Pluto is a virtual reality (VR) product that aims to bring people together by contecting them together in virtual space, to provide the same feeling as face-to-face conversation.
The problem with none visual communication, as Pluto VR describes it, is the loss of presence and shared understanding that comes from being able to read each other’s reactions and body language in real time. Subtle movements and facial expressions are key to successfully communication with each other and provide key information such as knowing when to speak. The solution to this problem was to be found in VR and from that idea, Pluto VR was formed and the application Pluto began development.
Following a round of investment seeking last year the company – co-founded by John Vechey, one of the foundering members of PopCap – was able to secure an impressive $13.9 million USD of funding. Led by venture capitalist firm Maveron, the injecting of cash has allowed Pluto VR to continue its work on Pluto and fulfil the goal of bringing communication to VR. Now, with the release of Pluto onto Steam Early Access, it has managed to achieve that goal.
Pluto will allow users to connect with friends while in any SteamVR application, be it an individual or multi-person application. Users will be able to call and chat with friends around the world and bring that sense of presence that comes from face-to-face conversation in the virtual space. Bring a friend or two into a multiplayer videogame and explore the world together. Create artwork while connecting with other people and share your work with ease. All of your contacts are easily accessible at anytime as well thanks to the Pluto Dashboard Overlay, meaning there is no need to exit out of applications and remove yourself from the experience.
Now available on Steam in Early Access, Pluto is available for free and is said to work with any SteamVR application. With support for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Pluto aims to create new ways for users to connect, regardless of physical or vertical location and hardware choice.
VRFocus will bring you all the updates on Pluto as it continues to develop over the coming months.