Facebook has launched a virtual reality app to serve as a perfect alternative for holding online meetings as it gives a raw feel to coworkers as though they are physically present in a round table discussion.
The app called the Horizon Workrooms was launched on Thursday, it is free for users of its Oculus Quest 2 headset, a device whose price starts at $299. Per meeting, a Workroom allows 16 VR headset users, each with a display customizable animated avatar that floats slightly above a virtual chair at a table. The avatar of a VR user moves in the exact direction of the user’s fingers and hands and even their mouths while they speak.
In total, 50 people can participate in a meeting as the non-VR headset users can join as video callers. This appears inside the virtual meeting room via a flat-screen. Also, there is a virtual whiteboard for presentations and picture sharing.
“The pandemic in the last 18 months has only given us greater confidence in the importance of this as a technology. Facebook has been using the app internally for about a year.” Andrew Bosworth, VP of Facebook Reality Labs, said at a virtual room meeting on Tuesday.
Facebook announced Horizon in 2019 and was set for release in 2020 but users claimed they were yet to receive an update. However, it was confirmed this week that the app is in a private beta testing stage.