Oculus unveiled a couple of new VR social features at its annual developer conference a couple of months back. Rooms is simply a virtual reality space in which people can hang out with their VR avatars while Parties provides built-in voice chat functionality. As you might remember, the Gear VR headset is a collaboration between Samsung and Oculus so even though these features won’t be released for the Oculus Rift headset until next year, Oculus Rooms and Parties VR social features are now available for the Gear VR.
Gear VR users will find that Parties is quite similar to conventional chat apps. It displays a list of their friends and shows who is online. Users need to tap on the Party tab, choose who they want to add and then tap “Start a Party” to chat with their friends. If they get invited to a party, joining only requires a single tap. The Parties feature only allows users to chat with up to four people but this number might be increased at some point down the road.
The Rooms VR experience can be launched from within the Parties interface. Users get to interact with the VR avatars of their friends in an immersive environment. Users can change the appearance of their avatars in Rooms, play simple games with their friends’ avatars or just explore the immersive environment.
Oculus Rooms and Parties VR social experiences are now live for the Gear VR.