From today’s suite of virtual reality and augmented reality product launches by Facebook, one of the most interesting was its announcement of Infinite Office, allowing users to work on multiple screens in a virtual/ augmented reality space.
I shared some thoughts on the announcement and what it means for the rise of virtual offices in this brief segment on The Virtual Excellence Show. See below for the video transcript.
Welcome to the Virtual Excellence Show where we help you prosper in an increasingly virtual world. Today we will look behind the news that Facebook is launching a virtual office space.
Earlier today Facebook made a number of interesting announcements about its virtual reality and augmented reality offerings, including the release of Quest 2, the updated version of what became the reference consumer virtual reality headset when it was launched last year.
Of particular interest is their announcement of Infinite Office, what they are describing as an experiment to be released towards the end of the year, in which people can work on multiple large screens while they are wearing a VR headset.
They are partnering with virtual office company Spatial, which we have discussed before on The Virtual Excellence Show, and Logitech to provide physical keyboards with tracking that allow them to be used in VR.
The idea of accessing multiple screens in a VR is far from new, with Bloomberg demonstrating virtual terminal setups back in 2014, with more recent examples including BigScreen VR, and two years ago Oculus showing how their Dash overlay could be used in an office setup.
There are a number of challenges that Facebook will need to overcome to make this work.
While the screen resolution is 50% higher than the original Quest, it is still just 3.5Megapixels per eye, which while getting decent is not enough to get great resolution when viewing multiple screens in VR.
The Quest 2 battery only last for 2 and a half hours, which means the office can’t easily be used through the day.
And it appears that in Infinite Office you can currently only access the Oculus browser, so you won’t be able to use your usual computers and software.
The rise of work in virtual offices is early but it is inevitable. in 2016 Facebook launched Workplace by Facebook to provide social networking within organizations.
They definitely seem to be aiming to players in the rapidly unfolding future of work as well as social media. We’ll be watching all aspects of virtual work closely at The Virtual Excellence Show, so please subscribe to keep on top of what’s going on!