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Facebook debuts Horizon Workrooms for virtual reality meetings

Byte-size Bulletin by Rachael Brown in News, Social media on Sep 9, 2021


Facebook has launched a virtual reality remote work app where Oculus Quest 2 VR users can hold virtual meetings as avatars of themselves. 

The Horizon Workrooms App was released last Thursday, on the 19th of August 2021, as a beta version. This development comes as the Delta variant of Covid 19 continues to sweep the globe, and more and more businesses move permanently into hybrid working arrangements. 

Horizon Workrooms allows users who have an Oculus VR headset to meet as avatar versions of themselves in virtual reality conference rooms and collaborate on shared documents and whiteboards. All while still interacting with their computer keyboard and physical desk. 

Horizon Workrooms works by using a normal internet connection but adding a headset and a dedicated app.

Horizon Workrooms combines elements of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) areas Facebook has been heavily investing in over the past several years. 

Augmented reality refers to an interactive experience of a real-world environment where computer-generated effects enhance elements or objects of the real world. For example, Pokemon GO, which allows you to catch simulated Pokemon in your back garden, is an augmented reality game.

Meanwhile, virtual reality is a simulated experience that while sometimes striving for realism does not take place in a real-world environment. 

Facebook has been working on AR glasses and wristband technologies, developing its Oculus VR headsets and buying an array of VR gaming studios including BigBox VR. 

The Horizons Workrooms app is another of these investments created with the hybrid working world in mind.

The app is free through the Oculus Quest 2 headset, which costs around $300. The Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset is required to join as a virtual avatar. It allows 16 people to join together in VR, and 50 through typical video conferencing. Those without a headset can join via video call. 

Facebook is now according to Bosworth using Workrooms regularly for internal meetings. 

Photo by Bram Van Oost on Unsplash


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