Due to the lockdown of the epidemic in recent months, many people who have been quarantined at home have said that they miss the company’s office so much that when they resume offline work, they even take selfies and post them on their Moments.
But what people are best at is “Ye Gong Hao Long”. If you give people a VR headset and let them work in a virtual environment that is exactly the same as their own office, what will they do?
A recent research project between the University of Cambridge and Microsoft Research took 20 subjects, worked in a virtual reality environment, and compared their efficiency with their real-world output—and the results were not encouraging.
The researchers found that testers were less productive in the VR environment, while people felt more anxious and criticized the VR device itself.
01 Anxious “VR moving bricks”
The organizers of this “VR Work” study are from Cambridge, Coburg University, and Microsoft Research. The researchers asked 11 male and 7 female subjects to try out a week-long working experiment in a virtual environment.
Comparison between VR test environment and real environment｜Mixed news
In order to make the VR test environment close to the real environment, the team used the popular Meta Quest 2 VR headset, and set up a virtual screen similar to a curved screen in the virtual environment. The user can see the real physical keyboard for input; in the real environment, it is a PC with a real curved screen.
What the subjects saw in VR｜Mixed news
Half of the subjects used the VR environment to work, the other half worked in the physical environment, and after half a day, the two parties conducted a “site exchange”.
Before the test, and after every 2 hours of work, subjects were given questionnaires to get feedback on their workload, productivity, and how they felt physically and mentally.
A week later, the team found that the VR environment performed lower than the physical environment in terms of workload, system availability, work output, and frustration. At the same time, working in VR is more frustrating, more prone to discomfort and anxiety, not to mention that the visual fatigue is much greater than the physical environment.
The red line representing VR environments is higher than the green line representing reality in workload and frustration, and the opposite in system availability and output | University of Coburg
Broken down, the subjects’ anxiety was the inability to perceive the presence of others in the physical world. Productivity was reduced, and subjects reported that the headset’s low resolution had problems with keyboard tracking. Plus, the headset feels uncomfortable and unpleasant to put on your face.
However, the results of the experiment are not all negative news. At least half of the subjects said that the “isolation” brought by the VR environment allows them to concentrate more on the task and avoid the surrounding interference.
02 “VR moving bricks” is a false proposition
The purpose of the researcher is understandable, but for this result, it may first be fair to VR, although the Quest 2 is already the best VR device to experience at the moment, and the researchers also try to unify the virtual and real environments. But obviously, current VR headsets can’t really restore the physical world.
A few days ago, Meta announced the current progress of the team in the VR headset display system. In order to achieve a series of attempts to make VR images closer to reality, in order to achieve increased resolution, focus transformation, distortion correction and high dynamic range, the team had to 4 different headset prototypes have been built, the heaviest one needs to be carried by both hands and viewed like a scenic telescope.
Not to mention the realization of the “Visual Turing Test” described by Zuckerberg – so that users can’t distinguish between VR and reality, even if the VR headset can achieve the display effect of the current mobile phone or computer screen, it is still as difficult as the sky.
Zuckerberg recently showed off several prototype VR headsets from Meta’s research | Meta
The poor display effect, coupled with the fact that the VR headset is still heavy and has poor ventilation, it is very normal to experience discomfort after wearing it for a while.
These hardware deficiencies are obviously one of the important reasons for the results of this Cambridge University test.
In addition to hardware factors, one of the fundamental reasons why “VR office” is unacceptable is that this may be a false proposition at all – when someone says that there is an artifact that allows you to immerse yourself into another space, what is it? What kind of person would prefer a corporate office? Isn’t “moving bricks” enough in real life?
Although technology companies represented by Meta have continuously launched VR tools for office scenarios, such as meetings, remote collaboration, etc. But it’s hard to prove that for VR users bent on trying new experiences, talking about business with a colleague’s Avatar bust is more meaningful than fighting in space or hacking with a lightsaber.
Because, at least for now, it’s the thrill of gaming, not the stuffing of Excel sheets, that will convince people to try VR headsets despite the heat and vertigo.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/what-is-it-like-to-work-in-the-metaverse-for-a-week/
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