There are a lot of slots, after experiencing Zuckerberg’s “Metaverse”, he was a fan.
Source | Oculus official website video
The concept of meta universe will be detonated again in 2021. In an interview with The Verge, Facebook CEO Zuckerberg even bluntly stated that Metaverse is the next generation of the mobile Internet, and said that he wants to All in Metaverse. Facebook will transform from social media to Metaverse within five years.
Zuckerberg’s strong belief in the meta universe has also made Facebook the leader in betting on the meta universe track among the technology giants. In 2014, Facebook acquired the VR company Oculus for $3 billion. The release of Oculus Quest in 2019 is regarded as the second spring of VR. In October 2020, the updated model Oculus Quest 2 was released.
Facebook recently launched the VR meeting service Horizon Workrooms. As long as the application is installed on Oculus Quest 2, people in different places can wear VR headsets and gather in a virtual meeting space.
In the context of the normalization of the epidemic and the normalization of online office, what is the difference between meeting in Horizon Workrooms and in Zoom, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of the experience? “Silicon Valley 101” anchor Hong Jun recently invited Ding Jiao, co-founder of Shengdonghuobo, and Jackie Yang, Ph.D. of Stanford Computer Department, to hold a virtual product experience meeting in Horizon Workrooms.
Recording scene of “Silicon Valley 101” in VR
First of all, in terms of equipment, Horizon Workrooms can only be used on the second generation of Oculus Quest, but compared to Oculus Quest, the comfort of the Oculus Quest 2 helmet design has been reduced, and there will be a forward-leaning feeling. This is because the price of Quest 2 is about US$300, while Quest 1 is about US$400, so the quality of the straps on the back of the second-generation helmet has been reduced. In addition, the weight of the battery has also caused the forward tilt, and some people will choose to buy it for US$100. elite strap Professional version of the battery and strap.
After buying a VR headset, everyone is ready to burn money. Oculus’s main source of profit is not the equipment itself, but the consumption of various content using the equipment. The prices of various VR games are not cheap, such as the well-known game “Beat Saber” which costs 29.9 US dollars.
Figure | The scene of the game “Beat Saber”
Next, let’s take a look at how to use VR equipment to have meetings with distant work partners.
01 Enter the meeting room
The process of entering Horizon Workrooms was very tortuous. It took about 3 hours before and after two days to actually enter the meeting room!
First, you need to set up an account and a virtual avatar on VR, then you need to remove the VR device, then set up Workrooms on the computer side, and again, bring the device and set up the connection between VR and the computer. You can also see the computer and keyboard in the VR device. Although the mouse cannot be seen with the VR helmet, it does not affect the use.
Picture | Access to the meeting room (Picture source: Oculus official website)
The experience of returning to WeChat , checking information, and working with a VR device is not bad. Although the resolution can’t keep up with the computer, you can see the fine print on the webpage clearly. Before getting familiar with these operations, the hand needs to switch between the VR controller and the mouse and keyboard, which is not very smooth.
Figure | Use your own computer in VR to form a situation similar to reality (Source: Oculus official website)
Although these steps are cumbersome to set up, as long as you follow the process, this part is not difficult.
What really tests us is how to let all meeting members enter the same meeting room. We repeatedly invited, it is still being held in each different room, we can not focus on with the meeting. Unlike Zoom directly inviting to join through emails, links, meeting passwords, etc., the interaction logic of Horizon Workroom is similar to Slack: you need to join the meeting room first, and then invite colleagues.
The web version is like the design of Slack, but Slack can allow multiple meeting rooms to switch. In Horizon Workrooms, each specific meeting room and display are bound. To switch the meeting room, you need to log out and then restart. Logging in is a bit confusing in terms of interaction logic.
In general, Workrooms has a high barrier to entry, but the experience after entering is better than Zoom.
02 Immersion in the meeting room
The virtual setting of the conference room is very beautiful. Through the windows, you can see the landscape trees outside, as well as the distant houses and green smoke, like a viewing room in a resort .
Figure | Our scene in the meeting room
The scene is also true to a real working atmosphere, and each of us has its own cartoon character image, sitting at a conference table before.
The goal of Horizon Workrooms is to create a virtual meeting room scene that mimics real life. In the whole work scene, everyone has their own computer in front of them. In this meeting room, they can choose to work by themselves, or cast screens and talk to other people.
In a video conference, when everyone is talking at the same time, due to feedback delays and other issues, it is often impossible to hear everyone’s words clearly. However, in Horizon Workrooms, if you are talking at the same time, you can also handle multiple colleagues through Space Audio. The speaking situation. It can also be felt that the voice of the person sitting on the left is from the left, and the voice of the person on the right is from the right. This is very similar to the experience in the real world.
