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We are happy to announce today that we have raised an additional $11M in funding, in a new round led by Vulcan Capital and with participation from other new and existing investors.  This is certainly great news for us, but also great news for the overall VR ecosystem as we continue to see more and more validation from the investing community that VR presents enormous opportunities.  With this investment, we will be able to substantially grow our team as we continue to develop and release our open source shared virtual reality software.

We are hiring right now for many open positions in engineering, design, and content development – so if you’ve considered diving into VR or wondered whether now it the right time – it is!   Our work is fascinating and challenging, with a wide range of components from physics to network streaming to character animation, graphics, lighting, and distributed computing.

Our next big milestone will be an open alpha version of our system which will allow everyone to start deploying interconnected shared VR spaces.  As you can see from the video, you can build beautiful 3D environments with complex interactive content and then communicate and interact naturally inside them, optionally using HMD’s, hand controllers, depth cameras, and other emerging hardware interface devices.

TechCrunch has a great article on us and the investment, which you can read here.

And as the Oculus team so aptly said:  See you in the Metaverse!

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Worklist Workflow

We’ve noticed a little confusion about how the Worklist program works. There’s only one thing that we hate more than confusion — those little spiky seeds that stick to socks on long hikes — so let’s fix this.

We move fast around here, and we have a team that’s surprisingly small, given the amount of work that gets done. As the graphic shows, there are many things that need to be created, fixed, and completed during the development process, and Worklist keeps track of everything.

Worklist allows our developer heroes to pick the things they want to work on. They think of a solution, get help from the community, post their results, and get paid. Meanwhile, we know exactly who is working on what, how far along things are, and what still needs to be done.

Most of the interaction happens between the designer and the developer, and we give them free rein to figure out the solution and test it. Worklist contributors really are a part of the team; we’re not going to look over shoulders or hold hands.

The best part is that contributors don’t have to know how to solve a whole problem. Worklist allows them to help in whatever way they can, even Documentation, and combine their efforts with those of others. Wait, the best part is actually that everyone who helps out gets paid. We think you’ll agree.

Let’s take a look at a few examples. One that we’ve mentioned recently is the work being done by ctrlaltdavid to integrate the Leap Motion sensor into HiFi. Meanwhile, DaveDubUK is working tirelessly to improve character animations so they can keep up with increasingly accurate input. Some of these Worklist jobs aren’t so visible, but they still make a big difference on the back end. For instance, huffman is implementing autocomplete functionality that will make the coding process easier.

It gets even more meta than that. Chinna007 recently redesigned the landing page for Worklist itself, making it easier to find information and tell what stage each project is at.

Basically, it’s a little anthill in here. There are plenty of jobs to do, each essential, and carried out by a bunch of individuals working in tandem to create something amazing. And Worklist is what makes all this possible.

So what are you waiting for?

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We’re still working on great things over here, and since the Interdimensional Teleportation Satchel isn’t quite ready for public demo, we thought we should show you something relatively new in our virtual worlds.

With the integration of the Leap Motion sensor, a new tradition has evolved during in-world meetups. As you can see in the video above, we’re addicted to Rock-Paper-Scissors competitions. This match is particularly notable because until recently Chris has been the reigning champion within High Fidelity. Our compliments to Ozan for unseating him.

Office grudge matches aside, this is a great example of how well the Leap Motion works with Interface to allow fine control of avatar fingers. Instead of using a bulky motion rig, the Leap Motion is sensing individual movements of the arms, hands, and fingers with a small infrared sensor.

Ozan’s victory not only shows the success of our integration with Leap Motion, but also the ongoing success of our Worklist program. The person who made all this possible, ctrlaltdavid doesn’t work for us directly; instead, he is one of the many developers who contribute to our work through Worklist. A while back, we mentioned that ctrlaltdavid was hard at work integrating the Leap Motion sensor with Interface, and now you can see the fruit of his labors. We’re proud to have him and all the other Worklist contributors in our HiFi family.

There’s one more detail that makes the video even more interesting. Normally the Leap Motion sits on the desk, but we’ve found it works well when mounted on the front of Oculus Rift goggles. This lets the sensor more accurately portray the movement of hands and fingers for the user. As you can see, it allows us to boogie in the privacy of our virtual club.

To answer any questions about the quality of the dancing at the end, the Leap Motion accurately represented their moves; Chris and Ozan just need dance lessons.

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You may have noticed an exciting new addition to our site recently. Perhaps “exciting” is relative because few people appreciate how much fun a good instruction manual can be. But we do.

We’ve revealed the Documentation for our HiFi technology, and you should take a look.

This section of our site covers everything from how to use Interface, to technical information about the underlying code and how to make scripts for it. We envision this as being the one-stop resource for everything HiFi.

What’s more, we want you to be a part of it. We’ve opened up Documentation to anyone who wants to contribute. The more the merrier. Or at least, the more the comprehensive … er. And accurater? Whatever, we’re better at software than pithy catchphrases. Basically, we think that the smart people out there are great at filling in holes we haven’t even noticed yet and lending their own experience to this knowledgebase, which will eventually benefit everyone who wants to use it.

In fact, you don’t even have to write something to contribute. If you see a need for addition or clarification in Documentation, add a job on Worklist, which will help point other contributors to potential needs. If it gets picked up and completed, you get paid!

The Documentation section of our site is really a living document, and we want it to grow and improve with the software itself. Help us make this happen. Whether you want to contribute or just learn more about what’s going on, head over to Documentation and tell us what you think.