Talk Zoo

Skittish is a Zoom hang for people who love Animal Crossing

A video call alternative with wild animals and a use of spatial 3D audio that makes a whole lot of sense.

Skittish, created by Andy Baio and Simon Hales, is a mix between live audio products like Twitter Spaces or Clubhouse, and the janky 3D spaces you might find in browser games like Runescape. The only difference is you play as an animal.

Building a space in Skittish is as simple as making an account, choosing your animal, and then dragging in items from a pre-made library of paths, foliage, and event objects. It’s not quite Animal Crossing. But you can make some fun stuff pretty quickly.

Ian Carlos Campbell / Input

You can also watch and stream videos you embed in your Skittish event space, including live streams from Twitch. With “focus video” you can also view them in quasi-fullscreen.

This works great for creators premiering a new project, or friends who just want to mess around with music videos on YouTube.

Spatial 3D audio is what really makes Skittish fun. You can hear your friends, coworkers, and guests when you’re up close to them and listen to them fade out as you walk away.

It helps create the feeling of a crowd when you’ve got multiple people talking in the same space and makes where you’re moving and standing matter.

You can try Skittish for free with just an account, or pay for more live audio time with a subscription.

Prices breakdown:

- Creator/Community: $20/month for 50 audio hours per user, with the ability to have unlimited users (rooms are capped at 250 people).

- Event organizers: $1 per user/hour, capped at $5 per user/hour. Only pay for what you use.

- Companies: $10 per user/month including 10 hours of audio per user

The pandemic has made hanging out online a permanent fixture of many people’s lives. Not everything needs to happen over a video though. Skittish is a perfect tool to add to your rotation when you need a break from the hard edges of Zoom, Google Meet, and even Facetime.

It’s silly, a little weird, and ready to be filled with your friends.

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