Alcove Coming to Oculus Quest on August 20th
In the social VR app Alcove, you can play checkers with your grandma.
Virtual reality meetups are different from the virtual meetings via a computer monitor. Instead of you viewing the other person on a flat screen from a distance, virtual reality experiences are more immersive and create the feeling of sharing a room together. This, however, entails putting on a clunky VR headset and also having to interact without facial expressions as people in VR only appear as digital avatars.
The developers of the VR app Alcove (which loosely translates to ‘family corner’) want to use VR headsets to bring families and friends separated by vast distances together. Like in a real family life setting, Alcove revolves around a virtual home where acquaintances and relatives can meet through virtual reality headsets.
Real Encounters in Virtual Reality
The space in the virtual home in Alcove is filled with utensils and photos that exude your own memories. There are even virtual pets in Alcove as well as your favorite music collections off the turntable.
You can take joint virtual trips through the 360-degree photos and videos in the space starting from the living room. You can even watch films together, go on concerts or pass time wit other family members in the virtual space playing board games such as checkers.
Alcove has impressive graphics. Even the Oculus Go version of the VR app had very rich detail but Facebook will no longer be supporting Oculus Go. However, you can now enjoy the experience on the superior-spec Oculus Quest headset which offers more options for social interactions. Even the older generation that didn’t grow up with the video games and game controllers are able to intuitively interact in the Alcove surroundings via intuitive hand tracking. Alcove comes to Quest Store on August 20th and will be available for free.
A Live VR Experience to Combat Loneliness
Alcove has been built by the innovation unit of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) that advocates for the rights and interests of seniors and is a leading voice in the fight against social isolation.
The organization describes the app as an instrument for bridging the physical distance between family members and which allows people to experience new places and things that they would not otherwise do as a result of cost, time and mobility considerations.