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

valve lobby destination vr app valvelobby
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.

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.

Emerging Tech

The U.S. Army is building a giant VR battlefield to train soldiers virtually

Imagine if the U.S. Army was able to rehearse battlezone scenarios dozens, or even hundreds, or times before settling foot on actual terrain. Thanks to virtual reality, that's now a possibility.
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.
Mobile

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Computing

Oculus shows off the Rift S, plans to phase out its original VR headset

Oculus plans to phase out its flagship Rift VR headset for its newly created Rift S. The Rift S made its debut this week at the 2019 Game Developers Conference and is expected to be released in spring 2019.
Virtual Reality

Is the Vive Pro better than the original Vive? Our answer might surprise you

HTC Vive vs. Vive Pro, which comes out on top? That's the subject of our latest comparison, which looks at everything from tracking solutions, to controllers, and the brand new headset that could set a new standard for VR.
Computing

Samsung files a VR patent featuring a curved OLED display

Doubling down on its emphasis on curved displays, Samsung recently filed a design patent for a new virtual reality headset that could feature a curved OLED display, which would be an interesting development in VR.
Gaming

Bringing realism to VR is complex, but these developers found a way in holograms

Making virtual reality feel real is the hardest job of all VR developers. For Awake: Episode One, StartVR used volumetric recording, rather than motion capture, to bring its characters to life like never before.
Computing

HP’s high-resolution VR headset provides comfort and Windows Mixed Reality

HP's new VR headset reportedly offers an exceptionally high resolution, highlights comfort and runs on Windows Mixed Reality. HP hasn't officially announced the new headset, but here's a look at some of its features.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Virtual Reality

HTC Vive Focus Plus makes it easier for developers to port PC content

HTC Vive has announced the Vive Focus Plus headset. The upgraded stand-alone headset makes use of "six degrees of freedom" support in controllers for a PC-like virtual reality experience.
Computing

Here’s how to watch Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 press conference

It is widely believed that Microsoft's WMC conference will be the stage for the unveiling of the next generation of its HoloLens mixed reality headset. We have the live stream right here.
Computing

Microsoft unveils $3,500 HoloLens 2 at MWC 2019. Here’s what you need to know

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.
Cars

Nissan designers use HaptX VR gloves to shape future cars

New car designs usually start out as clay before becoming metal, but designers are now swapping clay for pixels. Nissan is using virtual reality gloves from HaptX that give designers a tactile feel of virtual models.