Facebook recently tested a new VR remote work app where users of the company’s Oculus Quest 2 headsets could hold meetings as avatar versions of themselves. The application called Horizon Workrooms comes as a new way to work remotely, simulating a physical workspace. The app is an early step towards building the futuristic ‘’metaverse’’ that Mark Zuckerberg has mentioned in past weeks.
The future of the workplace has many different scenarios. In most cases, companies are betting on a hybrid work model. In others, to continue with the pre-pandemic model or even to go full-remote. However, Facebook is moving towards a VR workplace that simulates the workplace experience from home.
Horizon Workrooms: The New VR Application
Facebook is heavily investing in virtual, augmented reality tools, developing hardware such as the Oculus VR headsets, working on AR glasses, and buying VR gaming studios.
Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s vice president, said the new ‘’Horizon Workrooms’’ application gives a panorama of how the company envisions elements of the metaverse.
The term metaverse comes from the dystopian movie ‘’Snow Crash’’ and describes shared spaces accessed across different platforms where the physical and digital environments merge.
Last month, the tech giant announced that they were creating a product team focusing on developing the metaverse that will be part of its AR and VR group Facebook Reality Labs.
In its first full VR news briefing, Facebook demonstrated how Workfrooms users could design avatar versions of themselves to meet in virtual reality conference rooms collaborating on different tools such as whiteboards and documents.
The Quest 2 headsets cost about $300, and the app allows up to 16 people together in the VR and up to 50, including video conference participants. The company also announced that it would not use people’s work conversations and materials to target ads on Facebook. And those who want to become users must follow the VR community standards.