A smartphone, a cardboard: A new world. Experiencing Virtual Reality has suddenly become very easy.
Creating the worlds behind stereoscopic screens, however, is usually far from simple. Most of them are made by highly specialized developers and designers.
Delightex has made it its business to change that. “We want to lower the entry level for VR creation”, as Delightex founder Eugene Belyaev puts it. So that all the ordinary mortals cannot only peer into their cardboards. But also create the worlds they find there.
A construction kit for VR
The GermanRussian startup has developed a platform called CoSpaces. It enables users to build 3D environments from preset objects. The elements are simply dragged to a stage and then customized in terms of size, color or opacity. Currently, you can create content by logging into the free CoSpaces browser app. However, the Delightex team is also working on bringing the VR creation to mobile devices.
More importantly: They are about to release the app that makes it possible to view your handmade VR on smartphones and tablets. With the CoSpaces app – submitted to the App Store and Google Play Store on April 21 – you can open anything you created with CoSpaces in gyroscope or stereoscopic mode. And thus, step into virtual scenes you built yourself or someone else shared with you. You can even follow changes made to the VR space you are immersed if someone else is altering the same space from a different device.
An entrance point for VR creation
Of course, a highly specialized developer or designer can create fancier experiences than a computer amateur or a school kid with CoSpaces. Delightex just thinks the latter should still get the chance to create content for this new medium. Founder Eugene Belyaev sees CoSpaces as an entrance point for VR creation – just as shooting clips with your smartphone can be the first step to film making. In many ways, CoSpaces creations could be to professional VR content what Hollywood movies are to smartphone videos: considerably less refined but also more personal, quicker and cheaper in the making.
Exploring the possibilities
In their Munich office, the Delightex team is exploring what is possible with an easy VR creation tool. Playing with virtual toy blocks has suddenly become part of people’s job descriptions (they don’t complain!). Most interesting to the team is, however, what the outside world makes of CoSpaces. Through many conversations and the feedback from their testers, Delightex brought forward a variety of possible use cases for the platform. For one thing, kids like it. The young testers that were invited to the office had a really good time creating their own virtual worlds. “They didn’t want to stop playing”, Eugene Belyaev recalls. It does not surprise him that youngsters are fascinated by creating VR content: “I think we all wanted to be able to become a part of the world we were dreaming of when we were little“, he says. His daughter also loves to play with the VR platform.
Playing, however, is not the only thing users have in mind. Designers and filmmakers have recognized CoSpaces as a solution for rapid prototyping: The product can be used to sketch out the positions of objects and protagonist in a film scene and then explore the effect of it in VR. Also, it’s helpful to develop concepts for 360° movies and other virtual reality media.
It’s very different to sketch for a 3D medium than for the flat screen. Therefore, a twodimensional storyboard cannot really explain concepts for a fully threedimensional medium.
CoSpaces can be a “threedimensional sketch board” for VR because it’s so quick and easy to set up something. Like this, Delightex developed a tool for nonprofessionals that can be of value for professionals in the VR industry, as well. The company is curious to find out more possible use cases.