After so many years of VR, Facebook finally released a decent application.
Facebook, which has been “ridiculed by groups” countless times in VR, now seems to be able to get dry again thanks to the explosion of the concept of Metaverse.
From the acquisition of Oculus in 2014, after 7 years of accumulation and exploration, Facebook’s VR-based “meta universe” picture scroll is slowly opening up. And this time, it was the first to show us a virtual meeting room function called Horizon Workrooms.
Last week, Facebook officially launched this “blasting field” VR conference software, which made the entire meta-universe circle alive, and instantly swiped the screen on major social media. The feature of this function is that it allows users to use their own virtual avatars to collaborate with others in the same virtual space, creating a new immersive meeting experience.
The reason why such a strong response can be caused is that when most people are still stuck in the slightly misty meta-universe theory concept, this software demonstrates how the real and virtual worlds can be projected and interacted in practical applications, thereby It truly shows a form of the meta-universe world.
This application is also considered to be an important step taken by Zuckerberg towards the meta-universe world imagined in his mind.
Subversive virtual meeting experience, meta-universe form is beginning to appear
During the epidemic, online meeting software such as Zoom has become an indispensable tool for large home offices. But in Zuckerberg’s eyes, this way of working is not the future, and even somewhat dull. He thinks that what is really interesting is to allow people to break away from the real space and have real communication and work in another world. And Horizon Workroom is such an existence.
Let’s take a look at the introduction video officially released by Facebook Oculus.
The video comes from Oculus official Youtube
The concept of the entire Workrooms is like an extremely mini conference room version of the oasis world of “Ready Player One”. All participants in the conference enter through VR devices, use their own virtual avatars to communicate with other people’s virtual avatars, and your actions in the real world will also be projected in the virtual meeting room. Overall, Workrooms has the following characteristics:
- Virtual avatar, full body DIY
Like the Sims, you first have to “pinch” an avatar for yourself, and then enter the virtual meeting room through a virtual reality device (currently supporting Oculus Quest 2). After joining, everyone can sit next to each other like a real meeting, and everyone will have a name on their heads. The avatar is a full-body creation from head to toe, and there are a series of clothing and accessories for DIY. If your pinched avatar is “real” enough, colleagues and friends can recognize you at a glance.
For example, this is Zuckerberg’s avatar. Doesn’t it look a lot like this?
The picture comes from The Verge, the copyright belongs to the original author
- Mixed reality, real-time recording
The coolest thing about Workrooms this time is the ability to connect the real world with the virtual space. In order to make the virtual meeting room closer to the real scene, the software will stream the computer desktop to the virtual meeting room while also adding a keyboard tracking function. The system will automatically generate a virtual screen and keyboard. Currently supported keyboard models include Macbook keyboard, Apple Magic keyboard and Logitech K830.
This means that even if you are wearing a VR headset in a virtual space, you can use your computer in the real world to retrieve content, take notes, and even share your information with other people in the room. computer screen.
According to the real experience of a CNET reporter who was invited to participate in Zuckerberg’s Workshops “Presentation”, in Workshops, his computer screen is suspended in the front and equipped with a keyboard. He can use Google Docs and Slack to record the content of the meeting. There is a kind of Experience the wonderful feeling of AR in VR.
- Support body tracking
Workrooms also supports head and gesture tracking. Anything we do with our hands in real life will be tracked and reproduced in the virtual world. For example, if you turn your head to look at a colleague or the whiteboard in the room, your vision will pan with you; if you give another colleague a thumbs up, your avatar will also be in the meeting room with a thumbs up.
- Virtual whiteboard function
Facebook believes that whiteboard is an important part of brainstorming and collaboration, allowing users to record and share ideas at any time, so the whiteboard function is also embedded in the Workroom. Users can directly stand up and walk to the whiteboard in the meeting room to write, or use the desk as a mini-drawing.
Facebook cleverly found a way to turn the Oculus controller into a whiteboard marker. Users can flip the controller and write on the real desktop, just leave a space of about 35 cm on the real desk, and then these notes will appear on a larger virtual whiteboard.
