Back in 1995, Nintendo dared to take the first step towards immersing gamers in virtual reality with the Virtual Boy – and unfortunately failed miserably. With the Oculus Quest (now Meta), a pair of virtual reality glasses suitable for the masses is now on the market, which could give the Metaverse a new boost. A few months ago, I bought an Oculus Quest 2 myself and would like to introduce 3 exciting Metaverse apps (for everyday business use) below.
Metaverse is currently still a very broad term. There is not (yet) THE one metaverse app where everything happens. However, there are many useful and free apps in the Quest Store that are definitely worth a second look.
Unfortunately, my hotly anticipated “Mesh” app has not yet been released for the Quest by Microsoft. Update to follow as soon as that changes 🙂
You could probably write entire books about this app. It’s so versatile and exciting that even after hours I’m still discovering new places and worlds. Multiverse comes from the company “Future Tech Labs” and is strongly hyped in some VR forums. To start in the app, the account linked to the Oculus/Meta is currently sufficient. In the lobby, there are portals that lead to the individual worlds. Since the app is constantly changing due to the community and developers, you actually discover something new almost every time you start it. If you raise your real hand, a small navigator appears on the back of your virtual hand, which gives you an overview of the main worlds. With one click, you can port directly there.
In the business context, the worlds are particularly worthwhile:
– Business Park
If you are interested in NFTs (non-fungible tokens), you won’t get around the “Infiniverse” world in the Multiverse. On the one hand, many small companies already cavort here, but also partly large corporations and TV shows that offer goods and shows.
But you can also participate in the growth of the city skyline yourself.
How? By buying your own apartment. The prices vary greatly depending on the location of the skyscraper and the popularity of the app. It can be paid quickly and conveniently with the specially defined payment method of the VR glasses.
However, it should be mentioned here that the app, and thus the apartments in it, can disappear at any time. An increase in value is also not guaranteed. Investments should therefore be well considered.
- Horizon Workrooms
Horizon comes from Meta (or Facebook) and for me it shows very nicely how collaborative working can work within virtual reality. To get started with Workrooms, some preparation is required:
Hand tracking: Gesture control plays a major role and must be configured and activated.
Table: In the best case, you sit in front of a sufficiently large table. This is then virtually “traced”.
Workrooms.com account: This must be done via the browser
Pair headset: This requires the browser and the VR glasses. Unfortunately, this requires code entry, during which you have to take the glasses off and put them on again and again.
Avatar creation: You can let off steam with the avatar editor in the app.
Pairing the keyboard: In order to work with the virtual and real keyboard at the same time later on, they have to be paired. This worked very well with Mac.
Once these steps are done and you’ve logged into the first Workroom, you’re ready to go.
In the following example, I split my screen and virtually clicked through my Photoshop.
I also used the gesture control for the first time in the app. The processes were intuitive and worked without any problems. I had a lot of fun with it.
However, the real benefit of this app will not be on the virtual single workstation. That is more of a nice-to-have gimmick. The exciting thing is the joint meetings with colleagues. Especially in the home office, this is a great change from the standard team meetings. Especially during monologues, people at home tend to stray their gaze or thoughts. In my opinion, the virtual meeting completely prevents this.
However, one should always keep in mind who is behind the development of Horizon Workrooms when sharing documents and presentations. Meta/Facebook and its privacy policies. Here, Mesh could soon be a very good alternative on the market.
AltVR has been part of Microsoft since 2017 and is probably the VR app that has brought me the biggest WOW effect in recent weeks. You can log in with your (probably already) existing Microsoft account and start directly with the avatar configuration. Here you can let your creativity run wild and even reinvent yourself.
The first events appear directly on the start screen. There is everything from car presentations to church services and simple meetings around the campfire.
The app is perfect for meetings that are intended to be used for sharing and getting to know each other. Via AltVR, you can build your own rooms and sceneries, which can be protected by code and distributed to the desired people by invitation. A DJ can be integrated and heat up the after show party. Also the one or other drink or laser sword can fly through the air 🙂
The meetings should of course also be recorded with one or the other selfie!
This was definitely only a very small insight into the world of Metaverse and its possibilities. In times of permanent home office and work-from-anywhere, the social aspect in business should not take a back seat. The thousandth townhall or CEO presentation can be revived.
Virtual reality and metaverse is still in a niche that should not be underestimated. The market is growing and the accessories are getting cheaper and cheaper. Trying it out is worthwhile!