The countries are already adopting protocols to maintain social distancing amidst the COVID19 outbreak. Consequently, virtual reality (VR) meetings have indeed become a need of the hour in the modern age. Also, remote working culture has become popular among many businesses. In times like these, Virtual Reality solutions are much needed.
The international growth of a business involves a diverse team. The people belong to different time zones and also different countries. Consequently, such a diverse corporate culture, calls in for further diverse meetings and collaboration options. Apart from the verbal communication that happens during any business meetings, a lot of it is non-verbal too. In the long run, this can influence the relationships between the employees. As a result, this will further affect the growth of a company. Thus, such technical innovations in collaborations during meetings can affect growth. The effect might be as severe as up to thirty percent. Subsequently, this percentage can mean success or failure in some of the data-dependent businesses.
The businesses are more flexible than ever before. With 40 percent of people preferring to work remotely, there can be no better time for such an innovation. sixteen percent of Businesses are hiring freelance workers to get projects done on time. The fully-immersive experience catered by VR can help you feel it all. The panic, urgency, excitement that usually goes missing when you are working remotely comes back to life. There are many advantages of working remotely with VR in hand. For instance, you can pull out an object in 3D and obtain feedback from your colleagues in real-time. So, once you have experienced what a VR meeting can provide, it will be hard to go back to something in 2D.
Virtual Reality Meetings or Social Virtual Reality
A video by H.P Mendoza that went viral talked about the inconveniences involved while conducting remote meetings. People usually talk over each other, or there are internet issues that cause lag in communication. During such times of pandemic, the most demanded hardware by companies is the one that can help them conduct such meetings with remote employees. The IEEE’s conference on Virtual Reality took place on Mozilla’s Hub Virtual Reality platform. Moreover, a video conference normally hides the hand gestures and the body language when a large number of faces are present on the screen. These are essential yet critical social cues. So, the VR technology today tracks the various gestures using their camera and inertial sensors present in the headset making it a real-life experience.
Collaboration using Virtual Reality has never been more exciting. People with headsets can interact with people without headsets. You can have avatars or choose no avatars. You can choose the surroundings of what you like, and there are sound effects to help you feel just like it. If it interests you further, you can watch a video here.
Setting Up A VR Meeting
- Firstly, you need to own a VR headset. There are some quite popular VR Headsets by tech giants like Microsoft and Facebook out there. Meanwhile, some of the best VR headsets include Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift/Rift S, HTC Vive, or Windows Mixed Reality. Also, you should not worry if your VR device is not one of the above.
- Next, you need to find apps that your headset supports. Some of the popular apps include:
- AltspaceVR: AltspaceVR is the ultimate freehub for cool people. It is a platform where people collaboratively learn, attend classes, and meetups digitally. They also host a spotlight event every day, which is open for all.
- Facebook Horizon: Developed by Facebook, it is a platform where social meetings do take place. These flavor added meetings enable us to create our own avatar and environment and meet with people. Consequently, it is currently in beta and is a lot more user-centric than any other VR Spaces. It only supports Oculus devices actively.
- Meetingroom.io Being one of the best productivity tools, it allows a meeting of up to 8 members simultaneously. Also, it is brimming with personal tools. We concluded this after using it personally. Also, the Ui is not too attractive to look at, but it is highly reliable professionally.
- After selecting an application/platform, we can either choose their free spaces or their enterprise solutions. While free spaces are limited in certain aspects, yet the immersive experience is profoundly valuable.
- The final thing we have to do on any of these platforms is to log in via the console. After logging in, we are able to join the meetings in a similar fashion as video calls.
Experiencing Virtual Reality Meetings
After attending a few virtual reality meetings in the past year, our perception of VR Meetings in future is :
- A significant challenge the VR Headsets available currently is the battery issue. In short meetings, the VR Headset might give a seamless experience, but on the other hand, a charging prompt is annoying in long meetings.
- Background Noise sometimes feels irritating when the meeting sizes go beyond a specific limit. The option to mute everyone is present on some platforms, but at the same time, it is hard to figure out the speaker through their virtual avatars.
- For people with disabilities, it proves to be a life-changing experience as the essence of communicating and feeling the virtual space with other people is a thrilling experience in itself.
- The development phase of VR is slow. It might take a considerable time to replace it with current meeting standards entirely. It is similar to the adaptability of android but has a certain definite future.
Top Three Must-Attend VR Conferences in 2020
Source: Facebook F8 Developers
Start Date: Postponed Due to COVID19 (Earlier: May 5)
Location: San Jose, Californi
Start Date: June 30, 2020
Location: Shanghai, China
- Microsoft Build
Source: Microsoft Build
Start Date: May 19, 2020
Location: Digitally due to COVID19 (Previously: Seattle, Washington)
As long as the VR experience is concerned, the headsets are clumsy and can be uncomfortable when worn for a long time. Also, the market price for a single VR headset is somewhere around the US $149 for Facebook’s Oculus Go. While it is already possible to join a VR meeting via the desktop, on the other hand, if the companies want to extract the maximum, then they will have to provide a VR headset to all the employees. After analyzing the expenditures involved in maintaining a VR headset, it can be concluded that it is a costly affair. Also, it is tough to predict a person’s body language and the number of different ways a person can smile. Thus, it is a tradeoff to be achieved between video conferencing and Virtual Reality.
Queppelin has a firm belief that Virtual Reality is soon going to replace the traditional forms of holding meetings remotely. We build VR meeting applications for companies and startups who want to launch their own VR platforms or need advanced features for their internal usage.
Reach us at: [email protected] to collaborate with us.