As remote delivery becomes the new norm, your calendar has likely been littered with Zoom appointments and Messenger hangouts for the nth month in a row. Luckily, the pivot to online platforms has seen more and more developers creating virtual spaces to cater to this shift—ones that offer a little more play than the traditional video call layout.
Whether for social gatherings, work meetings or collaborative projects, connect with your peers through these exciting new platforms, designed to bring fun back into your meetings.
Gather allows its users to set up an online space modelled off their real-life work and study environments. Designed to emulate the experience of a video game, the virtual world sees each user walk around as a 2D character (customisable avatar included) while interacting with other users—Stardew Valley style.
Recreate your classrooms, wander around buildings, and chat with other users in proximity; Gather’s tools allow users to navigate each room as they would in real life. The platform’s functions also offer Objects and Integrations so that users can share documents, brainstorm on virtual whiteboards, and even organise events. Plus, the nostalgic RPG experience is a wholesome novelty in itself, making each gathering exciting even from home.
For fans of illustrations, Topia combines playful world-building with encrypted video chat. The social platform offers fully customizable virtual worlds with a selection of templates, with which users can create offices, conferences, holiday settings, festivals and more.
Just like Gather, Topia uses spatial audio and video technology so that users can chat in proximity and move in and out of conversations with ease. Its drag-and-drop feature means you can access hundreds of objects to truly make the world your own. Think custom branding, embedded audio and video files and links to websites, alongside the option to sell tickets for entry-only events.
Created by the minds behind Mozilla Firefox, Hubs offers a fun new way to meet and collaborate with friends, this time in 3D. Optimised for VR devices (as well as desktops and mobile), the Hubs experience embraces an elevated and enjoyable alternate reality.
In its colourful virtual world, Hubs users can instantly create private and shareable rooms, perfect for meeting with friends, co-workers and classmates. Each user can select an avatar to interact with others, while the rooms can be changed to become new ‘scenes’ instead of fixed spaces. Share content with mates by dragging and dropping images, videos, PDF files, links and 3D models, which users can broadcast using the billboards in each scene.
Perfect for brainstorming sessions, each room in Here serves as a canvas where each user can pin their own photos, videos, texts, scribbles and more. Users will pop up in a bubble with their profile image or video as they interact with the virtual board, creating a live interactive and collaborative process.
Choose from mood boards, workshops and various themes as your 2D background and add GIFs, objects and elements around the canvas. Each space can be decorated as minimal or as extravagant as you like, making it an ideal creative platform for bouncing around ideas.