Virtual Reality Workspace

FULL DISCLOSURE - Fidel O. Abalos (The Freeman) - November 14, 2020 - 12:00am

Precariously, Cebu is on the brink of a second wave of the coronavirus 2019.  Entertaining the thought that this is normal just because other countries (like UK and Italy) are experiencing it is ludicrous. The fact is, it is abnormal acting normally in an abnormal situation.   

Well, our recent complacency could be a product of the latest news that a vaccine might be available in the next three weeks. However, we must remember that as billions will take such vaccines, production alone will be a big challenge. Needless to say, huge logistical requirements will also slow the deliveries down. That is why pundits are saying that it will be available to all not earlier than April, 2021. Honestly, that’s too far for comfort. In such span of time, millions more maybe infected and hundreds of thousands more will likely die. 

Curiously though, this pandemic isn’t completely bad at all. Globally, it hastens the dispersal of some business/backroom activities from developed countries to the developing and third world countries. Likewise, it also prompted the transfers of some jobs that can be done remotely to employees wishing to “work-from-home.” Not only that, other sectors (non-technology-related) have benefitted too as urban dwellers try retreat to the rural areas to avoid crowded neighborhood.

Obviously, while developed countries’ moves are purely strategic or for cost

optimization, in us, this push to the countryside is pandemic-driven, as well as, a preparation for future pandemics. The beauty is, they might even call these places their permanent home.  Therefore, we won’t be even surprised if in the future, department stores and supermarkets will sprout in the countryside.

As companies (multinational and local) are relocating, the need for real-time technology is rising. So that, right now, there are a lot of platforms/applications that are developed by both the tech giants and startups that are geared towards that direction. We have already discussed some of these platforms/apps previously.  Again, the pace is so fast that after we’ve looked into it, another one better comes along.

To recall, on top of the already available operational software, we have singled out several applications that are in use and can be used to address the other business concerns, like the need to communicate. 

Notably, as far as communication is concerned, we’ve already discussed how the conduct of meetings have evolved.  From the synchronous in person meeting, to synchronous virtual meetings (like, Zoom), then, to asynchronous virtual meetings (like, Loom and Comeet). Then, recognizing the need to constantly collaborate, we stumbled upon an app called Remotion. It is an app that put premium on collaboration. A kind of collaboration that happens where workmates are all physically present in one workplace though physically they are thousands of miles away.

It is built based on the premise that “collaboration is best face-to-face.” As discussed then, it is a “quick video chat app that puts your team on your desktop so you can see who’s free and jump into lightweight video chats.” This is possible as the app gives the team members the opportunity to let everyone know what he is up to or his work status at the very moment. 

Therefore, a team member in need won’t hesitate to poke the person he will seek some help with if he is available for a talk. 

However, just this week, we again came across with another platform that is far better collaboration-wise. Called “ImmersedVR”, it provides a “platform for co-workers to telecommute into a virtual reality workspace.” It works in combination with a laptop and VR headset (or Virtual Reality headset is the same as those used by video games enthusiasts).   

Through artificial intelligence software, the laptop’s camera recognizes the user’s presence while the “headset teleports them to the virtual workspace with their peers.” In a virtual reality workspace where they can “detect coworkers’ body movements and even look at anything they are working onto.” 

Amazingly, it also allows “the coworkers to pick up when an employee is pointing, clicking, typing or white-boarding (on-screen shared notebook or just like a whiteboard), real-time in the virtual workplace.”

This platform is so good that you can be on your own and so focused on what you are doing at the comfort of your home while at the same time being able to virtually collaborate with your workmates real-time. Thus, “optimizing both focus and productivity.”


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