XR Today explores three simple methods for firms to benefit the most from Meta’s VR hardware
Oculus parent company Meta is the market leader in virtual reality (VR) solutions due partly to the massively-popular Quest lineup of standalone headsets.
Meta shook up the VR landscape after it acquired Oculus in 2016 and once again by rebranding itself as ‘Meta’ in late October this year.
The change reflects the firm’s new vision towards developing the unified and shared global platform for 3D immersive experiences known as the Metaverse.
At this year’s Connect event, Meta revealed many new technology plans and teased several platforms aimed at improving VR communication in the near future.
The Menlo Park-based firm also remains committed to providing enterprise-grade collaboration software via its umbrella of social applications and immersive products.
For example, a recent partnership between Meta and Microsoft boosted worker engagement by integrating Teams into Meta Workplace, the latter’s 2D collaboration platform for businesses.
XR Today takes a closer look at the three key steps needed to utilise Meta’s VR enterprise solution.
Choosing the Right Application
For enterprises, there are a range of applications available on the Quest storefront to provide VR immersive environments for remote working.
The first, Horizon: Workrooms, is Meta’s collaboration application purpose built for the Oculus Quest 2 and containing integral features for enterprise-grade VR communications.
Horizon: Workrooms avatar system also enables smooth animations with high-resolution textures and many handy tools such as hand tracking, remote desktop streaming, and videoconferencing integration.
Additionally, cross-platform options are available to enable users to collaborate via headsets, smartphones, or desktop computers.
Workrooms also supports several 2D applications like Microsoft Outlook and Zoom, and users will soon be able to sign into their Meta business account without requiring a Facebook account.
Conversely, there are many brilliant third-party collaboration applications available on the Quest storefront, including:
- Spatial, a leading cross-platform experience that connects individuals across a range of different hardware. The platform’s advanced avatar system uses AI technology to turn 2D facial photos into 3D renderings, and allows AR users to see a coworker’s VR avatar as a visualisation.
- MeetinVR empowers enterprises with a powerful collaboration space using photorealistic avatars and advanced 3D user interfaces, and allows individuals to host meetings with up to 32 attendees.
- Engage provides advanced tools to create stunning presentations and host virtual events, where people can join with highly customisable avatars. The Irish VR firm seamlessly incorporates several applications into its VR workflow such as Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox, or YouTube.
- Glue is an easy to use, affordable solution employing realistic avatars with detailed animations for virtual meetings. Users are provided with a massive selection of tools to encourage virtual collaboration, 3D whiteboards, as well as browser-based apps such as Dropbox and YouTube.
Furthermore, VR firm Tvori recently debuted ShapesXR, an immersive environment for developers to collaborate on augmented reality (AR) and VR applications while using Quest headsets.
Using 2D Applications in VR
Currently, Meta is distributing beta VR versions of Facebook and Instagram on the Quest storefront, and both apps still have enterprise capabilities to manage eCommerce opportunities, social media presence and consumer engagement.
Alternatively, the Quest storefront offers ‘Spike Email,’ a unified communications app containing essential work tools such as email, file management, video meetings, and a chat system.
In addition, the Spike VR platform combines third party email accounts under one VR roof.
Meta, formerly Facebook/Oculus, introduced Quest v30 in June this year, which greatly improved accessibility features for the headset.
Meta’s AirLink feature allows users to stream PC-VR applications wirelessly to portable headsets, removing the need to purchase expensive PC-VR headsets such as the Valve Index and PC-VR hardware, which usually requires setting up additional bulky equipment or extensive wiring.
AirLink also allows others to watch a user’s point of view from an external PC monitor, where mentors to track employee’s performance during VR training modules and other use cases.
By using AirLink, companies can choose from countless applications from digital PC-VR storefronts such as VIVEPORT, HTC’s app distribution platform for VR content to optimise workflows, without facing latency problems, on SteamVR’s most popular headset.