VR technology: A new future for our online meetings?
Due to the pandemic, a large part of the population has been spending more time at home for over a year now. 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 calls used to be an exception for most of us, it is 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 conduct most of our daily life from home. This isolation can have a particularly negative effect on health and psychological well-being, especially for people who live alone. As a result, many people are turning to the numerous video meeting solutions that have been established since the pandemic began. Our meeting culture has definitely changed as a result. While one or two people have gotten used to it by now, for others it is still exhausting and more of a "burden" to hold meetings remotely. They miss the shared togetherness - the "being together in one room".
So-called VR meeting solutions now represent an alternative. Here, meeting participants have the opportunity to join a virtual meeting room using VR glasses and "meet" their colleagues in a more or less real way. Depending on the VR software, for example, each employee creates an avatar, i.e. a virtual version of themselves, and thus meets their colleagues to hold upcoming meetings in the most real environment 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 emerge, conferences can be attended, and team building takes place on a new level. Everyone can participate, creating a new company culture and allowing colleagues to be reacquainted with collegiality 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. VR gives us the opportunity to move around in the virtual world and communicate with each other. Thus, the modern technology is often used in gaming, 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). AR technology does not completely create the virtual world. It is merely an extension of 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 will then have the opportunity to meet in a wide variety of virtual worlds. Whether it's watching soccer in a virtual living room or going to a virtual pub - the choice is supposed to 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
This development has gained particular momentum through Corona. 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 endless.
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. The start-up ROOM 3D Communications takes the next step and develops 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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