Whatsapp is riding the VR wave with its latest incredible update. To use it, and start enjoying the messaging app in virtual reality, all you need is a compatible phone and a Google Cardboard style headset to slip it into.
Released today on both Android and iPhone, the messaging app now allows you to enter your own virtual reality chat room. Once inside you are surrounded by messages. Active chats appear in front of you, with older conversations appearing off to the left and group chats to the right. You can swipe messages out of the way with your arms to move through them, while holding up your hand allows you to record and send audio responses (sorry, there is no Minority Report style holographic keyboard yet).
It doesn’t end there though: notifications pop-in above your head, contacts are beneath your feet, and media (such as photos and videos) can be found behind you.
To send one of these files all you have to do is move through them with more swiping motions until you find the one you want. Then by holding out both hands you can “grab” the selected file and turn around to drop it into an active chat.
No, it’s not amazingly practical – you certainly won’t see me using it on the bus – but we had great fun trying it out in the office. Plus, it is a great example of what the future of messaging may hold.
Of course there are some restrictions, the update (numbered 4.01.016) is only compatible with iOS 9.2 and 9.3, while Android users have to be using Lollipop or Marshmallow.
Unfortunately, those of you with Windows 10 Phones will have to wait for the update to hit the Windows Store later in the month.
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