Facebook has launched a test of a new virtual-reality remote work app where users can hold meetings as avatar versions of themselves.
This app aims at reinventing virtual office spaces.
It looks like many of us may be working home for even longer than we initially imagined due to Covid 19 pandemic.
Facebook has invested heavily in virtual and augmented reality, developing hardware such as its Oculus VR headsets, working on AR glasses and wristband technologies, and buying a bevy of VR gaming studios, including BigBox VR.
The company predicts that this will be the next big computing platform. This will allow it to be less reliant in the future on other hardware makers, such as Apple, the company has said.
To get started inside Horizon Workrooms you’ll need to buy an Oculus VR headset. The Quest 2 currently starts at $299. Once you have the headset, you can download the app for free. It will allow you to join your virtual workspace. Workrooms users can design avatar versions of themselves. You can invite other users with an Oculus device into the conference room.
Facebook sees its latest launch as an early step toward building the futuristic “metaverse” which CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently described as an “embodied internet” where people communicate through digital representations of themselves.
Everything is supposed to feel much more like the real world than in a traditional videoconference. You can project your notes onto a board in the front of the virtual room, and using spatial sound, you can hear people better when you tilt your head toward them.
The company said it would not use people’s work conversations and materials in Workrooms to target ads on Facebook. It also said users must follow its VR community standards and that rule-breaking behavior can be reported to Oculus.