As part of Microsoft’s VR push the company in October announced the purchase of AltspaceVR, a kind of virtual location designed for immersive communications.
The service brings people together in virtual reality from over 160 countries to attend meetups, comedy shows, yoga classes, dance parties, and large-scale events hosted by NBC, Reggie Watts, Justin Roiland, Drew Carey and more, and Microsoft said they intend to use the service to help build the world’s preeminent mixed reality community.
That may become slightly more difficult, as they just lost the CEO and founder of the company Eric Romo to Facebook’s social VR team.
In a post Romo said:
It wasn’t an easy decision, but I left AltspaceVR with confidence that the team is well-placed to continue pushing forward the promise of virtual communication as part of the Microsoft mixed reality ecosystem. I can’t wait to see what they’ll do next, and wish them all the best.
I’m beyond excited for the opportunity to continue exploring how VR can help communities connect as a part of the Facebook team. I’m also grateful I’ll be able to keep my family’s roots here in the SF Bay Area, which was a big priority for me. I’ve been inspired by Facebook’s commitment to VR and I’m motivated by how much there is yet to do.
Presumably what is next for Romo is building a competitor service against Microsoft.
AltspaceVR is a cross-platform service and has vowed to stay open to other platforms besides Windows Mixed Reality. Hopefully, the company can maintain their momentum without their founder in place.