Facebook's Metaverse Takes a Baby Step with Customizable 'Horizon Workrooms' Environments – Road to VR
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Facebook launched Horizon Workrooms back in summer, bringing to Quest a new enterprise-focused virtual collaboration platform that connects both VR and video chat users in the same place. Soon the app will let you choose from different environments which will be customizable to some degree—a prescient step on the way to Facebook’s vision of its metaverse.
“Later this year we’ll introduce customizable rooms in Workrooms, giving you the ability to choose from a wide variety of different environments to get work done, and place your own company logos or team posters in your rooms,” the company said today during its annual Connect dev conference. “This will let people adapt their virtual workspaces to match individual company styles, cultures, and branding guidelines.”
So far Horizon Workrooms has only offered a few standard boardroom spaces. That isn’t changing terribly much with the ability to do things like modify colors, decorations, and import company logos and posters, however the ostensibly conservative update coming to the app later this year is definitely another bid to make Facebook and its VR hardware more attractive to companies looking to stay distanced and distributed. You know, the ‘new normal’.
Facebook surprise-launched Horizon Workrooms back in August, which lets VR and video chat users work and physically collaborate in the same virtual space. Since then it’s included support for things like Zoom Meeting and Zoom Whiteboard for better cross-platform collaboration, and also included more intuitive whiteboards, instant Remote Desktop connection, and AR keyboard labels in its v1.1 release.
And customizable Workrooms environments aren’t the only thing on the agenda this year either, as Facebook continues to refine its expansion into enterprise VR to make it cheaper and more attractive. It’s building towards the 2023 release of dedicated ‘Work Accounts’ which will essentially let companies adopt the consumer Quest hardware instead of having to buy the more expensive Quest for Business kit for $800.
This comes on the tails of a Facebook hiring spree that will see an additional 10,000 people added to its ranks in effort to build its version of the metaverse, or what you might define as a connect platform of virtual experiences and worlds that share some level of connectivity, interoperability, and identity.
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