VR for Remote Collaboration – The Workplace of the Future
Institutions all over the world have switched to work from home settings due to the ongoing pandemic. Although governments' efforts to vaccinate citizens across countries are a positive sign, it appears that organizations around the world will make WFH settings a permanent thing. As an example, Facebook has announced that its employees can work from home during COVID and beyond. In a situation where employees would be working remotely, there is an immediate need for new technologies like Virtual Reality to take center stage.
Zoom or VR?
Remote Collaboration tools such as Zoom and Google’s Meet became the talk of the town as soon as countries started imposing lockdowns to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus. For many employees, video conferencing tools like Zoom are seen as the go-to platform to connect with their peers for weekly/monthly meetings. Undoubtedly, video conferencing solutions allow workers to connect remotely within a few seconds. However, the loss of immersion along with fun & engaging activities might make one think of other viable solutions. That is where Virtual Reality comes into play.
Virtual Reality allows users to gather in a spatial environment just like employees gather in a conference room in real life. What makes it unique is the functionality to change the monotonous and identical meeting rooms into a colorful, playful, and fruitful experience.
Presence is what makes users believe that they are really inside the virtual environment. It diminishes the boundaries between the real and the virtual world. The greater the presence, the better the experience. With advancements in VR technology, like improved fields of view and higher resolution screens, the level of presence has increased significantly, which allows people to use VR for longer durations.
It’s been more than three years since Facebook launched its first standalone headset Oculus Go. However, within a year of its launch, Facebook learned that movement in the VR environment should be similar to how we move in the real-life. In this regard, a new successor was born, ‘Oculus Quest’ which provided the opportunity for consumers to have six degrees of freedom; allowing users to walk around an object in a 360-degree circle, view it from the bottom-up or top-down, crouch, and climb an item seamlessly.
In a time like COVID, where most employees are feeling disengaged and disconnected, it is important to look into solutions like VR to ensure business continuity and productivity. Be it a Researcher in an Academia or a trainee in an organization, the thought of being in a virtual world for conducting research studies or training on a virtual machine would allow learners to bring forward new ideas, which is one of the main reasons why workplaces thrive.
How XpertVR created a fully immersive learning experience for Brock University?
One of the biggest challenges faced by education institutions around the world has been the closure of schools. The education industry trains the next generation of leaders, intellectuals, skilled workers, and most of the people that make the world go round. But they weren’t prepared for the pandemic and the need to teach remotely.
In order to ensure continuous learning, XpertVR created a server that allows students to come together within a 3D classroom from anywhere in the world. Through virtual avatars, students can shake hands, wave at each other, move around the room and even write on a whiteboard. This allows students to learn visually from the materials presented in the classroom, through audio with the conversations they have with their professor and peers, through reading and writing materials available in the classroom, or from diving into a whole new world to learn kinesthetically through hands-on training. Although this classroom is still in its early stages it allows professors at Brock University to test the future of learning. And most importantly, the classroom gives select students a new medium to better learn through the COVID pandemic and in future online learning scenarios.
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