VRChat has been around since 2014! 8 years… Can you imagine? It’s been on the forefront of VR gaming and entertainment since the very beginning. First Oculus SDKs, first games, first projects that seemed too futuristic to be true. Many of those projects never saw their release date, many were around for some time but soon were forgotten. But not VRChat! Ironically, it preceded all this Metaverse fuzz by more than five years, but today it’s far more popular than most other virtual worlds. It stayed with us through all these years, becoming more popular with every passing day. And it’s not hard to see why: continuous updates always add new possibilities to the mix, people are going far and beyond with all the gadgets and trackers (heart rate monitors included) to better convey themselves via their avatar, and customisation allows for an astronomical level of expression.
Expression is where it’s at, really. With all the enthusiasm and work people are willing to put into it, VRChat really hits the spot for all those who want to transfer their voices, emotions and movements to the digital space. Now you have one more way to do so!
I’m talking about a couple of applications that make it possible to add a heartbeat to your avatar. Quite literally. With one of these plugins you can make your real time heart rate a part of your avatar.
200Tigersbloxed demonstration of his HRtoVRChat project in action
After that you have to set up your Pulsoid account, download the Pulsoid app to your smartphone and connect your heart rate monitoring device to it. We’ve got a guide for that too!
So yeah, as was stated before the idea is pretty straightforward: put a compatible heart rate monitoring device on, perform initial configuration, and have your heart rate showcased on your avatar. Now let's talk more about the HRtoVRChat setup process itself.
We recommend following the official developer documentation to make sure you have the most up-to-date info.
1. You’ll probably need a UI Helper. Although it is not vital to set everything up, it will simplify the process significantly. Just download the HRtoVRChat_OSC_UI.zip from the Latest Release
2. After unpacking archive to the directory go to Updates and hit Update Software (after the update is finished refresh the app and make sure that the Installed and Latest visions match)
3. In the Program tab click Start the app and wait for it to close
4. In the Config tab you can change any values you’d like
To install the the HRtoVRChat app itself:
2. Unpack it and run the program once
3. In config.cfg change any values you’d like
How to connect Pulsoid:
Set your HRType to pulsoid.
Retrieving a PulsoidKey (access_token): Navigate here or optionally here if you have a BRO subscription. Once on the webpage, select Authorize app, then you will be redirected to a page with a textbox containing your key.
You will copy that key, and be sure to save it, because we will need it for the next step.
Applying your PulsoidKey (access_token): Back in your Config tab, select the pulsoidkey, and then enter in the access_token you got from the previous step.
Setting up your avatar
To set up your avatar besides the avatar itself you’ll need VRChatSDK.
Also VRLabs Avatars 3.0 manager although not absolutely necessary will make the setup process much easier for you.
This video by HRtoVRChat creator 200Tigersbloxed will guide you through the avatar setup process:
HeartRate in Avatar 3.0 (HR-OSC)
If you want a slightly simpler in all aspects solution this may be the one for you. The link above contains the app itself and a unity package.
1. Set up heart.unitypackage and hr-osc (unpack it and run once)
2. In hr-osc set your widget_id to the one your Pulsoid widget
Don’t share this link with unreliable sources.
3. Set up the way your heart rate will be displayed in Unity
For all the methods described above make sure your OSC is turned on in VRChat.
This process may require some time and work for you to set everything up but it’s very much worth it. VRChat is a unique outlet for everyone to express themselves in a myriad of ways. Your heart rate is a powerful way to show your excitement, fear and tranquillity in the most sincere way possible. And it is also one of the best ways to make your avatar stand out among thousands of others. And big thanks to all the people from the community who are passionate enough to create such tools for others!