30th September 2020

COVID-19 and Virtual Reality


At Vivio, The Ministry of Technocracy has delved into the different ways tech has adapted in the current climate we live in. Next up in our mini blog-series we look at virtual reality.

Join us everyday this week as we look into various ways technology has adapted since COVID-19 changed the way we live and work.

Scott Mcharrie Finance Support Specialist

There’s no mistaking the fact that COVID has accelerated the need for businesses to adopt remote working capabilities. As we see video conferencing become commonplace, we start to discover the possibilities of more intricate tech, such as virtual reality.

With many businesses opting for Microsoft Teams for video conferencing and collaboration, the popularity of the software skyrocketed during lockdown, which saw 44 million users in March 2020, very quickly reach 75 million users just 4 weeks later.

But let’s delve deeper into how we can connect remotely, whether that be with colleagues or clients – or both! Sure, video conferencing is great, but what about the next best thing – being their in person, well… almost.

We’ve heard a lot about virtual reality but it’s still somewhat in its infancy compared to other emerging technologies. This week, we’ve taken a look at VR app Spatial, currently still within development. The app is designed  to bring people together both with and without VR headsets. If you don’t have a headset you can drop in using a webcam and you will appear on a virtual video wall. If you have a VR headset you can go into the session with a 3D avatar of yourself, simply by taking a 2D webcam picture! Check out our Head of Marketing, Sian…

Spatial is the ultimate virtual reality meeting space, allowing users to share files, photos and 3D objects. As the app is still within development, tests have shown that users felt completely immersed within the experience, likening it to an actual face-to-face meeting due to the interaction available via the VR headset. A level up from the standard video conferencing capabilities of Teams & Zoom, for example.

As such, Facebook is reportedly investing billions into developing lightweight VR glasses – a side step from the huge VR headsets we are accustomed to. As this develops, will virtual reality become more commonplace now that more people are used to “meeting” digitally? Only time will tell.

Stay tuned tomorrow as we look at gesture control with Operations Support Specialist, Keisha Vanden.

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