2021 is known as the first year of the metaverse, when tech giants and capitals started to pour in.
Conceptually speaking, the metaverse could be the second virtual space for human's future life and entertainment; and technically speaking, it combines emerging technologies such as 5G, VR, AR, and real-time interaction. With the global giants investing in more and more resources, the metaverse is likely to become " the successor of the mobile internet," as Mark Zuckerberg called it.
From a product perspective, it's commonly recognized that games and social platforms are most likely the vehicles through which the first phase of the metaverse will materialize. Games have similar features to the metaverse, such as bringing users immersive, real-life-like experiences and a high degree of freedom in the virtual world, and social platforms focus more on bringing offline identities into virtual communities.
In July 2021, Oasis, a virtual social platform that embodies the metaverse concept, stayed firmly in the top 5 of the overall app charts in Brazil, surpassing apps like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and it was also at the top of the app charts in over 60 other countries.
Data has shown that Oasis has achieved an average daily in-app time of more than 90 minutes and a retention rate significantly higher than other products in the same category. So, what makes Oasis so attractive and sticky?
With its strong social features, Oasis enables more people to find a second life in the virtual world.
In Oasis, users can enter the same virtual world through VR and mobile devices, and live their "second life" in the virtual world with their virtual identity, as depicted in the movie "Ready Player One"—They can party with friends, date someone they like, watching movies, playing games, and do many other things...
Jeff Yin, the founder and CEO of Oasis, shared an interesting story about one of its users: an American high school student who loved electro-music had always dreamed of opening his own electro music club, but it was difficult to do so in real life, so he created a club in Oasis and put his own songs in it. His virtual music club later became more and more popular and attracted many visitors. Some people even approached him and told him they want to join and run the club together.
This high school student is just one example of the millions of Oasis users who are living their second lives on the platform, meeting new people, hanging out with friends, studying, and working. Oasis provides users with a wide variety of 3D virtual scenes where they can drop in and do a whole bunch of fun stuff together with others, like singing, dancing, playing board games, and watching movies.
In Brazil, where Oasis first became popular, it is not uncommon to see people active in different virtual spaces, throwing parties, imitating the president's speeches, and watching a football match with friends in a virtual room. Here, social activities happen as naturally as they do in real life, and that's what makes 3D scene-based interactions so much fun.
Real-time voice interaction has become essential for social products that are popular with Gen Z. For Oasis, as a voice-based social platform, it is especially important to provide users with the maximum level of immersion through audio in a 3D virtual environment. To achieve this, as the real-time voice and video service provider behind Oasis, ZEGOCLOUD has pushed the technological boundaries of real-time voice interactions to provide a highly immersive experience for Oasis users worldwide in a very complex global network environment.
Creating an immersive experience in a 3D virtual environment through real-time audio
Whether users are using VR or mobile devices, they want to be fully immersed in the virtual world.
From the technology aspect, it is first necessary to create a 3D audio experience that makes users feel that they can identify the source of sound in a simulated 3D audio space. And second, to feel truly immersive, users must not experience any perceivable delay in their interactions with others in the virtual world. When building the solution for Oasis, ZEGOCLOUD focused on creating such an immersive experience from three dimensions: spatial audio, ultra-low latency, and stunning sound quality.
Immersive spatial audio
In the real world, we can identify the location and proximity of other people around us based on their voice when they speak, and their voice volume changes as they move towards or away from us. ZEGOCLOUD's spatial audio feature provides the following three audio effects that make users feel like they are in a real 3D space:
- Each sound source has a defined location in the simulated space so that users can identify the location of other users based on their voice.
- As users move towards or away from each other, the voice volume of others changes accordingly.
- Only users within certain proximity can hear each other.
With these features, Oasis provides its users with a life-like audio experience. In Oasis, you can hear someone playing drums in front of you and a group of others chatting not far behind you, and as you walk, these sounds become louder or softer accordingly.
Global network coverage with an ultra-low latency
Oasis has users from all over the world, with a large user base in South America and the Middle East. Therefore, Oasis holds a very high standard in the stability and smoothness of voice interactions, which is one of the reasons why the virtual social platform selected ZEGOCLOUD as its real-time voice service provider.
As a global cloud communications platform, ZEGOCLOUD has built a global real-time network that has covered 212 countries and territories worldwide. With an intelligent network scheduling system and a powerful audio and video engine, which are fully optimized for real-time streaming, ZEGOCLOUD is capable of delivering an ultra-low end-to-end latency of 70ms under ideal conditions and an average of 300ms globally. With a multi-cloud system architecture and built-in redundancy at all levels, ZEGOCLOUD ensures 99.9% uptime throughout the year. Currently, ZEGOCLOUD powers more than 3 billion minutes of real-time audio and video communications every day on average.
In addition, by combining multiple QoS strategies including such as adaptive jitter buffering (AJB), forward error correction (FEC), and Frame loss concealment (FLC), ZEGOCLOUD delivers a stable and smooth voice communications experience even in weak network conditions with up to 80% packet loss.
Stunning sound quality to provide a world-class audio experience
"They demand very high audio quality"—that's how the ZEGOCLOUD team has felt when working with the Oasis team.
In Oasis, there are often big parties with hundreds of participants. It's a huge challenge to deliver high-quality real-time voice and handle the background noises and echoes in such scenarios. With support for 16kHz-48kHz full band audio sampling and advanced audio processing techniques such as acoustic echo cancellation (AEC), automatic noise suppression (ANS), and automatic gain control (AGC), ZEGOCLOUD's in-house built audio and video engine can pick up sound from long distance, identify and handle steady-state and fluctuating noises gracefully, and thus deliver outstanding audio quality for Oasis's users, ensuring a smooth communications experience even in the most challenging double talk situations.
ZEGOCLOUD provides comprehensive and attentive customer support
Building a product for global users is a complex task as you have many things to consider, such as the differences in network conditions, the performance of end-user devices, regulations, and other aspects across different countries and regions. In this regard, ZEGOCLOUD has been very proactive in providing additional support for Oasis to go to the global market, using its experience and knowledge acquired in previous projects.
Oasis's CEO Jeff Yin once said, "We approached several technology service providers at the time, but in our encounter with the ZEGOCLOUD team, we experienced a more attentive and comprehensive service. They are not only strong in technical skills but also excellent in customer service, and they helped us avoid a lot of risks in our project. We have great confidence in the ZEGOCLOUD team and look forward to a longer-term relationship with them".
ZEGOCLOUD's project leader who worked on the Oasis project said, "There were several very tight deadlines for the project. To ensure Oasis can meet their release schedule, we assigned our development engineers to stay on-site with the Oasis team to fix any issues encountered quickly. In addition, we also managed to find some local users in Brazil to perform tests to ensure the quality of the product, which gave the Oasis team peace of mind. "
After the Oasis mobile apps were launched in Brazil, the number of new users exceeded 1 million in the first month. Every day, more and more users are still joining Oasis to build their virtual world.
The metaverse is in the making. ZEGOCLOUD will continue to provide more powerful solutions to support the endeavors to build a virtual world. As ZEGOCLOUD has been doing all these years, the company is dedicated to making people's work and life easier and more fun with real-time engagement technologies.
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