Clash of the VR Collaboration Titans
Collaboration has changed. In the last couple of years, we’ve seen a rapid transformation in the way people connect and share ideas. Old-fashioned conferencing rooms are now being replaced by video conferencing and virtual communication. But what happens when a video isn’t enough to connect your teams? That’s where VR collaboration tools come in.
Facebook Horizon Workrooms and Spatial are two of the most popular virtual meeting rooms available for business leaders. Designed for the modern age of work, these unique ecosystems give people a way to share the same space virtually, even if they’re miles apart.
The question is, which virtual meeting room should you be using to bring your teams together? Here’s what you need to know about Facebook Horizon Workrooms, and Spatial.
Facebook Horizon Workrooms: Features
Designed specifically for the Oculus Quest 2, Facebook Horizon Workrooms is the all-in-one environment for collaboration built by Facebook. The Horizon Workrooms environment combines state-of-the-art features like spatial audio and advanced avatar creation to make people feel more closely connected, wherever they are.
The Facebook Horizon Workrooms app empowers teams with everything from shared documents and whiteboarding sessions, to screen sharing and video for non-VR users. With everything you need located in an easy-to-use ecosystem, Facebook Horizon workrooms ensure that every meeting can go more smoothly. Features include:
- Intelligent hand tracking
- Video conferencing for non-VR users
- Remote desktop streaming
- Oculus Avatars with customisations
- Mixed-reality keyboard and desk tracking
- Spatial surround-sound audio
- High-quality image and voice streaming
- Virtual whiteboarding for sketching
- Idea pinning and meeting notes
- File sharing and links
- Privacy and security controls
- Administration settings
- Calendar integration
Perhaps the most compelling feature of Horizon Workrooms is how effective it is at bringing the virtual and physical worlds together. People can communicate with their team members through Horizons even if they don’t have access to VR tools. There’s support for things like mixed reality keyboard and desktop tracking too, so you can more easily share files and documents without having to jump out of VR.
Spatial VR: Features
Spatial is probably one of the best-known names associated with VR and remote meetings today. The company has paved the way for countless organisations to meet and connect more effectively in a digital environment. With Spatial, users get access to some of the most realistic avatars on the market, made with real images of employee’s faces. There’s also access to a host of customisation options to make your virtual space more unique to your needs.
Spatial has plenty of unique tools for modern employees, including things like file sharing and 3D model access, as well as cross-platform collaboration for your team. Users can join meetings from their VR headset, a desktop, or a smartphone. Features of Spatial include:
- Support for up to 32 people in a room
- Unlimited storage and saved rooms
- Live translation for better communication
- Team administration tools
- Lifelike avatars made with human photos
- Video conferencing join option
- Whiteboarding and sticky notes
- Screensharing and in-room web browser
- Presentation walls
- Integrations with tools like Slack and Google Drive
- 3D model upload
- Search functionality
- AR and VR collaboration
- Single Sign-on and priority support
Spatial makes it easier for businesses interested in VR collaboration to take advantage of the tools they really need. You can access integrations with the services you already use and allow your users to access the meeting from a range of different platforms. Enterprise users can also access customized versions of the Spatial platform based on their specific needs, with access to master service agreements, single sign-on, and high-level support.
Facebook Horizon Workrooms vs Spatial: Which is Best?
Both Facebook Horizon Workrooms and Spatial are excellent tools for modern collaboration – though they approach the VR environment in slightly different ways.
With Facebook Horizon Workrooms, you get an easy-to-access and immersive environment designed for content sharing and collaboration with a global team. Anyone can join from a range of devices, and you can easily pull people from outside of the VR space into your meetings too. Mixed reality access to desktops and keyboards is an excellent feature here, ensuring you can still use your computer to send important files or share your screen when necessary.
Another stand-out feature of Facebook Horizon Workrooms is its spatial audio. Though the avatars in this platform aren’t as realistic as the ones in Spatial, the audio helps you to still feel as though you’re genuinely a part of the same space with your teams.
The Spatial audio environment bridges the gap between colleagues wherever they are, with an AR and VR optimised experience. Like Facebook, this device works on multiple platforms, but it also offers valuable integrations with tools like Slack and Google Drive. There are options available for Enterprise customers here, which aren’t possible through the Facebook landscape. Additionally, you can get discounts on pricing depending on the size of your team.
Spatial really works on boosting the immersion of the VR space with its class-leading avatars. The highly realistic versions of your co-workers in a digital space can help you to forget you’re collaborating in VR in the first place. Although some people might find the realistic avatars somewhat stranger than the alternative animated options.
Which VR Collaboration Solution Should You Choose?
As a collaboration between teams continues to evolve in the new age of work, VR tools could be an excellent way to bring your workforce together like never before. The VR environments offered by Facebook and Spatial are both excellent for inspiring and engaging your employees. However, Spatial seems to be a more enterprise-focused solution capable of offering realistic digital experiences, while Facebook is a slightly more accessible tool for the masses.
Whichever option you choose, you’re sure to appreciate the wide range of customisable features and tools these two platforms offer. There’s really something for everyone with both Facebook and Spatial, so it’s hard to go wrong with either product.