Facebook is currently testing a new virtual-reality remote work app, dubbed Facebook’s Horizon Workrooms. The app allows users of Oculus Quest 2 headsets to hold meetings as an avatar version of themselves. The app has been released as a new variant of COVID-19 sweeps the globe, and many physical workplaces continue to remain shut. Also Read - 5 best AR or VR toys to help your child learn while having fun: Orboot Mars, Educational flashcards and more
Facebook states that the launch of its Horizon Workrooms app is an early step towards building the futuristic “metaverse” that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has touted in recent weeks. Also Read - Now you can check COVID-19 vaccine availability on Google Maps: Here's how
Facebook’s vice president of its Reality Labs group, Andrew Bosworth has told Reuters that “the new Workrooms app gives “a good sense” of how the company envisions elements of the metaverse.” “This is kind of one of those foundational steps in that direction,” he added. Also Read - Best high tech face masks you can buy: Philips Fresh Air Mask, Kenneth Cole Smart Mask and more
Reuters states that the company in its first full VR news briefing showcased how Workrooms users can design avatar versions of themselves and meet in virtual reality conference rooms and collaborate on shared whiteboards or documents, still interacting with their own physical desk and computer keyboard.
The app is available free of cost for the Quest 2 headsets, which allows up to 16 people in VR and up to 50 people in video conference. Facebook is currently using Workrooms regularly for internal meetings according to Bosworth.
The company has also reassured its users that it will not be using people’s work conversations and materials in Workrooms to target ads. It has also stated that its users must follow its VR community standards and that rule-breaking behavior can be reported to Oculus.
To recall, Facebook recently halted the sales of its Oculus Quest 2 headsets and recalled the foam face-liners due to reports of skin irritation in cooperation with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. The recall has affected about 4 million units according to the recall notice.