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Saturday, August 21, 2021

Betting on VR Conferencing

 Experience is still not complete.  But laptops can provide relatively good, portable and convenient alternatives.  And the entire workforce is now already trained.  So do we need full VR, except in the most complex examples? 

Facebook’s New Bet on Virtual Reality: Conference Rooms

By The New York Times, August 20, 2021

For years, the idea that virtual reality would go mainstream has remained exactly that: virtual.

Though tech giants like Facebook and Sony have spent billions of dollars trying to perfect the experience, virtual reality has stayed a niche plaything of hobbyists willing to pay thousands of dollars, often for a clunky VR headset tethered to a powerful gaming computer.

That changed last year in the pandemic. As people lived more of their lives digitally, they started buying more VR headsets. VR hardware sales shot up, led by Facebook's Oculus Quest 2, a headset that was introduced last fall, according to the research firm IDC.

To build on the momentum, Facebook on Thursday introduced a virtual-reality service called Horizon Workrooms. The product, which is free for Quest 2 owners to download, offers a virtual meeting room where people using the headsets can gather as if they were at an in-person work meeting. The participants join with a customizable cartoon avatar of themselves. Interactive virtual white boards line the walls so that people can write and draw things as in a physical conference room.

From The New York Times

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