In the time of social distancing and the new work-at-home culture, video conferencing has undoubtedly become king. Companies looking to get a little more out of meetings though, namely the ability to virtually chat face-to-face with colleagues, might be surprised to learn that HTC is now opening up its own productivity-focused social VR platform.
Update (April 30th, 2020): HTC today unveiled its new business-focused social VR platform, Vive Sync. The company will be offering Vive Sync for free to companies of all sizes throughout 2020, and is said to support up to 30 users currently.
As a social productivity device, Vive Sync is said to include support for OneDrive, which includes the ability to show PowerPoints, PDFs, marketing videos, or 3D models. In place of traditional note-taking, users will be able to use voice recognition to record notes, annotate with a 3D pen, and take screenshots. As for 3D assets, Vive Sync currently supports FBX and OBJ files, as well as Unity Asset Bundles.
Vive Sync currently only supports HTC headsets, however in the future the company is working to extend hardware compatibility to non-Vive headsets, as well as implement host controls and the ability to record full meetings sessions. You can find how to sign up at the company’s Vive Sync website.
Original Article (April 10th, 2020): Announced on Twitter by HTC Vive China President Alvin Wang Graylin, the company is pitching a virtual meeting service now that it says will be both budget and climate-friendly, and will allow users with and without VR headsets to participate.
Called ‘Vive Events’, the service is meant to take the place of events such as conferences and expositions, and can support up to 5,000 simultaneous attendees, something Graylin says can scale higher if need be.
This follows the company’s most recent Vive Ecosystems Conference (VEC) which was supposed to take place in the flesh last month, however was scrapped in light of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Instead, HTC held the event virtually in education-focused social VR platform Engage, which featured keynotes and a developer meet up in mid-March.
There’s no word yet on whether HTC is creating a purpose-built platform, or licensing pre-existing service (see update). Interested businesses can however contact HTC by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.