Virtual is the New Real

Social media will go down as one of the man’s greatest creations ever. Just saying that it has changed our lives would be a bit too convenient of an explanation. If we are to sum it up in a fair manner, then we’ll have to acknowledge the fact that social media didn’t just change our lives, but it also forced us to unlearn all the restrictive views we had about our life. From afar, it might have looked like a mere medium to connect with people living across different parts of the world, but in reality, it was a symbol of limitless opportunities. Over the last decade or so, the importance of social media has clocked ridiculous levels. The market that once seemed to be largely dominated by one or two players is now admitting new entrants at a ridiculous rate. Out of this thickening cluster of social media platforms, entities like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc really became proper household names, and they got there with the help of innovation that renewed their purpose every once in a while. For instance, a platform like Facebook started off with an intention to connect friends and family members that live far apart. However, as the time rolled, the platform shifted its focus on encouraging business activity by setting up an easily-accessible marketplace.

This did add an interesting dynamic to the world of social media, but now it’s time for another step forward, and once again Facebook has taken the charge for it. Few days ago, Facebook announced the news of their foray into virtual reality with Horizon Workrooms. The idea of Horizon Workrooms is based on reworking the remote working experience. Being able to connect through video calls is good, but how about meeting and sitting with your colleagues around a virtual conference table? Well, Facebook is allowing you to do just that. You can pick the avatar that will represent you on the table, and then you are good to go. For now, the virtual table is designed to accommodate upto 16 people. The number can touch 50, if some participants join through webcams.

A thing worth noting about Horizon Workrooms is the attention given to little details. For example, we usually infer current virtual reality experience as something lackluster, because the absence of certain humane elements is strongly felt. However, Horizon Workrooms is designed to track your body movements in real time, so that it can translate them to your avatar moving the same way, thus creating an immersive and lively experience.

While this is a groundbreaking move in itself, Facebook views it as just a building block in their pursuit of creating a whole metaverse where people can meet to do a range of activities.

Credit: Reuters

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