Picture taken from Oculus official video
- Personalized layout, spatial sound effects
At the same time, the space of the virtual meeting room can also be designed independently according to the needs of users. It can be a round table discussion or a stepped desk. In order to be closer to reality, Workrooms also added spatial audio functions, allowing users to talk in the same direction as the room they are in, thereby further increasing the immersion of the participants.
At present, Workrooms can accommodate up to 50 people to participate in the conference, of which 16 people participate in the form of virtual portraits, and the other 34 people can join the conference in the form of video calls. So, if you don’t have or don’t want to wear a VR headset, you can access from the PC through the shared meeting link of the virtual meeting participants. Video participants will appear on the screen on the wall of the virtual meeting room.
In Workrooms, non-VR participants appear on the screen of the virtual meeting room. The picture is from Oculus
According to Zuckerberg, this meeting feature has been tested internally in Facebook for 6 months and is currently available on Oculus Quest 2 and PC (Windows 10 or Mac).
“In this experience, you can really feel the presence of other people. This is a way of interacting with a richer type of social applications built on mobile phones or computers.” Zuckerberg said.
The concept is very catchy, but the marketization is still far away
I have to say that this time Horizon Workroomns showed us a tangible “meta universe” primary form. In a completely virtual space, people who live thousands of miles apart gather together, and can realize real-time linkage with the real world. After the release of this feature, many people are really excited. Is the Oasis World coming soon?
But in fact, from the perspective of the operation of Workrooms, Facebook’s road to meta-universe is still “obstructed and long.”
First of all, real-time feedback is needed to realize the projection of real objects in the virtual space. It is not very easy in the current network environment, and this is often reflected in the operation of Workrooms. In the meeting that Zuckerberg invited the media to participate in, a CNET reporter said that during the meeting, there were multiple audio interruptions or garbled characters on the screen. During the meeting, Zuckerberg had to quit the application and then rejoin. Room.
In addition, the sensitivity of the virtual avatar still has a lot of room for improvement. Not only can the mouth shape not keep up when speaking, but sometimes the character does not move at all. Therefore, the sense of reality and interaction during the meeting will be greatly reduced.
Not a particularly natural body of a virtual character, the video comes from Facebook
The current use of Workrooms is also cumbersome. Users need to create a separate Workrooms account through the Internet, download Workrooms in Oculus, and then enter the code displayed in Oculus on the computer web browser to pair with the Workrooms account.
The above problems may all be solved with the optimization of the network environment and programs, but the biggest difficulty facing Facebook is the popularization of head-mounted display devices.
The Oculus Quest 2 headset currently required by Workroom costs as much as $299. Even the latest model of Oculus is still very bulky, and some users feel headache and nausea when using the device, making it impossible to use it for a long time. It is also destined that under the current hardware conditions, VR-based conferencing functions will not be as widespread as telephone or video conferencing.
Oculus Quest 2, image from TechRader
Therefore, perhaps this time Workrooms has opened the door to Facebook’s meta-universe world, but from a market perspective, it is still a gimmick greater than the actual function, and it cannot make waves in the commercial market. However, the launch of Workrooms is also of great significance.
For consumers, Facebook explained how VR will change our real life in a more visible and tangible way, and gave a demonstration example of a specific scenario under the framework of the “meta universe” theory. For Facebook itself, Workrooms is a small part of the larger umbrella project Horizon. Its release means that the Facebook virtual world picture scroll is ready to unfold, and they will begin to collect more user and market feedback.
Since last year, Facebook has started a closed test of its virtual world platform Horizon. As a giant meta-universe project that needs to span different levels and different social life scenarios, Horizon undoubtedly needs more time. Before Horizon is officially released, we may see Facebook launch more small scenes similar to Workrooms, and Facebook’s meta-universe framework will gradually appear.
Note: The cover image is from the Oculus official website, and the copyright belongs to the original author. If you do not agree to use, please contact us as soon as possible and we will delete it immediately.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/facebook-releases-fried-field-level-virtual-reality-function-the-door-to-the-world-of-the-universe-is-about-to-open/
Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.