Get Started - Apps, Enclosures, and Displays

TL;DR

AltspaceVR is a fun and interesting place to spend your time, due in no small part to the wonderful variety of content that our community of developers produce. If you want to play with these apps yourself (or build your own app), you’ll need to know the basics. This tutorial will cover how you can load apps into your events, and explains the available options on those app containers.

Enclosures and Displays

AltspaceVR events and activities typically have one or more spaces designated for apps. These are called enclosures in general, or displays when they’re flat. The controls for these enclosures/displays are only available to the host of an event, and to users flagged as developers. You can apply for this developer flag here. If you are neither of these, you will still see apps and webpages in the enclosures, but not control them.

How to recognize an enclosure. Displays do not have corner markers.

Think of enclosures as web browsers that can take up space. When you type a regular website into an enclosure (like AltVR.com), it appears just as you’d expect. But type in the URL for an AltspaceVR-enabled website (a.k.a. an app), and it will display in 3d. Depending on the app, you may even be able to interact with it, or with the other players through it. You can only see enclosures/displays in your own spaces though, or spaces that have been unlocked by the host.

Allowed URLs

For security reasons, an enclosure’s current page will only be shared with the other users in the room under certain circumstances. Specifically, if the site’s hostname is included in the space’s default set of apps and pages (the space’s layout). For example, if the default URL is https://developer.altvr.com, you could browse to https://developer.altvr.com/get-started/, but not to https://github.com/AltspaceVR/AltspaceSDK, because developer.altvr.com is in the layout but github.com is not.

There are three ways you can add a URL to your space’s layout:

  1. In private events, this same-origin policy is not enforced, so you can simply type your desired websites right into enclosures/displays and it will work.
  2. For public events, you can fill in the Public Display URL or Public Enclosure URL fields in the event creation form. If you need the ability to browse different sites than these, fill in the Advanced section at the bottom of the form with additional URLs, one per line. This will let you type or beam those URLs.
  3. Developers can create a Web Space party portal ( in your HUD), which prompts you to enter a fullspace app URL.

NOTE: If your space includes any links for youtube.com, you must also add the URL https://d9cuxpcbk8j8.cloudfront.net or the YouTube video will not work. This is a temporary measure.

Enclosure Controls

Enclosures have the same basic controls as the standard web browser, plus a couple enclosure-specific ones:

Developers also have access to special controls:

Personal Browser and Beaming

In addition to enclosures in rooms, you also have a personal display that only you can see. This display behaves just like every other display, plus one important feature: beaming. If you click the Beam () icon, your current page will be sent to one of the room’s enclosures, whichever is most appropriate for the content being beamed. Beaming is only available when you are in an event/activity you’re hosting, or when the host has unlocked the enclosure.

Available Apps

What good are enclosures if there’s nothing to put in them? Here are some apps, demos, and examples that you might find interesting:

What’s Next?

Has playing with the sample apps piqued your curiosity? Check out our other guide on How To Build Apps With A-Frame!