Can I Hug My Favorite Coworker While Working Remotely?

The Brief Intro

How many of you have been a fervent fan of Call of Duty? Yes, the warfare game where you get to create your avatar, equip them with modern weapons, and send them to battle. The joy you experience while killing an enemy and slowly progressing towards the destination, is unexplainable. We understand! Now imagine having the same avatar at your office. Well, not the same, of course you won’t appear in an office setup wearing armour (if you do that ever, give us a heads up!) but here, you get only formals to wear. That’s not all, you get to meet your colleagues real-time, discuss things, and bid them goodbye at the end of the meeting. Not you, your avatar does it all. However, the feeling is way more realistic and enjoyable over a bland Zoom meeting. How? Read on for details.

Welcome to the Horizon Workrooms

Horizon Workrooms reimagined the remote working environment amidst a pandemic struck world because most of the employees that are performing away from office, often feel isolated and bored being alone in a remote environment. The rebranded organization behind Facebook, Meta, built Horizon Workrooms to eliminate such barriers and encourage collaboration via VR enhancements. This incipient technology is apparently an ongoing work in progress. The organization launched its open beta version of Horizon Workrooms in August 2021.

Horizon Workrooms (beta) is the VR space making rooms for teams to collaborate, generate ideas, create, and stay connected together. Here’s your opportunity to meet workmates across the table, even though you’re currently located in another corner of the world. 

Workrooms deals with a range of newfangled technologies put together for the first time into a single arena on Quest 2. Implementing features like hand tracking, remote desktop streaming, the new Oculus Avatars, video conferencing integration, mixed-reality desk keyboard tracking, and spatial audio, they have managed to deliver a mind blowing productivity experience. They have been using Workrooms to collaborate at Facebook already, and they already believe that it’s one of the most efficient ways to work during the pandemic and beyond, when you struggle to be physically present.

What Does it Feel Like? 

The platform works across both web and virtual reality. It has been designed at par with Meta’s marketing materials, to boost a team’s capability to connect and collaborate remotely. With it, the remote teams gather in a virtual ecosystem they view on their home computer monitors. Here, the team members talk, brainstorm or jot down the points on a whiteboard. The Horizon Workrooms has more to add beyond these basic activities. This VR platform facilitates remote workers to work together on a document, receive feedback from team members, socialize, hang out or simply have meaningful conversations that proceed naturally. Cool, isn’t it? 

Wait. There’s a shocker for you! The Horizon Workrooms is presently available only for the users over 18 years of age, hailing from the US and Canada. Meta has not yet announced any further details regarding a global rollout. Disheartening indeed! However, Meta Quest is gradually becoming a ‘superpower’ tool for enterprise-grade VR communication and we can hope for it to make a launch in India soon. Fingers crossed! 

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