At Oculus Connect, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Oculus for Business and it’s about time. Virtual reality (VR) opens up many opportunities in the enterprise today specifically in the areas of training, data visualization, and product development. But the true “killer app” for business may be in collaboration and the virtual workspace.
Although, it’s going to take time to become fully realized in the enterprise, an increasing number of vendors are focused on the virtual workplace and innovations in this space are growing at a rapid pace. Companies like Microsoft (Windows Mixed Reality and AltSpace VR) and Cisco (Spark VR) have already introduced products and now Oculus is throwing their hat in the ring, along with their parent company Facebook via their Oculus for Business, Oculus Desktop, and Facebook Spaces initiatives.
So what is the virtual workplace? In a nutshell, it is the coming together of the digital workplace and Social VR. Imagine a remote worker, could put on a VR headset and then have access to a virtual mouse, keyboard and unlimited monitors. Online meetings and collaboration are enhanced through the use of avatars, 3D visualizations, and strong telepresence (a feeling of being there). Essentially creating a truly collaborative environment that web and video conferences have been unable to achieve.
There are many technologies, processes, and cultural changes that will need to occur in order for the virtual workplace to truly come to fruition, but forward looking organizations should be tracking the advances that are being made in this area.
In the meantime, there are VR use cases that could add value to enterprises today and it’s time to start thinking about VR as an important part of a digital transformation strategy. Check out some recent research we have at Gartner on this subject and then let’s follow up with a conversation.
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