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What Virtual Worlds Need To Become Real World Offices, Post-Coronavirus

What Virtual Worlds Need To Become Real World Offices, Post-Coronavirus

Since the Coronavirus is forcing more and more businesses, organizations and institutions into lockdown, James Wagner (https://twitter.com/SLHamlet) wrote a blogpost on “What Virtual Worlds Need To Become Real World Offices, Post-Coronavirus”. In his blogpost he defines seven hurdles to overcome for virtual worlds (i.e. immersive 3D spaces) to become a remote workspace.

Author: Vinzenz Zehmisch

In this blogpost a comparison is made between these seven hurdles of a remote workplace and the features the cybaLOUNGE platform already offers.

1) Non-human avatar options:  Many virtual world companies for work offer human avatars by default, which immediately creates an impression that they’re for a game — a deal-breaker for many executives. 

  • cybaLOUNGE: A variety of human business avatars are offered already and there are more to come, which don’t look game-like at all. Also, non-human avatars for various reasons are planned.

2) Extremely cross-platform: Some workers may want to use VR for work, but for everyone else, they need every conceivable option: Mac, PC, and iOS/Android, at minimum.

  • cybaLOUNGE: The cybaLOUNGE platform is as cross-platform as it gets. It can be used with every common device that is internet capable and runs a modern browser, like desktops, notebooks, tablets, smartphones and Chromebooks.

3) Extremely thin client: Most people have multiple programs running simultaneously at work. A workplace world must therefore run alongside them, and not require heavy resources to run.

  • cybaLOUNGE: The cybaLOUNGE client is a thin client, which runs in your preferred browser, while you can run other programs simultaneously on your device.

4) Immersive, spatial audio: Skype remains incredibly powerful for group calls, but one thing Skype and other conferencing systems don’t have is a sense of place — i.e., the feeling that I’m in the same office room or office lobby with the people I’m talking with, to the point where they sound like they’re in front/behind/to the left or right of me.

  • cybaLOUNGE: While spatial audio increases the immersive experience it is, in our opinion, not essential for business meetings, where people are close together anyway. An indicator of who is currently talking is nonetheless recommended.

5) Tight integration with cloud-based services, especially Google Docs: If you need to exit or minimize your main work tool to access a virtual world — and for many/most workers, Google Docs/Gmail is that tool — it’s a deal-breaker.  What’s needed instead is for Google Docs to work fully within the virtual world, with no need to exit. (I imagine a feature where you click on a virtual world in your virtual office space, and that then opens up Google Docs, or even a fully interactive, low latency web browser, that takes up most/all of your screen.)

  • cybaLOUNGE: A variety of cloud-based services can be used in world on the cybaLOUNGE platform including Google Docs. This feature is available simply by drag-and-drop of the relevant URL. The web based applications will be projected onto a 3D object in the virtual world using an iFrame element.

6) Frictionless firewall/access support:  Employees couldn’t get through their corporate firewall, they had to walk across the street to a coffee shop, to go into it. But as far I know, no virtual world has made firewall tunneling easy to set up and manage.

  • cybaLOUNGE: Since the cybaLOUNGE platform runs exclusively through the browser, access will be possible as sonn as there is a secure internet connection (https).

7) Buy-in from virtual world companies: Until actual virtual world companies regularly use their own platform for meetings and as virtual office spaces, and can prove they’re productive in them, there’s really no point promoting them as workspaces to other companies and sectors.

  • cybaLOUNGE: We are using our own platform on a daily basis for meetings, developer talks, events, etc. Furthermore we are using virtual office space for daily information exchanges within our team.

Conclusion: Although the status of our platform is still in continuously improvement and development, we have already solutions for a modern remote workspace. If you are interested in our product, please feel free to contact us and we can quickly set up a demo for you!

Vinzenz Zehmisch

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