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Let’s all go to the lobby: Update of VR app takes you to new locale in Valve HQ

Virtual reality has the ability to transport you to wondrous and mystical places, from fantasy worlds to places in our solar system, to real-world caverns and mountaintops here on Earth. It can also transport you to more benign locations — like the lobby in Valve’s offices.

HTC Vive adopters who played around with The Lab’s destinations system may have discovered that if you plug the machine into the pipe, you could transport yourself to the original VR test room Valve created. It turns out that wasn’t the only time we’d visit Valve headquarters in VR — following a new update for the Destinations Steam application, the Valve lobby has been added to the list of available locations.

Destinations acts like a virtual reality lobby system, letting you hang with your friends and the public in a variety of locales around the world. You can visit planet surfaces, famous buildings, game-levels, and now, Valve’s lobby.

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This ability comes as part of the latest update (content build 1349679), which also adds public lobbies, mute commands for other “players,” tweaked physics, and a few performance improvements. Besides Valve’s headquarters, you can also visit new destinations such as Arcade Toss and La Pedrera.

Developers have also included new props and avatars in the update, letting VR users play around with new items and dress themselves up differently. You’ll need to visit the new locations to unlock them.

For those who have yet to try the Destinations app out, it works quite similarly to the system of location teleportation within The Lab. The environments are virtual destinations created using the photogrammetric technique of stitching together high-resolution images to create a room-scale VR environment.

While it might not sound so, you would be surprised how realistic it feels when standing within this VR environments. Despite their static nature, they can offer some of the greatest feelings of presence available in VR right now.

And best of all, Destinations is free. Download it on Steam now.