Facebook/Oculus have today taken another step towards the always-online metaverse with the launch of Horizon Workrooms as an open beta, free on Quest 2.
Think of it as a virtual boardroom where colleagues can gather in a shared virtual space to talk, make presentations, watch video together and more. The concept is to enable co-workers to better feel engaged as part of a team when they're unable to meet up in the real world, whether that's as a result of a global pandemic, a rise in working from home or simple geography.
Workrooms brings some new technologies together into one experience for the first time, such as mixed reality desk and keyboard tracking, hand tracking, remote desktop streaming, video conferencing integration, spatial audio and the new Oculus Avatars. Those features will also be available for developers to implement in their own apps, with hand tracking and spatial audio features available now.
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO at Facebook, posted on the social media site, "You'll notice conversations flow more naturally and you'll pick up social cues that are missing on video - people turning to listen to each other, hand gestures, and spatial audio to give everyone a sense of place in the room".
A blog post from Oculus today (August 19th) says, "We’ve been using Workrooms to collaborate here at Facebook already, and we think it’s one of the best ways to work if you can’t be physically together.
"VR will fundamentally transform the way we work as a new computing platform, defying distance to help people collaborate better from anywhere. Horizon Workrooms is a big first step towards this vision".
Video: Horizon Workrooms - Remote Collaboration Reimagined