Going beyond Zoom hell to avatar-based meetings in virtual spaces


Since March many people feel they have been caught in a ‘Zoom hell‘ of back-to-back video calls throughout their waking hours.

While this would have seemed futuristic a few decades ago, it already feels deeply tired. We have all experienced the problems with engagement, attention, and effective collaboration on video-conferencing calls.

One of the most interesting directions for the next phase of virtual meetings is avatar-based meetings in augmented and virtual reality.

In this very interesting excerpt from my conversation with futurist and AR/VR expert Cathy Hackl on The Virtual Excellence Show, Cathy discusses the realities, potential, and pragmatics of avatar meetings, including a demonstration of one of the current offerings in the space, and her own experiences using the technology.

Cathy had suggested this topic and using the video of the Spatial technology for our conversation.

Coincidentally, in early February, before the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic had become evident, I wrote about my belief that in the future of work our avatars will collaborate in virtual worlds, referencing Spatial’s additional funding round of $14 million, using the same video and discussing some of the other technologies available, the challenges, and the possible pathways forward for avatar-based meetings.

It is only a phase that we are spending much of our time in flat-screen video-conferencing.

Avatar-based meetings is just one of the range of technologies that will see virtual meetings eventually look and feel far more like traditional meetings where everyone is in the same room.