A few days back, Facebook announced that it will be launching its next-gen VR device called Quest 2. While I was wondering whether this will go down as another failed breakthrough tech (👋 Google Glass?), Facebook broke my chain of thoughts with an unexpected pivot by launching Infinite Office, a product geared towards people working from home.
I have always associated VR technology with gaming and you can’t blame me. Most of the companies have traditionally targeted this tech for gaming consumers as it provides an immersive gaming experience.
But with remote working having become the norm for many in the recent months, Infinite Office wants to bring that immersive experience to employees working from home as well.
Spatial is another interesting product in the AR space that complements Infinite Office to put you in completely immersive digital environments.
I think the concept is really simple, it makes it look like your coworkers are there — or at least realistic avatars of them are, on a virtual space, where you can then collaborate on projects. 🤝
As much as I am excited, I’m also equally worried about the consequences that might arise due to this tech. Creating new digital spaces will allow for more exclusion, where the digital divide has already proven to provide different experiences for those able to work remotely and others who are struggling to keep up. 🙁
Not to mention the psychological effects of using a technology as immersive as augmented reality that blurs the line between what’s real and what isn't. Finally, most important of all, the privacy issues of these headsets if at all they come with cameras and sensors.
Whether you are ready or not, VR is already transforming workplaces and this article by HBR explains how it is being used for corporate training. It's only a matter of time until you realise your co-worker is a life-like avatar, collaborating beside you, from thousands of miles away! 😎
I am keen to hear what others have to say about the impact of VR on remote working.