Water cooler talk just got an upgrade.
Rather than setting up in a noisy coffee shop or paying for access to a co-working space, Renji Bijoy, the CEO of Immersed, is using VR technology to allow remote employees in multiple fields to work and collaborate entirely in a comfortable and productive VR space.
He and his team see the future of the working world as one where teams of coworkers can come together in VR and collaborate remotely in the same virtual space. Instead of getting a simple notification from Slack (a popular team collaboration platform), users will beam into a virtual office occupied by their fellow coworkers in real-time and have in-depth conversations as if they were all in the same room.
Immersed provides users a VR working space with multiple virtual monitors, remote collaboration (sharing screens), remote whiteboards, and a variety of changing backdrops accessible from an in-experience laptop.
“More collaborative than video conferencing or chat, we are able to recreate what we have in person, sharing screens, sitting next to each other, even whiteboarding together,” Bijoy said to VRScout. “There just hasn’t been a good solution for previous teams that I have been on, as far as remote teams, and that’s how the idea was formed.”
Composed of a remote team of only six, Immersed began pursuing the concept of a virtual coworking space out of necessity after facing difficulty finding a viable platform for remote collaboration that fit their particular needs.
“We started thinking: how do we get real people who are physically apart how do we get them in the same space and recreate that person-to-person experience?” Bijoy said.
Now, the Immersed team uses their own software to collaborate and develop remotely.
Previously, the experience was only available for offices and full working teams, but today Immersed is unrolling the experience out to remote professions around the world in the form of a virtual coffeehouse. In this experience, remote workers can meet with both friends and strangers across the world to collaborate on projects, listen to music, share screens, or simply chat.
In order to cater to as wide a user-base as possible, Immersed is looking to make their product more accessible for teams and remote workers that don’t have access to expensive VR-ready gaming PC’s or VR headsets, and are instead operating on low-budget laptops and computers.
“How do we bring this to normal everyday people who aren’t necessarily gamers? They may be gamers, but how do we bring this to a larger audience,” Bijoy said. “And that is our hopes in VR adoption, how do we bring VR in an everyday use case to people who aren’t necessarily gamers.”
To achieve this quest, Immersed is working on a way to interact with their software without the need of any controllers. The company is currently experimenting on a solution that uses a computer’s webcam to film the user’s hands, allowing them to perform physical gestures in the VR world minus the need of a headset or motion controllers.
While currently still in the prototype phase, Immersed has big expectations for what this innovation could mean for their VR experience and the future of the industry.
“I think that is what is going to be a massive game-changer for people who in general don’t use VR for gaming and don’t know how to use controllers,” Bijoy said. “I want this app to be something that my mom can use for her work,” he continued. “She knows how to use her hands, she knows how to grab a virtual whiteboard marker with her hands […] it lowers the barrier to entry.”
Immersed VR features several different packages (both free and paid) which offer a variety of options and abilities depending on your selection. This includes everything from the ability to stream multiple physical monitors in real-time, private virtual co-working, bluetooth compatibility with wireless keyboards and mouses, customizable environments, an offline mode, and many other features. Immersed VR is currently available on Oculus Quest, Oculus Go, Gear VR, Mac, and PC.
For more information on Immersive VR’s unique VR co-working platform, visit ImmersedVR.com. You can also sign up for a free 14-day trial.
Featured Image Credit: Immersed