Facebook unveiled a new virtual reality app for users of its Oculus Quest 2 headset yesterday (August 19th) that’s meant for office workers that can be used to make colleagues feel like they’re having a meeting sitting in a conference room. The free app, called Horizon Workrooms, is an effort to move virtual reality beyond entertainment uses like gaming. It allows up to 16 users of the VR headsets to meet in a virtual conference room, with each person represented by a customizable avatar. The cartoon-like avatars are seen as an upper body above a virtual chair. Up to 34 other people can join the meeting as video callers who appear in a grid-like flat screen inside the virtual conference room. The Oculus Quest 2 headsets start at $299 and weigh a little over a pound, which could be bothersome to have on your head for the length of a meeting.
- What do you think of the idea of wearing headsets to have a virtual reality meeting with co-workers at which you’re represented by a cartoon-like avatar?
- How much do you think it would be a distraction for you to wear more than one-pound headset for an entire meeting?
- Do you think this would be better or worse at making you feel like you’re more closely interacting with your co-workers than a Zoom call?
- Do you think the whole virtual view could be a focus of attention, since it does actually look like some kind of game, and distract from the topic of the meeting?
Example of a Horizon Workrooms virtual meeting: