The virtual reality revolution is well underway. In less than a decade we have seen a constant flow of virtual reality technology like the Merge VR goggles that aims to offer us simulated 3D environments to explore. Much of the initial trend for virtual reality was focused around gaming with high-powered headsets like the Oculus Rift. But the uses of virtual reality are becoming more widespread.
The automotive industry has seen brands like Jaguar and Land Rover using VR for car design, while museums like The Louvre have been working on VR experiences to allow a ‘heightened personal encounter’ with iconic artworks such as the Mona Lisa. There are VR things happening on the iGaming scene as well, as online casinos in the UK are making efforts to take player experience to a whole new level. Pokerstars, the online poker brand, are already working on a VR poker game with 3D environments and realistic chip and card movements so that players can enjoy immersive multiplayer Texas Hold ‘em entertainment regardless of their location.
This VR concept that has also finally arrived in the world of business with meetings now starting to take place within the virtual domain. The benefits of this would be immense with meetings being able to be conducted instantly all over the world with sharply reduced overheads. Plus virtual reality would offer its users the benefits of important visual cues such as non-verbal communication that often make less personal Zoom and Skype meetings less than ideal.
MeetinVR’s immersive business gatherings
MeetinVR unveiled the beta version of its business VR platform in May 2020. This offers between eight and 12 users the chance to enjoy 360-degree environments complete with virtual windows showing picturesque scenes in which to conduct business meetings.
The platform features fairly realistic avatars that populate the virtual space, and there are options for extra features such as whiteboard interactions, podium speeches and film viewings.
So far, the MeetinVR technology has been used by over 2,000 businesses over the past three years, and it’s hoped to counter the effects of Zoom fatigue that have emerged during the coronavirus crisis.
Spatial’s VR meetings without headsets
Spatial’s VR meeting platform has been widely greeted by many within the business community. Spatial is a startup that was launched in 2016 and it allows its users to enjoy virtual and augmented reality meetings via a web browser on a computer, or iOS and Android mobile devices.
So far, Spatial’s VR software has been used by major brands such as Mattel, and it has been warmly received due to the fact that it features a free trial period so that firms of all sizes can get to grips with virtual reality meetings.
The arrival of holographic business meetings?
While fears about VR-induced ‘pink eye’ have largely proven to be unfounded, it’s still true that many potential converts to virtual reality have been put off by the cumbersome headsets.
It remains to be seen how the business community will accept the incursion of VR technologies into meetings. But in light of the current pandemic, the need for remote conferencing cannot be denied.
Like all new technologies, virtual reality has suffered a fair share of hiccups. Issues of motion sickness have yet to be sufficiently addressed, and the bandwidth required by VR business meetings could cause problematic glitches in communication.
But with established virtual reality brands like Oculus working to deliver headsets with quicker refresh rates and higher screen resolutions, it is hoped that these issues will soon be ironed out.
With the likes of Spatial offering firms a free way in which to share live seminars, showcase 3D presentations of products, and allow participants to read important non-verbal cues, it seems as though modern business is finally ready to join in the virtual reality revolution.