Back in 2017 when the virtual reality (VR) industry was still finding its feet, one of the earliest pioneers of immersive social interaction, AltspaceVR was on the verge of shutting down until a last-minute save by Microsoft. Now, the platform has begun an Early Access phase enabling users to login via their Microsoft Accounts.
It was inevitable that this would eventually happen considering AltspaceVR has been a Microsoft platform for just over three years. If you already use products like Minecraft, Xbox Live or Office 365 then it means you can consolidate your login, making use of Microsoft’s privacy and security features.
This will be a phased roll out across three stages over the coming months. Phase one is Early Access only, available to anyone already opted into the Early Access Program. Phase two is optional availability where those using HTC Vive, Oculus Rift/Rift-S, Oculus Quest/Quest 2, WMR headsets and on standard desktop PC can integrate their accounts. Phase 3 which is slated for Spring 2021 will see the Microsoft Account login process become the default.
While that last part may rile some users AltspaceVR notes the integration will allow new functionalities and features on the platform. Some of these include:
- Parental controls, account sharing, wallet-linking, etc.
- Better account vetting, more robust verification systems, and reliable authentication processes.
- Helping artists and creators get paid.
- Features like the web-projector and holoportation.
In a blog post AltspaceVR said: “In many ways, this update is a dream coming true. For AltspaceVR, Microsoft Account integration is a huge leap in the direction of our future– our collective, interconnected, empowered, Mixed Reality future.” So there’s a good chance the platform could expand beyond VR and into mixed reality (MR), an area of great potential which is expected to grow during 2021.