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Humans and technology

Oculus just kicked off an experiment in social VR

Last night, the Facebook-owned company made a splashy case that VR still stands a chance of going mainstream.

The news: About 9,000 people watched Australian singer Vance Joy rock the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado last night, but many more experienced the performance. That’s because Joy’s concert was the first to be broadcast by Oculus’s new VR app, Venues.

A first: Previous live broadcasts in VR allowed only small crowds to interact. Last night’s concert marked the first time viewers of a live event were able to join and talk with large numbers of other digital event-goers.

How it went: There were a few connection issues, but for the most part the system operated as planned. Attendees chatted with their virtual seat neighbors and sang along to the music. But it was still evident that VR just can’t match the thrill of physically attending a live event.

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Illustration by Rose Wong

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