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OPLIN 4Cast #765: Facebook wants to replace Zoom meetings with virtual reality

Posted in 4cast, Facebook, and Virtual reality

Although not many American homes have a VR gaming rig, virtual reality is hardly the new kid on the technology block these days. While it hasn’t taken off as wildly as predicted, it’s made steady inroads in both consumer and industrial use. Facebook, which owns Oculus, has been working to bring the world more mainstream uses of VR than niche gaming. This past week, it introduced Horizon Workrooms for the Oculus Quest 2, it’s most popular VR console. Will your next Zoom meeting be a VR meeting instead? Facebook certainly hopes so.

  • Facebook wants you to hold your next meeting in VR [CNN] “Workrooms allows up to 16 VR headset users to meet in a virtual conference room, with each of them represented by a customizable cartoon-like avatar that appears as just an upper body floating slightly above a virtual chair at a table. The app supports up to 50 participants in a single meeting, with the rest able to join as video callers who appear in a grid-like flat screen inside the virtual meeting room.”
  • Yes, Facebook really thinks you want to sit in VR meetings [Mashable] “Of course, the fact that few workplaces are likely to provide all their employees with Oculus Quest 2 VR headsets means the actual audience for Facebook’s new work platform is severely limited. Fortunately Facebook has thought of this, also making Horizon Workrooms available via the web so the lowly browser proles can mingle with the shining demigods of VR. One Horizons Workroom space can support up to 50 collaborators at once, including up to 16 privileged few in virtual reality.”
  • Facebook gets VR meetings right with Horizon Workrooms [Engadget] “If anything, Horizon Workrooms tells us that Zuckerberg’s metaverse ambitions are more than just marketing fluff. He paid $2 billion for Oculus, after all, and Facebook has continually invested in VR development and content. You don’t spend that sort of money if you don’t have a vision for the future. “
  • Inside Facebook’s metaverse for work [The Verge] “After spending over an hour in Workrooms, I can see its potential as a more immersive way to communicate with people who are physically apart, but I don’t see it catching on beyond the most diehard VR enthusiasts anytime soon. That said, I can see this experience become compelling for more casual users, and potentially those who are totally new to VR, in the years ahead.”

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