Ubiq Tutorial at IEEE VR 2023

Posted March 24, 2023 by Anthony Steed, Sebastian Friston, Ben Congdon ‐ 3 min read

Learn how to build your own social virtual reality with Ubiq at the IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces (IEEE VR) 2023!

One of the most promising applications of consumer virtual reality technology is its use for remote collaboration. A very wide variety of social virtual reality (SVR) applications are now available from competitive games amongst small numbers of players through to conference-like setups supporting dozens of visitors.

Ubiq is an open source tool that allows developers to very quickly build SVR applications. In this short tutorial, we will introduce some of the capabilities of Ubiq, demonstrate some of the tools it has, and work through a complete example of how to build a non-trivial application including custom distributed behaviours. The tutorial is backed up by extensive online documentation, other explanatory videos and a growing set of more complex example systems.

In this tutorial we will demonstrate how to construct social virtual reality applications using our Ubiq tool. Ubiq is open source and designed to be easily extensible. It enables development of applications or systems that would be difficult or time-consuming on commercial systems. The tutorial is targeted at participants with some technical background.

Intended Audience

The tutorial will be of value to any student, researcher or professional who wants to develop their own social VR applications, or just wants to get a grounding in what the challenges in building such applications are. Some experience with Unity would be very useful, but not necessary as the practical part will do a guided walkthrough of the specific issues of using Unity and will not rely on prior knowledge. More experienced participants will be able to implement their own ideas rather than follow our specific guidance.


During the tutorial, the following topics will be covered. The tutorial will take place on March 25th, 2023 at 17:00 (UTC+8).

TopicStart Time
General Overview of Social VR Platforms (Steed)17:00 (UTC+8)
Overview of Ubiq’s Structure (Friston)17:25 (UTC+8)
Your First Ubiq Application – 3D Pen (Congdon)17:55 (UTC+8)
Q&A (all presenters)18:25 (UTC+8)

Presenter Bios

Anthony Steed (Prof) is Head of the Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics group in the Department of Computer Science at University College London. He has over 25 years’ experience in developing effective immersive experiences. While his early work focussed on the engineering of displays and software, more recently it has focussed on user engagement in collaborative and telepresent scenarios. He received the IEEE VGTC’s 2016 Virtual Reality Technical Achievement Award. Recently he was a Visiting Researcher at Microsoft Research, Redmond and an Erskine Fellow at the Human Interface Technology Laboratory in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Sebastian Friston (Dr) received his EngD from University College London in 2017. He is currently a Research Associate in the Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics group at University College London. His work has received the IEEE VR Best Dissertation Award (2018). His research interests are in how to build high fidelity virtual worlds, specifically the problems of rendering and networking. His most recent work is on sharing immersive physical simulations, and the social VR platform Ubiq

Ben Congdon (Dr) is a research associate with the VECG group at UCL. He received an MEng in Computer Science, also from UCL. His PhD topic was redirected walking in obstacle-rich virtual environments. Ben has worked as a software engineer in Formula One and a researcher in telecommunications. His current work is on open-source software to improve access to mixed reality development.