Let’s talk about Facebook’s vision for the future. And before I take another step, I must give props to Ian Hamilton who recorded the discussion (as Twitter Spaces doesn’t archive sessions), transcribed it, and scraped the details for UploadVR’s audience. If you can, support the team and check his hard work out; I’m largely taking information from his article and analysing it.
The most interesting point (to me, anyway) is that they suggest headsets could become fully functional personal computers. Think of it as typing up all your work via hand tracking, browsing the web, and collaborating all in one virtual world – all in one ‘Infinite Office.’ The key goal is to get the software up to scratch, and innovate on the hardware over time so the experience gets better and better.
My first initial thought was, computers are good enough. Most office workers will choose a handy laptop over a VR headset the lacks the app libraries for work. The sheep depth and complexity of the laptop’s system dwarfs VR headsets, and choosing one over the other feels like picking a DVD player over the internet.
Another part of me sees a future where they are deployed across very particular businesses, but it won’t be widespread. One example includes enterprise companies that require close collaboration, but the commute times are too long or the living accomodating is quite cramped. Deploying a fleet of headsets to a remote-working workforce makes sense, at least in those particular times. Facebook is following the money on this; the digital workplace money is estimated to be worth $72bn by 2026. But to choose a VR headset over, say, a cheap laptop, is unlikely for most companies.
I see a future where companies work within remote virtual worlds, hopping from virtual place to place as they make plans and execute campaigns. But while some will be hopping around the virtual micro-metaverse, most will be content hopping onto Teams calls while checking their Twitter.
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