Several weeks ago Facebook launched its vision for work-based collaboration in virtual reality (VR), Horizon Workrooms. Designed to help colleagues connect remotely, this week it has been revealed that the highly popular video conferencing service Zoom will be integrated into Horizon Workrooms next year.
Horizon Workrooms is currently in open beta for Oculus Quest headsets, allowing anyone to test the new software. With the integration of Zoom, users will be able to join Zoom Meetings and use Zoom Whiteboard directly within VR, to create what could be a seamless experience between the two platforms.
With companies having to switch to remote working during the course of 2020, many have turned to video platforms such as Zoom to stay connected. This has helped Zoom’s popularity soar but has also meant a new term being coined in the process, “Zoom fatigue”. Whereby people find themselves in so many video meetings that it just becomes mentally draining, lacking the fluidity of being together in person. So it’s no surprise that Zoom aims to combat such an issue with initiatives like this with Facebook.
A sneak peek was shown at Zoomtopia this week, Zoom’s annual conference (taking place virtually, of course!). Inside Horizon Workrooms users will be able to dial into those video calls as they normally would, so they can sit around a virtual desk with others in VR whilst talking to even more over Zoom. And with Zoom Whiteboard on hand, brainstorming new ideas shouldn’t be too difficult either as everyone in the meeting can add their input.
Zoom and Facebook haven’t said when they plan to integrate this functionality into Horizon Workrooms during 2022 but the software has plenty of features to keep you busy. There’s the mixed-reality desk and keyboard tracking, which alongside Oculus Quest’s hand tracking means you can see your desk and keyboard to naturally type as you would outside of VR. There’s also remote desktop streaming, spatial audio, and the new Oculus Avatars for that immersive feel.
There are plenty of other ways to collaborate in VR with Horizon Workrooms joining the likes of Spatial, MeetinVR and Arthur to name a few. For continued updates in this field, keep reading VRFocus.