The future of Facebook lies in virtual reality. This is the vision of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. With Horizon Workrooms, the company wants nothing less than to revolutionize the world of work.
Facebook goes virtual reality. Days earlier, numerous users speculated via social media what Facebook’s announcement about the company’s future direction might be all about. Is it about time travel? Will we be able to fly or even teleport?
With the technology that has now been announced, all of these scenarios would be conceivable in theory. However, Facebook is initially planning nothing less than to revolutionize the world of work with Horizon Workrooms.
Horizon Workrooms: A virtual office?
In an interview with CBS host Gayle King, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about his company’s plans for the future. According to Zuckerberg, Horizon Workrooms is emblematic of Facebook’s future direction.
With the help of the company’s own Oculus VR glasses, employees in the home office will be able to meet each other in virtual reality. Using the Horizon Workrooms app, they can then select an avatar and meet with their colleagues in a virtual office.
Users will be able to interact with each other via voice, chat, gestures and facial expressions.
Virtual dashboard for over 16 participants
During the interview, which took place partly in a Horizon workroom, Mark Zuckerberg revealed further details. Users who connect their computers to the application will be able to share content and files with their colleagues via a virtual dashboard.
According to Zuckerberg, the beta version, which is currently in the test phase, can bring together up to 16 participants in such a workroom. Other users can also join in via video call.
Horizon workrooms: future or fiction?
The beta version of Horizon Workrooms is currently freely available on Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2. However, as numerous users also report, there are still some image and sound errors in the test version. Zuckerberg had to leave the workroom once during the presentation, for example, because his avatar had hung up.
Looking to the future, however, the Facebook CEO is confident. In five to ten years at the latest, when the technology has matured and the hardware has become acceptable, Horizon Workrooms will revolutionize the world of work. Offices as we know them today would then be largely superfluous.
The technology could offset all the disadvantages of the traditional home office, Zuckerberg said. In contrast to conventional video calls via Zoom or Skype, Horizon Workrooms would be much more interactive, subconscious and effective thanks to VR technology.
Zuckerberg’s goal is a metaverse
The idea behind Horizon Workrooms is already somewhat older and more extensive. Mark Zuckerberg’s long-term vision is to create an entire metaverse that is based almost exclusively on VR technology and takes place in a virtual reality.
According to Zuckerberg, such a metaverse would be the next generation of the Internet. However, the Facebook CEO did not comment on potential risks and data protection aspects.