What's so great about High Fidelity?


A few of us have been chatting and trying to figure out where this whole thing is going and what it is that’s really going to make this the thing that takes virtual worlds to a whole new level. One of the things I have been wrestling with is that if we want this to be more than just a newer, funkier version of second life, then we need to think about what are the applications for businesses and the non-gaming community.

Up until now I couldn’t see how a promise of low latency was going to help me in my professional life - after all there are so many other tools we have available to us now to enable people like me to conduct business meetings with people all round the world from multiple locations… so why would I choose to do this instead? Then something we were discussing last night triggered a thought (and thanks to @Judas for helping me crystallise that btw)

I spend most of my working life on conference calls etc, but there are some meetings that just have to be held face to face and often involve people travelling from other countries to get there so we can all be in the same room. Those meetings are the creative ones… the workshops where we brainstorm and build ideas for new products or concepts, often involving regular members of the public too. They are also long sessions - typically at least a day - so again, hard to maintain momentum and energy over a video-conference

So now project forward, imagine we can have rooms which can be kitted out with all the cameras and other devices we need to translate all our thoughts and actions into a single virtual reality space. Low latency means we are truly co-creating together, sharing thoughts and ideas, product concepts, testing stuff out, but now we are all doing it from our own locations. We have a shared room in this new virtual reality and we pin virtual post-its to the wall, scribble ideas on virtual flip charts and someone sketches and builds new product concepts as we come up with ideas and uploads them into our virtual space for us all to share and react to… we can open up windows to bring in other external resources, share film, pictures, sounds whatever. maybe we can even download our finished ideas at the end of it and then create them rl by 3D printing… suddenly it starts to get exciting…

Oh and then at the end of the session, no need to spend ages clearing up and typing up notes. Its all recorded and we also have the virtual space as a permanent record of everything thats been discussed and created. anyone can go back and look at the output there on the walls… i just post them a link and tell them to go take a look… potentially acting as a further source for inspiration…

Well this may not be the solution and it may not be what is in the heads of the developers, but its something that has got me buzzing as I start to see an amazing world of possibilities :smile:


I like how that’s sounding. What you have there is a set of crossover tools I can use to teach with.
What I don’t like about HF is that were all resorting to other tools to fulfill its shortcomings. Even this forum takes us out of the experience.
It needs to be a media hub to make itself essential
The big warm bath we can get in and not want to leave.


I remember USVideotel, Playing chess with a 5 minute delay between moves, Each move was unique as the human you randomly matched with. Allowed 20 characters to add a comment. Chess games would wander across the board as it was used for chatting. I was amazed at the contact with random people.

I can also remember Active Worlds, and Black Sun (later Blaxxun). 3D was almost silly, why’d you want to bog down your computer with that, but it did make interesting rooms. You seen an “avatar” say to yourself “that’s another person”.

I think back to Everquest, and realizing that even with no fighting, it would still take hours, nearly days, to cross the land in real time. Noticing that playing late at night means you see the rise of early-risers in Europe logging on.

My first time in SL I watched as Christmas presents “Rezzed” under a tree as a ring appeared that later resolved into a train going around the base. It was a busy story and I got the odd feeling of being surrounded by people. Only later did I also realize I was also wholly surrounded by people’s own creations.

When I finally played W.o.w. I realized what a sense of place and persistence it had.

Here in High Fidelity I’m definitely experiencing it in what is hopefully to become to “old way” with a mouse and keyboard. Much of the wow factor talked about in HF seems to stem around the use of devices, even if it’s just a camera. Faceshift caught my eye for sure, and I’d love to see how far voxels can be pushed to suit HF’s needs. Mesh is coming in from the start and I’m very happy about that.

I’m still looking for what I’d tell someone if they asked “what’s so great about HF?”, though I wonder if that will happen with just a mouse and keyboard. It seems that if you want to reach a billion people, the M.A.K. people might need a ramp in, otherwise they might not make the jump to new hardware if it’s the cost of entry.

I think there is a lot left in this Alpha and feel lucky to be in so early. I hope we can see those amazing factors form.


HF is a fresh start with fully new ideas for the VR. No SL clone, no legacy virtual world system and no OpenSimulator approach. Just a complete new architecture that looks like it could be the future 3D-internet.

The architecture adds where new approaches are needed (e. g. sensors, low latency, focus on immersion, distributed use of enduser devices ‘fog’, …) and reuses where concepts are already in place (e. g. networking, TCP/UDP, http based assets, central servers, mesh, voxels, …).

From my point of view the HF architecture gives us a full load of new possibilities to redefine what we are doing with VR. It is up to us to create applications from that … and it requires to step back from what we are used to right now.

We have to take HF as a plattform to do things with. Right now endusers looking for final applications will have difficulties to grasp what HF is for but that’ll change when the first use cases start popping up …


@Smokey_Bracken - like you, I have done a lot of work to promote online and VR meeting spaces as a replacement of (or at least as a useful complement to) face to face meetings in meatspace. It isn’t the same thing yet, but technology is improving and I guess sooner or later online meetings will be good enough for most practical applications. Perhaps not OASIS (ref. Ready Player One) yet, but a first step in that direction. There are plausible VR conferencing scenarios in, for example, Greg Egan’s Zendegi.

Low latency is very important - lag is the one most annoying aspect of videoconferencing and other online meetings. I think the argument that VR can achieve lower latency than videoconferencing is sound (you don’t have to transport full video), but of course it shifts the challenge from low-latency video to very high fidelity avatars.

At this moment my favorite VR meeting environment is OpenQwaq (see links here), It uses built-in in-world video (webcam streams pasted on the flat faces of simple avatars and display boards) and has many of the features that you mention. I am really looking forward to seeing these groupware features implemented in High Fidelity.


@Blueman Steele Your question about what you would tell someone if asked is exactly what I am trying to get to… :smile: We are all here because we believe there is something special here… but what exactly is it :smile:
Loving to hear what people think and what possibilities they can imagine for this place


I log into Wow, Runescape, Wildstar (most MMOs) to enter a story world and play. I never sociallized much.

I log into SL to both socialize and to be alone. Enjoying and creating content. I meet RL friends there and other longtime friends who I’ve never met in person. Sometimes I meet people I met in SL in RL. You can play scripted objects, listen to live music, go sailing…I probably don’t have to explain the vastness of activities to anyone here.

What will we do in HF?

Music seems to be the clearest future activity. Low latency and the system architecture will assure that.

Perverted answers to the following are certainly welcome but unoriginal.

If you wanted someone to join you, how would you complete this sentence?
“Hey, come join me in HF so that we may [???]”


liking that… great question… will have to think about my own answer - look forward to hearing what everyone else has to say!


from @BluemanSteele… Develop the next world together - with new world currency, interaction and global communication


“Hey, come join me in HF so that we may [???]”

explore my city together.
Yeah, I really like the idea of having an endless server. You don’t have to worry about space like you have to in SL. We could start with a little village and it could develop into a big city over the time. I like that thought :wink:


I want to be able to show people how to do things without leaving Hf