Looking at Chat Features



As you know, High Fidelity has operated over the last year with the assumption that users will not have consistent access to a keyboard while wearing an HMD. As a result, we have assumed that we should not consider chat, or indeed any form of text-based communication, as a core part of the services the company offers. We saw chat as being possible, but something that would emerge as part of the development of specific applications put together by the user community.

More recently, we began exploring how we would use the Vive keyboard for certain key applications within High Fidelity. Unfortunately, the current iteration of the Vive keyboard can’t be used with what we consider one of our most important applications, the Marketplace interface for HMD users. Among other things, the keyboard is too large to be used in conjunction with an application like the Marketplace. Given this reality, it seems clear that we’ll have to develop our own HMD-usable keyboard for the Marketplace.

If we’re providing a standard keyboard for users, it will no longer make sense for us to sidestep the question of text chat, particularly given how useful certain kinds of text communication are likely to be to users.

Later this week, we plan on mailing a survey to question users broadly on their priorities for a chat system. There are a number of important questions (e.g. whether data is retained, whether off-line messaging is a high priority, whether group chat is a high priority) that we’d like to gather information on. After that, we’ll be folding a chat system project into our future development plans.

I should emphasize that we have many competing priorities for development and a number of near term goals that may require us to adjust when we start new projects. However, our goal is to base the scope and deliverables for the chat system we develop on the feedback we receive from the soon to be released survey.

Look for the survey in your email inbox in the coming days. We’re looking forward to your feedback. Thanks!

And again - chat, offline messages
Do we have a Discord channel?

Calls out to all the users to boycott this slip into the dark ages
Just kidding yay chat

I want encrypted global local public and private chat with no data retention
I don’t care about offline messaging


That sounds pretty good. Possible better then SL. No logs. Less drama :open_mouth: And offline IM. I do not see that as important right now. But i wait for the survive.


Glad to hear this. I know a number of potential users who don’t use HF specifically for this reason. I also find text chat useful to carry on secondary conversations with multiple users while voice chat is saturated. Plus I sometimes simply don’t feel like speaking aloud for whatever reason.


@Caitlyn Looking at the survey. I get most stuck at point 7 It question does sound for me that others can post with my user name if you allow it.

I would allow users I know to use my user name to make this service possible

I do not understand this one. And the one right from it.

Same for point 6. There are some things im not sure about how to read that . Like this one. I try to compare and get idea how that would be used.

Annotating or leaving a message at a specific location in a domain (e.g. a text block you can add to a geographic area.

DO i need to see the following question more as user names on objects ?

Annotating or leaving messages associated with specific assets in a domain

Sorry. To give a good respons ei need to udnerstand things correct. and that sems a bit flaky here.

6 and 7 are difficult questions. It can mean so many things. but how that is linked with names is another puzzle.



My apologies for any confusion. This question was meant to address whether your user name would be visible in world to those around you wishing to chat.

Currently, High Fidelity doesn’t have “names over heads” so user names are not immediately shared publicly.

You might also not want to have your user name recorded publicly with text you added to describe an object in a scene, etc.


Whatever it took to reach this point I congratulate you for reaching it.

In my discussions with potential Hifi users the lack of chat was the number one reason for their disinterest.

I know for a fact that many starters gave up because of this also. Sadly Hifi has already become known as “the VR World without text chat”. Its going to take some time to educate the population that this blockage will soon be history.

May I suggest that (when its ready) lots of very loud and visible announcements be continuously made to promote the fact that Hifi now has the much coveted text chat and complete communication is now a reality again in Hifi.

Packs up pitchforks and sends the demonstrators home


… so much for MetaT&T. :smiley:

I’ll try to stay on target here… so things we know…

-Universal Chat as a business - OUT
-Avatars - viable but upon Daz arrival - OUT

Mabye I’ll just go back to being a VR Consumer. It’s far less difficult and you get to complain about EVERYTHING! :blush:

“…it’s ****ing hard.” Hiro says. “There’s no place for a freelance hacker anymore. You have to have a big corporation behind you.”

-Snow Crash 1992

Avatar thoughts

Don’t worry, i hope when it’s ready the make a blog post about it.
That we can then use on other mediums. But, let them make it first.

split this topic #10

2 posts were split to a new topic: Avatar thoughts


I like the potential here to rethink how text chat can work in VR. Think about why people choose to type and read instead of speak with a voice, and how could a text chat system provide for those users in the best way in VR. For example some intelligent chat systems offer predictions for words you might want to say based on what you have already written to speed up typing. Perhaps symbols like emoticons in a VR environment would take on a greater importance in non verbal communication. Communication in VR i’d expect to be a fascinating frontier.


