In Europe, 17% of workers are now in smartworking. Danes in the lead with 37% of the total, Italy last with 7%. Japan and USA are around 40% and in general the trend is growing enormously, with or without a pandemic. Facebook thinks virtual reality (VR) can offer a solution, bringing employees the appeal of a home office.
On September 16, Oculus, the Facebook-owned virtual reality company, announced the launch of Infinite Office, software that runs on his new Oculus Quest 2 headset. The app allows you to do smartworking in virtual reality. Users can do their job by setting up a version of their computer in VR. A Logitech keyboard combined with Oculus allow you to type in real life and see the result on virtual screens. Later, other compatible devices will be added gradually.
Virtual reality smartworking. Extend your home space.
“Right now, especially as more people work remotely, it can be difficult to focus or find privacy. Especially if you don't have a dedicated office ". To say it is Maria Fernandez Guajardo, Facebook Reality Labs. "Infinite Office can begin to address these weaknesses." It is not the first attempt to propose remote work in virtual form. In recent weeks, Microsoft has also addressed the issue “Bothering” even mixed reality.
Potential users might worry about connection problems, but Facebook says the Oculus browser doesn't require more bandwidth than any other computer. Its 3D content requires more, "but it's still equivalent to that of a regular Oculus app," says Fernandez Guajardo.
When is the vis a vis?
Although it has compatibility with many teleconferencing software (so you can talk to colleagues without removing the viewer), Infinite Office does not make the leap in quality. The virtual reality smartworking that Facebook makes available doesn't offer what other VR systems already predict. No face-to-face meetings! Why?
“We are working on it,” says Fernandez Guajardo. “But to take full advantage of our social presence, we need to be quick and effective. So what you see this week with Infinite Office is a kind of fundamental level, a first step to help unlock the productivity and usefulness of Quest. Oh well.
Infinite Office is free with Oculus Quest 2, the first copies are due for delivery in October. Who will make good use of the "virtual" office? First of all, those who already use VR for games and other apps. They will be the quickest to adapt. Later it can also touch others.
Gianluca Riccio, born in 1975, is the creative director of an advertising agency, copywriter and journalist. He is affiliated with Italian Institute for the Future, World Future Society and H +, Network of Italian Transhumanists. Since 2006 he directs Futuroprossimo.it, the Italian resource of Futurology.
Futuroprossimo.it is an Italian resource of futurology opened since 2006: every day news about the near future. Scientific discoveries, medical research, prototypes, concepts and predictions about the future for free.
Gianluca Riccio, copywriter and journalist - Born in 1975, he is the creative director of an advertising agency, he is affiliated with the Italian Institute for the Future, World Future Society and H +, Network of Italian Transhumanists.