The adoption rates for Virtual Reality are rising every day, the technology moving closer to occupying a place of prominence in the mainstream with each new use case. This meteoric trajectory has caught the attention of many business publications and pundits, including sectoral forerunners like Forbes.
Forbes has recently taken stock of the Meetings & Conferences landscape, labelling Virtual Reality the ‘next big thing’ set to disrupt the market. The hybrid style of working that has become prevalent in the last few months has spurred an influx of players in the digital communication market; while employers continue to weigh their options, it is clear that Work-From-Home is at least partially here to stay.
VR stands to revolutionize this hyper-connected way of working. In the linked piece, Forbes details the improving perception of VR Tech in corporate spaces; while Virtual Reality has had little difficulty establishing itself in the entertainment space, its uptake in business has been slower owing to the significant shift in workflows required. The benefits of using VR in the workplace, however, are many – and corporations are warming up to the idea of making Virtual Infrastructure a part of their holdings.
Image Courtesy: aijiro from Adobe Stock
VR in the Office
A Virtual Reality office may appear to many a phenomenon still in the making. Yet, the VR Tech heavyweight Facebook has already beaten everyone to the punch – silently releasing the ‘Facebook Horizon Workroom’ on their Oculus Quest 2 as a free app.
FHW marks the third iteration of virtual workspaces by the global giant. The application allows users to enter virtual office meetings with up to 50 other users, share their screens, operate in-app presentation boards, and interact via 3D customizable avatars. Given VR’s capacity for mimicking reality, the creation of a shared virtual environment such as an office promises to offset the traditional costs of leasing and maintaining physical premises.
Going forward, corporations can now go fully-virtual without facing the repercussions of lacking a shared workspace – especially those associated with cultivating a shared mission among teams. Large organisations operating internationally can also use VR to mitigate the logistics of flying their leadership to common destinations for important internal seminars.
Image Courtesy: DragonImages from Adobe Stock
VR Conferencing and Meeting – NextMeet
VR’s ability to create interactive and immersive environments lends itself to large conferences as well. Events such as scientific symposiums, auto shows, ComicCon etc. were previously inaccessible to most people living outside metropolitan pockets. Even in the big cities, a variety of other logistical challenges, including the paucity of space and accessibility of environs, diminished potential attendee pools.
However, through VR, these events can be made open to all. Virtual attendees can become a part of these experiences through true immersion, enjoying a far richer experience than live camera broadcasts and visitor streams can accord. As the number of visitors rises, advertising revenue also increases – offering a much higher RoI to event organizers and sponsors. On all fronts, virtual reality events promise a win-win situation.
Avatar-based platforms like NextMeet are building on this premise, providing their users a host of immersive and interactive virtual conferencing and meeting venues. In NextMeet, users can free-roam across a range of interconnected virtual spaces, and interact with each other using realistic spatial audio. Event organizers, at their end, can also tailor the virtual environment to streamline event messaging, rope in product sponsors, or even reinforce brand recall.
Image Courtesy: NextMeet
With the growing case for VR events, offices and conferences, the time is ripe for organizations to switch to fully-digital operational models. These cost-effective yet as-rich-as-real-life experiences are the pragmatic way forward for gatherings of all sizes.