Figure | Adjust the sound according to the position in VR (source Oculus)
In a 2D meeting, it is difficult for us to distinguish who the speaker is looking at, because they are all looking at a screen, and it is also difficult to tell whether some words are being spoken to a specific person. But in Workrooms, just like offline meetings, the directionality is very obvious, and there is a sense of face-to-face communication. When the other person is speaking and not looking at you, you can even take a short run and do your own thing without any violation.
In addition, we are very surprised that the actions of our cartoon images can be kept consistent with the actions in reality. Everyone can turn their heads, eye directions, open their mouths and want to talk, including gestures. As you can see, to some extent, these body movements have actually created a more realistic meeting environment, which has also made communication a lot smoother.
Figure | Make gestures to people around you (Source: Oculus official website)
According to Liu Bingyan, head of Kargo software, technically speaking, there is no eye tracking feature on Oculus Quest 2, and eye tracking may appear in the next generation of Oculus Pro.
At present, Oculus Quest2 mainly guesses the rotation of the body and eyes based on the six degrees of freedom of the head. For capturing the gesture, Oculus Quest2 detecting finger 14 through a bearing on each hand, by the small distance near the far can get some of the depth information, and information integration and a simple calculation of depth through the plurality of cameras, You can form a better 3D model of the hand.
When the two hands overlap, the knuckles cannot be identified, and the hands cannot be clearly seen in the Workrooms. This is a problem that technology has not yet solved.
In addition to using the computer in the Workrooms, it can also use the whiteboard just like in a real meeting room. The device will first detect the height of the desktop and identify the plane of the desktop. The VR handle is the whiteboard pen, and the desktop is where we write and draw. No one can draw a circle in a three-dimensional space, but when the system recognizes the desktop and the control handle writes and draws on a two-dimensional plane, writing can be achieved.
Figure | Writing on the whiteboard in VR (Source: Oculus official website)
Compared with the sensor on the control handle, it can achieve more precise control, and it is difficult to write directly by hand. Because there is no mark on the hand, there is still a gap in accuracy and it is difficult to have mechanical feedback. In the future, if the opponent can be more accurately identified, you can directly use your hands in the virtual space to play the rope, take the gun and magic wand in the game, etc., will have more application imagination.
Previously, Zuckerberg had been disconnected in an interview with the media in Horizon Workrooms. During our connection, there was no disconnection or freeze, and the overall operation was relatively stable.
03 Excellent scene for short video and 3D content meetings
After the emergence of the Workrooms product, some study abroad agencies have begun to record short videos about studying abroad in it. In the future, as long as we choose our own virtual 3D avatar in the virtual world, we can record study abroad, intermediary, finance, knowledge videos, and even short dramas in a virtual world, which can save a lot of makeup, setting up scenes, and The trouble of post-production, which lowers the threshold of content production.
In Horizon Workrooms, we can share pictures and project them. Guest Junrui Yang said that we hope to support the sharing of 3D image format content on VR in the future. Compared with pulling and rotating 3D formatted content on the two-dimensional screen of a computer, VR The 3D format content presentation in, will have a more realistic experience, which will be more convenient for related modeling research.
3D files into the computer’s actually technically less difficult, only in the original there are pictures and add a new format on the basis of film formats. It is more difficult to realize the scanning of objects in real life, which requires AR equipment to do 3D modeling of the objects in reality. This also means that in addition to meeting rooms in virtual devices, there will be more abundant application scenarios.
Since there are no keyboards in AR and VR devices, the key to achieving better interaction is voice recognition and gesture tracking. How to more accurately recognize languages and gestures has become an important direction of technological development. It is still a difficult problem to realize that users can make the device understand and execute instructions with a sentence or with a finger.
Compared with VR equipment, Yang Junrui believes that the progress of AR glasses is 5-10 years behind:
The first is that the optical display is more technically difficult. It needs to be able to see through the real world and display the content of the virtual world at the same time. This involves the problem of concealing the objects in the reality, and there is still no mature technical solution. can be realised.
On the other hand, the gesture accuracy required by AR also needs to be higher. The Oculus Quest gesture tracking we have experienced is no problem in VR, but if you turn on the transparent mode to see the real world, you will clearly feel the image and The hand in the virtual world has a significant time delay, and the gap will be more obvious if it is placed on AR.
Third, AR has very high requirements for display and processing, so the energy consumption will be greater, and the battery requirements will be higher.
In this recording, the one-and-a-half-hour meeting used about 70% of the power of Oculus Quest 2. The battery will also become a major issue for the popularization of VR in the future.
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