbox software (to enable you to host your own content), plus nine assignment client processes in Windows, and these are all running continuously in the background, even if you are not using High Fidelity. Every time I try to update the HiFi client software, I have to manually go in and kill each of the assignment client processes, and the Sandbox software, using the Windows Task Manager. Ever try to kill all nine assignment client processes as they are continually respawning? It’s like trying to herd cats. This is a big, showstopper bug in my opinion.

Over on the High Fidelity user forums, HiFi user Theanine has posted a good comparative summary of the two platforms:

Sansar is really nice, but still has glaring problems. Just as High Fidelity does.

Ironically the things Sansar is strong in, are things High Fidelity sucks at. And vice versa. High Fidelity could really use better lighting and rendering, Sansar is great in that area. But High Fidelity lets you fly, has better voice, and the freedom to upload a completely custom avatar mesh (Sansar, as far as I know, only lets you customize a preset human avatar.) On the other hand, Sansar has official, built-in text chat, and the ability to sell on the store and make money already. But then, there’s also [the] fact that Sansar is Windows only and closed-source, while High Fidelity is cross-platform and open source. I could go on.

In time these differences will even out as both software [programs] improve. I’m keeping a close eye on both, and will be using both. They each have their strengths and weaknesses that make them interesting to me.

I plan to spend far more time in Sansar than in High Fidelity, but I still expect to pop in for a visit to HiFi every so often. It’s very interesting to watch the social VR marketplace as it evolves!

Product Meetups August 18th at the Accuracy Training Module

Accuracy Training Module 17 August 2017

Every Friday, Jenn, the Lead Community Manager for Sansar, hosts an in-world meetup to discuss software development (bugs, upcoming features, etc.). She quite often gets several staff members from Linden Lab to attend as well. Tomorrow’s product meetups (formerly known as Office Hours) will be held at the Accuracy Training Module experience by Nebulae. There are two product meetups:

  • 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time/Sansar Time
  • 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time/Sansar Time

Everybody is welcome to come to one or both meetings. There will also be another social gathering (happy hour!) at the Strange Lights experience at 3:00 p.m. Pacific Time/Sansar Time (if Strange Lights is misbehaving again, we will move to Astro Port).

Pictures from the History of Sansar

Here are some pictures I took during the closed beta test of Sansar. (I checked with Linden Lab and I do have permission to post these, despite the NDA that was in effect at the time.) The first one is an in-world Office Hours meeting held at the Conference Stage experience way back in February:

screenshot_2017-02-10_11.47.50

As I mentioned in an earlier blogpost, the kaiju monster avatars were popular, expecially amongst the Linden Lab staff attending these meetings, because back then they were the only avatars whose hands could be moved using the VR headset hand controllers. (Inverse kinematics for human avatars was not introduced until just before the launch of the open creator beta on July 31st.) Here’s another February 2017 Office Hours meeting, this one held at the Highlands experience:

evening_office_hours_sansar_highlands_february_10_2017_1024

my_first_virtual_snowman_february_27_2017_360On February 27th, 2017 I created my first mesh object using the Oculus Medium software: a snowman. I uploaded him into my Sansar experience to admire him in-world. (I later coloured in my grey snowman using Blender. You can see him at the spawn point in Ryan’s Garden.

sansar_stress_test_pile_on_march_8_2017_360On March 8th, 2017 Linden Lab asked all the closed beta testers to participate in a stress test of the system. We were asked to pile into one experience after another in sequence, to test how many avatars each experience could hold at one time without problems. So many of us came into the Highlands that we had avatars stacked on top of one another like a human pyramid!

After the Highlands, we all piled into the Seven Wonders Park experience (bottom photo)! As you can see, it got pretty crowded!

sansar_stress_test_seven_wonders_park_march_8_2017_1024

leonas_clock_in_sansar_25_april_2017_360On April 25th I visited an experience that demonstrated an actual working clock, created by Leona. (I checked and I can’t find her experience in the Atlas anymore. I don’t know what happened to it or the clock, but it was very cool!)

Well, that’s all the picture I want to share for today. I’ll post more pictures from the early days of Sansar later!

Please Don’t Be a Troll

I have had to kick James O’Reilly out of the new Sansar Newsblog community over on Google+, block him on Google+, and mute him on Google+, for constantly posting the same “Don’t be a fool” Facebook post over and over and over again on my posts there about Sansar. Then he joined the Google+ Sansar Newsblog community and started doing the same thing there, and I’m fed up and I’ve had enough!

This is what he keeps posting: “Don’t be a Fool > Try Sansar’s VR Competitors – 12 and counting”: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sansar.sl2.education.training/permalink/1110157085752322/

Please don’t be a troll! Posting this link once is okay; posting it over and over and over again is just spamming.