Facebook Introduces Horizon Workrooms — A New Way to Connect Using VR

by DailyBriefers
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It’s still in open beta mode that you can download for free on Oculus Quest 2. 

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With the ongoing pandemic, more and more people are working remotely. Unfortunately, remote work has several challenges. It can feel isolating at times especially if you’re used to be chatting with your colleagues all the time.

And Facebook wants to change it by introducing the open beta of Horizon Workrooms. It’s the company’s flagship collaboration experience. The goal here is to allow people to work together in the same virtual room. 

VR and the Web 

Horizon Workrooms can work across virtual reality and the web. The company designed it to enhance how you and your team collaborate, connect and communicate remotely. 

The idea of Horizon Workrooms is to allow people to sit around a virtual conference table together. 

Up to 16 people can join and each is represented by avatars. However, it allows a maximum of 50 people if some of the participants call in through webcams. 

This app is a vital step to build the metaverse. It’s a digital world where people could meet to work and play. 

Facebook has been talking about metaverse lately. Last month, it announced that it has created a team to work on it. According to Mark Zuckerberg, the company can make money from metaverse through digital goods.   

For now, the Horizon Workrooms is free. But it could be a paid service for schools and companies soon. That is if it would pan out. 

When you test this app, it would feel like you are in video calls as you sit in a real conference room. It simply worked. 

If you wish to try it, you must install the app on your PC or Mac. Then, on your Oculus Quest 2 headset, install another version of Workrooms. 

Once installed, you can open the app in your headset and start creating an avatar. Enter into a chat. 

When you’re in a chat, you’ll be sitting at a virtual conference table with other members of your team. It would feel like you just walked into your office but what you would see is a cartoon version of every member of your team. 

The app uses hand and head movement. In that case, you can see a person’s hand motions while he/she is talking. In other words, the experience will feel like you are in a conference room. 

Because the app connects to your computer, you can see your desktop floating in front of you as you take notes. You can also see your keyboard and mouse on your desk. 

The overall experience will feel like you are in a room with other people, instead of being in a video call. Because of how it works, it can be difficult for you or anyone in the chat to sneak out without other people noticing. 

What of Its Privacy in Workrooms? 

According to Facebook

“Workrooms will not use your work conversations and materials to inform ads on Facebook. Additionally, Passthrough processes images and videos of your physical environment from the device sensors locally. Facebook and third-party apps do not access, view or use these images or videos to target ads. Finally, other people are not able to see your computer screen in Workrooms unless you choose to share it, and the permissions you grant for the Oculus Remote Desktop app are only used for the purposes of allowing streaming from your computer to your headset.”

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