Horizon Workrooms – everything you need to know
The tech company Meta continues to pursue its long-term goals with the launch of Horizon Workrooms. Horizon Workrooms aims to improve the workplace with its virtual reality features. Its name was Facebook until CEO Mark Zuckerberg decided to change the name, fitting his ambitions of making the Metaverse come true.
It lets people enter an office on a computer, so employees can work with each other as if they’re face-to-face. It’s a welcome tool nowadays since we’ve yet to eliminate the coronavirus pandemic. More companies are going digital too. Learn more about Horizon Workrooms to see how this future might look like.
Most people might not know what the Metaverse is, so I’ll start by discussing that. Then, I’ll talk about Meta’s Horizon Workrooms and how people can use them. After that, I’ll explain how the Metaverse could change how jobs work in the future. I’ll also go through other examples outside of Horizon Workrooms, such as the HYVE job portal.
What is the Metaverse?
Besides Meta, other companies want to create the Metaverse using their products and services. However, not many people understand what it is or how it works.
If you want a quick example of how it may look, recall movies like “The Matrix” or “Ready Player One.” Their basic premise involves people going in and out of virtual worlds as if they’re real.
Still, this might not be enough to explain what the Metaverse could be. Yet, the concept started several years earlier. It first appeared in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel “Snow Crash.” Still, this might not be enough to explain what the Metaverse could be.
Thankfully, Matthew Ball released articles that explain how such a tech world might be like. Those are a bit long, though, so I’ve simplified his message below:
- Online 24/7 – You can’t “turn off” the Metaverse because it works like a real-life location. It will keep on running forever.
- Shared experience – You’ll be able to experience stuff in there, much like we do in the real world. For example, Fortnite players were able to experience the end of their game’s Season 2 by playing an in-game event together.
- Separate actions – The Metaverse isn’t a rollercoaster ride where you’re just there to see stuff happen. Everyone in it will be able to perform activities separate from each other. For example, Horizon Workrooms lets you present with your co-workers while they’re typing or listening to you.
- Virtual economy – We will be able to buy and sell things to each other. Nowadays, video game players can do this with certain games. For example, playing Axie Infinity lets you buy and sell in-game items for real money.
- Mixed reality – The new tech world combines the real and the virtual to have events involving both. The closest we have right now is Pokémon GO, the mobile app that lets you find and capture in-game pets with your smartphone. It has events that make it easier to catch certain critters so that you might see more in real life.
- Shared online space – Everything in there should work properly with each other. Let’s say Fortnite and Pokémon GO are part of the Metaverse. If that’s the case, Fortnite items should work with Pokémon GO and the other way around.
- User-generated content – The Metaverse will let people create and add it to this space. For example, Decentraland players can create homes on this platform and visit those worlds.
How does Horizon Workrooms work?
The Meta company provides the latest tool of the Metaverse with the release of Horizon Workrooms. It’s a free desktop app that enables office meetings in VR.
The app might not cost you, but you will need to buy an Oculus Quest 2 headset for it. At the time of writing, it’s only available in certain countries. Click here to see the current list.
Once you have the headset and the app, you create your avatar. It’s the character that will represent you in the VR office. Then, you can use the following features:
- Create an office – Make sure your new office matches your company by adding your logos and posters. It has spatial audio, so you’ll hear fellow employees as you are in a room together.
- Bring your own desk (BYOD) – You can bring your real-life desk into the VR room.
- Click right into it! – Workrooms lets you pair your computer, so you can type, take notes, and share its screen with the Oculus Remote Desktop.
- Plan via whiteboard – The app provides a whiteboard to write whatever you need. Even better, Horizon Workrooms has hand tracking, so you can type, point and even give a thumbs-up as if you’re with your colleagues.
- Join via video call – If one of your members doesn’t have a headset, they could join your VR space via video conferencing.
- Bridging 2D and VR – The app lets you share your 2D screen in the VR office space.
Read More: What Is Horizon Worlds?
How is the Metaverse changing the workplace?
Remote work turned out to be the future of work, even before the pandemic. Countries like China have started exploring the idea since 2013.
Nowadays, more companies realize that this is true, so more of them allow it. For example, Yahoo! Japan promotes it by paying employees to work remotely.
There’s another Inquirer USA article that talks about the HYVE job platform that helps freelancers find work. It does this with the help of blockchain tech. We see more tools and services made for it as well.
However, people often ask why even use this mode of work when you can meet with people in the office.
Well, the reason is that remote work can provide benefits for businesses and workers:
- Some people work better when they can do so at their pace. If allowed to do so, they are likely to perform better.
- It can provide a work-life balance since they might get more time to do other things. This could give them better health too.
- Remote jobs can reduce waste and energy consumption in the workplace. For example, companies won’t have to print documents as often as before. Also, workers won’t have to pay for their daily commute or car ride to the office.
- This type of work saves money for businesses. Most remote jobs require that workers provide equipment by themselves, so a company won’t have to pay. Also, businesses won’t have to spend on more office space to accommodate more employees.
The Metaverse and its tools could improve remote work by getting rid of some of its limits. For example, Horizon Workrooms lets remote workers meet using computers.
This takes care of the usual dilemma that companies have a lack of creativity. Similar tools allow people to express themselves perhaps more than they could in real-life!
Do you still want to be a manager? With Horizon Workrooms, you can still do that even while working from home. What’s more, it increases the remote work roles available.
Some people might think that people might just be plugged into computers all day. If you look deeper into it, that’s unlikely.
You will have to log out to sleep as well, and you have to step out to eat and drink. You won’t become a battery like the plot of The Matrix!
Instead, you’ll be able to do so much more. Our world is changing, so you must adapt by learning more. Start by reading other great articles from Inquirer USA!