Cost and the nausea-inducing nature of the technology are among the biggest hurdles to the experience.
Facebook has been working on the development of tools that could theoretically provide the capacity for a virtual reality remote work experience. That said, this technology has a number of challenges which must be overcome before it will become practical for employees to use to feel that they’re collaborating in the same space, even in a digital ecosystem.
These challenges will need to be overcome to convince workplaces to adopt this technology.
Overcoming the challenges to widespread virtual reality remote work adoption may require quite a bit of time. The company recently unveiled its Horizon Workrooms, which are accessed using the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset. That said, the necessary app is still undergoing its final stages of development.
The Horizon Workrooms app makes it possible for workers to create avatars to represent themselves. Their avatars can work with each other using a whiteboard, take notes, interact with other people in the workroom and stream what is on their computers. All this is done while the participants sit in their own real-life workspaces, wherever they happen to be.
Facebook wants the virtual reality remote work app to replace the need to travel to collaborate.
“We shouldn’t really have to physically be together to feel present, collaborate or brainstorm,” explained Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO. “Video conferencing has taken us pretty far, but as we start planning to go back into the office, I’m not super excited about having most meetings be over video.”
The application also made it possible for Quest users to leave the remote controllers aside and use their hands instead. It opens the potential for spatial audio capabilities, too, improving the impression that participants are in a physical conference room from which sound would seem to come from different areas.
Users are able to select from among various room setups so that they can either be standing at a whiteboard and presenting to their counterparts, or alternately sitting and listening to someone else who is presenting in the virtual reality remote work experience, for example.