This week Enrapt had its first online meeting in the Metaverse. A group of employees were issued their own Meta Quest 2 device and installed the beta release of Meta Horizon Workrooms.
We started by scheduling a new meeting from the horizon workrooms page using our PCs. We then invited members of the team to join our new workroom using their meta account. It is not yet possible to create a workroom from the Meta Quest 2 device yet, but I assume that this feature will be coming in the near future.
Please note at the time of this blog Horizon Workrooms is still in beta release.
Once our team members all arrived in the workroom, we started discussing our first impressions. Frankly, the experience was quite jaw-dropping. It was much better than we had originally expected. All of us had seen the pictures of the wonky cartoon-like Mark Zuckerberg avatar and the videos of the avatars without legs on the internet. In fact much of that is still true, the pictures and videos on the internet are mostly low fidelity and do not express the 3d experience of seeing hi-fidelity graphics in full 360 vision.
The key takeaways we had from our first Horizon Workrooms meetings were the following:
Wearing a headset makes it difficult to see your keyboard
In order to take notes and type during the meeting I needed to see my keyboard. Horizon workrooms provides a partial AR mode which allows me to turn on video of my real keyboard and real hands during the meeting. In the picture below, the black space to the left of the controller is where my hands and keyboard were visible. Since AR-mode still only displays in black-and-white and in low-fidelity, it was still difficult to read the keys on my keyboard. The Meta Quest Pro provides a color AR-mode which appears to address this issue.
Hands, head, and mouth movements are mimicked in the workroom
The cameras built onto the Meta Quest 2 capture the location of your hands, the direction your head is facing, and also mimic your mouth movements as you are talking. Meta Quest 2 transposes your body and body movements directly into your Metaverse avatar.
When the person next to you begins talking you can hear their voice in the direction in which they are sitting relative to you. In the video above I show how the cameras are tracking my body movements and what you see is actually being transmitted to my team members in Horizon Worlds.
Desktop sharing is available by downloading the Oculus.com desktop app and installing onto your local PC
You can share your screen onto everyone’s desktops in Horizon Workrooms. I can also display multiple screens at once, since I am no longer limited by the size of my monitor.
My plan is to continue to do more meetings in Horizon Worlds in the future. I think the technology has enormous potential but is overall still in its infancy. The key bridge component I see is the right blending of AR/VR technologies that will let us bring enough of the real-world and enough of the virtual world in to simulate everyone being in the same room.