Due to the pandemic, a large part of the population has been spending more time at home for more than a year. Whether home office or leisure activities such as workouts, game nights or other hobbies – many things have changed and adapted so much within the past few months that they can now be practiced quite comfortably within one’s own four walls. The same is probably true for the meeting culture of those who now spend every day in the home office. While video calling used to be an exception for most of us, it’s now the rule. But what if we could make the meeting experience even more real in the future with the help of innovative virtual reality (VR) technologies? The first ready-to-use concepts already exist.
VR meetings: From home office to virtual office
Corona forces us to do most of our daily living from home. This isolation can have a particularly negative effect on health and psychological well-being, especially for people who live alone. Many people are therefore turning to the numerous video meeting solutions that have become established since the start of the pandemic. Our meeting culture has definitely changed as a result. While some have gotten used to it by now, for others it is still exhausting and rather a “burden” to conduct meetings remotely. They lack the common togetherness – the “being together in one room”.
So-called VR meeting solutions now represent an alternative. Here, meeting participants have the opportunityto join a virtual meeting room using VR glasses and “meet” their colleaguesin a more or less real way. Depending on the VR software, for example, each employee creates an avatar, a virtual version of themselves, and meets their colleagues to hold upcoming meetings in as real an environment as possible. Those who have the right accessories, such as special hand control tools, can write on virtual whiteboards during meetings, move things back and forth in the room, or congratulate colleagues on goals achieved with a handshake. Sounds almost like reality, doesn’t it?
The new corporate culture – being close to colleagues again thanks to VR?
As promising as the new VR meeting solutions may be,will it ever be possible for us to feel as comfortable in this new virtual reality as we do in a real meeting? On the one hand, the answer is probably very subjective and depends on the personality of each individual. Nevertheless, we are talking about an extremely promising concept here.
Because when it comes to work alone, VR creates numerous new opportunities for remote employees.For example, interactive team events can be offered to all employees – regardless of where they work. New networking opportunities arise, conferences can be attended and team building takes place on a new level. Everyone can participate, which creates a new corporate culture and allows colleagues to be met again with collegial closeness in a whole new way.
AR vs. VR – What’s the difference?
By virtual reality (VR) we mean a computer-generated reality that we experience in both 3D image and sound.Through VR, we get the opportunity to move and communicate with each other in the virtual world. This modern technology is often used in the gaming sector, but now also in various corporate areas. Special VR glasses are required for proper use. These have become increasingly popular in recent years.
Virtual Reality (VR) should not be confused with Augmented Reality (AR). With AR technology, the virtual world is not completely created. Here, it is simply a matter of extending our real world, with objects such as figures (Pokémon in Pokémon Go) or bit or emojis that can be projected onto the real world via the smartphone.
VR technology: What the future holds for us
In view of the rapid progress, we can expect virtual reality and its numerous applications to continue to play a growing role in both professional and private everyday life in the future. The boundary between business applications and private functions will clearly disappear over time. Facebook, for example, is working on a VR social platform with its Horizon application. In this so-called VR Multiverse, participants then have the opportunity to meet in a wide variety of virtual worlds. Whether it’s for watching soccer in a virtual living room or a virtual pub crawl, the choice should be almost limitless. Meeting rooms are also planned for everyday business use.
Numerous tech start-ups such as “We Are” or “MeetinVR” are also focusing on the development of such applications and offer customers around the world great concepts to attend meetings, conferences or trade shows in a virtual world.
VR meetings: hardware must be more established for success
Corona has given this development particular momentum. On the one hand, people underestimate the possibilities that already exist. On the other hand, the necessary hardware for comprehensive VR meetings is not yet available everywhere. But in just a few years, VR glasses will probably be more suitable for the masses and more and more employees will have VR glasses – and nothing will stand in the way of virtual meetings.
So in the future, we can look forward to the different worlds and meeting rooms that we can join with our team via VR technology. Because at some point, we will no longer ask ourselves whether we are holding a VR meeting, but what design the respective meeting room we use should have. From a futuristic spaceship design to a loft office to a meeting room with a casual beach look – the possibilities will be many.
Video: Will VR technology change our meeting culture?
Many companies were already using VR and AR technologies before Corona. But with the pandemic, the importance of virtual conferences and video meetings increased many times over. Start-up ROOM 3D Communications is taking the next step by developing a brand new and fascinating 3D meeting technology that teleports you directly into the meeting. Our presenter Vincent Schneider took a closer look at the concept. See for yourself …
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