JanusVR. What is it? Why Should You Care?

Janus VR. What is it? Why Should You Care?
JanusVR is probably one of the most innovate VR solutions you may never have heard of.

Before I go into what JanusVR is let me first explain what the internet looks like today.

Most people see the internet as a collection of APPS, web pages and search engines (often Google or Bing) People type in web site URLs into a browser and surf around in 2D pages. It is easy, very familiar and almost everyone can do it, even those who didn't grow up with computers (Hi Mom!)

However in this sense you do not really “see” the internet - you experience it through one of these mediums. JanusVR strives to allow you to see and experience the internet and perhaps even in the future touch it.

JanusVR represents webpages as rooms and links connect rooms via doorways. Pictures embedded in the webpages hang on the room's walls. The environment is dynamically generated, using a portal-based system. Pages with special HTML tags can show enhanced 3D content, and interactive editing of these "FireBoxRooms" is possible from within JanusVR directly.

"Site translators" take the content and known structure of existing sites, generating FireBoxRooms from this data which spatially arrange the content in a more-meaningful manner. The experience is also "multi-player" or collaborative -- multiple people can navigate virtual spaces together, communicating via voice or text and sharing portals to new areas with each other. Even more recently, JavaScript (or technically qtScript which is ECMAScript 3 standard-compliant) enables you to create a custom dynamic experience for your room.

As a user of JanusVR the internet is experienced by simply walking between rooms and interacting with the internet in a purely visual and far more interactive manner.

As a web site developer. Janus allows you to expand on your existing web site by creating a room within Janus and invite others to interact within the room. Janus allows the web site developer to create a far closer relationship with their readers.

Setup Instructions

Download: Download JanusVR (After you have downloaded Janus simply run JanusVR.exe)
Oculus Rift Mode: Extended or Primary, primary preferred
Controls: Are extensive see headings below.
Oculus Rift Support: DK1 & DK2
Regular Monitor Support: Yes

JanusVR Movement

  • Hit w, a, s, d, q, and e to move around.
  • Hit f to enter flight mode. Look where you want to fly and hit w, a, s, d, q, and e to move.
  • Hold left click to see an arrow. After a few milliseconds you'll see a green avatar appear. Release to instantly teleport to where your mouse cursor is placed.


  • Left click on any portal to open and just walk through.
  • Hit tab to create your own portal. A textbox will appear with the ability to type in any url you want. If the website you choose does not have janusML, a default room will be generated with the 2D version of the website presented on the walls.
  • Click on a web surface to control the website. While the web surface has control of your mouse, you can hit tab to enter a new address. Note that tab does not switch between text input fields in a web surface.
  • Hit cmd+b(mac) or ctrl+b(win) to bookmark the current url you are within. Bookmarks can be accessed from the main lobby, or from the esc menu.

Changing Avatars

Method 1: cmd+click(mac) or ctrl+click(win) on any ghost you find to assign it as your own avatar. A ghost is a janusML specific asset. You can find a bunch of pre-made avatars at http://lobby.vrsites.com/avtype/

Method 2: your avatar is read from a text file on your system found within /Applications/janusvr.app/Contents/MacOS/userid.txt(mac) or alongside of the janusVR executable(win). This is a basic janusML file where you can define your own head and body using regular .obj or .dae models and materials. For more examples on this, see http://vrsites.com/assets/nukemarine_02/10/userid_avatars.txt


  • Hit t to text chat within janusVR.
  • Hit c to open up the chat log. You can scroll this with your mouse wheel or trackpad.
  • To update your username hit t and type #userid your-user-name where your-user-name is whatever username you want to use.
  • To voice chat with the janusVR community, download the Mumble client and connect to
    Address: babylon.vrsites.com
    Port: 64738
  • The janusVR community also communicates asychronously via the janusVR subreddit.

ESC Menu

Hit esc to see various options presented as floating buttons. This will also give you a floating web surface presenting the 2D version of the url you are currently within, as well as your avatar, and a link to your bookmarks. Hit esc again to turn off the menu.

Editing Basics

Turn on edit mode: Hit esc to access the options and select Edit Mode to turn it on. Hit esc again to turn off the menu. Now you can use the right click to edit anything you see (unless it's locked).

Spawning: A single right-click will spawn a primitive object. If you now hit w, a, s, d you can cycle through various primitive object. Another single right-click will cancel the operation. A single left-click will commit the operation, placing the object within the room where others can now see it.

Selecting: A single right-click on an object will highlight it and it will begin to glow. Text will appear in front of it indicating it's pos vector. You can change these values with the w, a, s, d, q, and e keys. Hitting the tab key while an object is highlighted will allow you to cycle through the objects attributes such as xdir, ydir, zdir, scale, col(color), etc.

Copying: While and object is highlighted with a right-click, you can also copy it with cmd+c(mac) or ctrl+c(win).

Pasting: Hold right-click and place the green cursor wherever you like, then hit cmd+v(mac) or ctrl+v(win) to paste a copy of the object.

Saving: Hit cmd+s(mac) or ctrl+s(win) to save the source code of the url you are within to your clipboard. This also saves an html file of the output to your workspaces directory. The workspaces directory is found within /Applications/janusvr.app/Contents/MacOS/(mac) or alongside of the janusVR executable(win).

Visit us in the VRCircle JanusVR Room

janusvr vrcircle room

You may find the VRCircle JanusVR room by following the sign for the Bit Tower in the lobby. Then heading up to the second floor. You’ll see the VRCircle logo so come on in and leave us a message!

Right next door you’ll see Finlander one of our avid Facebook followers and VR enthusiast so be sure to say Hi to him too!

To answer my own question as to Why should you care about Janus? JanusVR may or may not be the next step in the evolution of the internet. However it does provide an innovative way to look at the internet and the life of the traditional web browser will need to evolve.

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