Just like to put in my feelings about this I think things should be ultimately private as much as you want It should always be an opt in option not opt out we should be setting an example of what to do right so people can make their own chat systems for the future to I believe the chat system should be point-to-point as much as possible and encrypted

I’m sure they’ll be times when people don’t want to use chat at all as well

But for my own opinion of what I wanted chat I want text-to-speech and speech to text friendly

This is a example of what we could have for the text to chat


My thought is that sharing files is essential for business users. Much like Facebook’s messenger, I would love to be able to add photos and file attachments to the chat, at least in a private message. Having this naturally built in to the chat would be preferable. For example attaching a word, powerpoint, or excel file would be awesome. After all, if I am going to conduct a work meeting, keeping material distribution local makes things much easier.

One more consideration. There could be many people who may not speak the local language so well, so a chat app would help them to communicate in written form. Given the improvements in text to speech and translation, I can see this being a big help in many situations.

Also, audio files please. I work in the audio entertainment field so that’s very important.

Speaking of audio, Will there be an audio player in world? The SL parcel audio with streaming really sucks. We are in 2016 but we there’s still no audio player for MP3s in world. We should be able to pop on a song no problem. Do us a favor and make an audio player for HF please!!! :slight_smile:

I’m an SL user but very much looking forward to HF for social and business use. I filled out the survey, but have since thought of these other things I’d like to have in chat features. Hope my input helps.


You mean i hope links in chat that can be clicked topen a webpage ? But that you can better do with viewing it on a webentity or how it’s called.

Links in that ok, but can be problematic to view in HMD. add attachment, i do not see why that must be in a virtual world. I would stamp it as dangerous to. Pictures you can have on a feed, with link in chat.

But mabye i understand you wrong.

Text to speech and speech to text is very usefull for some people. But if the chst is designed correct the people could use there own software for this.


Hi Richard, thanks for your comment.

I am imagining conducting a virtual world business meeting. Regarding using chat to share document files, I was thinking of having the chat window able to transfer document files similar to the way you can using Facebook Messenger. The documents don’t need to be opened in the virtual world, but just transferable to people in the room.

I know this could be done using external programs (FB messenger or email), but it would be great to do it right in the virtual world without need to go else where.

Imagine there’s 20 people, or 100 people in the virtual meeting room. It would be very time consuming to get everyone’s email or messenger contact, arrange a new group, and send them the files. But dropping the file into the chat window to share with everyone in the room would be easy and fast. No “giver” boxes to set up.

What do you think?

PS. I am kind of new to this chat. Pardon if I may get the flow of posts confused.


My idwa to put chst in tablet in HMD have a small problem. other can read the chat if the stand next to you.

So question is, i like that idea if it good readable. but high fidelity need some extra code so only the person the rezzed the tablet can read it if chat is open.

@Tim.975 Tes, how you explain it make more sense.


As global and private are off by default and have to enabled to use I am okay with this…

For me, the SL IM is a bummer… I like to focus on who I am (virtually) with and not be bombarded with messages from the ether… Personally all I want is local chat without data retention. There are plenty of 3rd party chat apps that work just fine and I have a nice level of control over who has access…


I want to add another thing.
We can mute people for voice.
But i think mute people in chat need to be seperate from voice.

It’s more option do you want to mute voice and chat or only one of them.
Not soudn a good idea if you mute voice that chat got muted automatic to.

It would be better if we just can disable voice complete when needed.
But the requires some indicator to other people that you not hear voice.



Since posting the “Chat Feature Survey” just under a month ago, we’ve received around 400 responses.

I wanted to take some time here to summarize the results and our take aways.

Key findings first:

Privacy: Just under half of the respondents felt that High Fidelity should not retain records of chat.

Related to this, respondents were willing to have their screen names be visible to enable local user chat.

Offline messaging: Around 75% of respondents wanted support for offline messaging. Leaving a message in a user’s inbox was considered the most valuable use of an offline messaging service (rather than message to High Fidelity or domain operators).

For chat, respondents wanted the ability to block receipt of abusive messages. Users suggested having their own text chat log could be used to handle complaints. They also prioritized chat with mutually visible users and friends over the other options by a significant margin (2X).

As for the uses of chat, respondents prioritized one to one chat and communicating links and strings ahead of other features. Users rejected the concept of a rating system for chat users by a significant margin.

In open text, respondents mentioned: voice to text, the idea that we should use external chat systems, and requests that mobile support be provided.

Take aways for us:

At first blush, these findings suggest the possibility that the company should consider two systems:

  • A chat system for local communication, provided by a domain, that provides no user records, and which allows public and 1:1 communication. This solution is unlikely to provide a way to provide verified chat log evidence. Related: High Fidelity is committed to supporting user control of their personal identity and will attempt to provide this functionality in a way that does not require the sharing of names.

  • A more robust solution for “inbox” based communication. This solution may be tied to groups or provided for all users. It may involve integration with a 3rd party solution.

That’s the current state of affairs. We’ll update as these two projects are better defined and move closer to implementation.

Finally, I wanted to thank all of you that took the time to complete the survey. Your feedback is going to be an enormous help in our design process.

closed #20

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