Not so long ago, virtual reality was a curiosity, an expensive toy, an experiment. Few had such equipment at home or in the company, and there were few VR applications or games. Many thought that it was a temporary novelty that takes the first steps in the virtual world and then will be forgotten and we will wait a long time for something new, much better to appear. However, it did not happen, this technology did not give up and continues to fight to this day, now we have several strong pioneers in this field on the market who provide us with better and better experiences. We already have a large number of entertainment applications and games on the market … but is VR just entertainment? No, more and more companies use this technology for education, training, or everyday work as a virtual coworking space. Since this is virtual reality, it should give us the possibilities that are in our reality but with some extra possibilities.
What are the virtual coworking spaces?
The simplest example is the daily team meeting. It normally looks like that at a given time people gather in a room reserved for this purpose, where there is a table, a few chairs, a drawing board. They talk to each other, discuss the details of the meeting, draw diagrams, words, numbers on the board. What would it look like in VR? The same! We put on our headset, join the meeting, and … we see the room, table, chairs, a drawing board, and avatars of the people we meet exactly as if we met in reality.
So many Advantages!
You will ask what are the benefits of such an application. There are many more than you think. Have you ever had a very important meeting ahead of you, you have to get to the place and you are stuck in a traffic jam? What if you didn’t leave the house at all, put on your headset, and be right away? This is one of the basic examples and such a solution to the problem has already been provided by such technologies as Skype, Google Meet.
But let’s let our imagination run wild and take advantage of the opportunities that virtual reality gives us. Outside it is ugly, gloomy, it is raining and at the meeting, we see this overwhelming view through the window. In VR, we can decide for ourselves what the weather will be outside, whether we want the sun to shine straight out of the window or to spray nice white snow. Our supervisor wrote a large wall of text on the blackboard and we have to rewrite it because it is important information? We can implement taking screenshots and exporting them to a file. Sometimes it’s hard to explain an object by drawing it in 2D… then let’s draw it in 3D! Do we have a movie to show? Let’s play it wherever we want on the stage or even play a 360 movie! Let everyone be in the middle of this movie and have the feeling that they were there. Do we want a dinosaur to accompany us to the meeting? Let’s put him in the meeting room! … alright my imagination took me too much, but it shows what possibilities VR gives us.
The easiest way to imagine the possibilities is to think about games. Anything that happens there can be happening at our meeting, we are not limited by the laws of physics, ending markers, or a dirty blackboard. Also, we have controllers that give us freedom of movement and even greater possibilities – says my collegue who is a game developer.
Our company deals with the repair of machines and we do not know how to tell the employee how to repair something? Let’s build a model of this machine and show it exactly what to do! In this world, the only limit is our imagination.
What is the first step to creating a virtual coworking space?
The first and most important thing is to define what this application is for. Are they meant to be meetings, training, teaching? You need a solid foundation on which to create it. Also, you should consider what device we will use, if it is too difficult for you to choose, we can always advise you on this issue.
If we already know what it will be used for, we have to consider what functions we will need. Before we start working on the application and the virtual coworking space, we need to divide our tasks based on functions and determine how long it will take to implement them. Therefore, the more detailed the document we get, the better we can estimate the cost of creating the application. For example, someone orders us to create an application and provides the following information: “I want an application where I can conduct daily meetings.” You know what’s going on, but to estimate such an application is very difficult. Many questions arise:
- What should the platform be?
- How many people can join in?
- Where are we going to be?
- How should users create or join a room?
- Users will have avatars, how will they look like, should users have the possibility to customize them?
- Will there be any interactions?
- Can a user mute his microphone?
- Can the player move?
- Is there supposed to be any music or sounds?
- Can the User open some settings?
There are many more questions. Therefore, it is worth preparing a detailed document with outlined possibilities of virtual coworking space. Building an app is like building a house. We cannot say “I want to build a house and start living there” because there are also many questions in this matter like how many rooms there should be, should there be several floors, do we want tiles or panels, what kind of furniture we want. Someone cannot assume for us what the house will be like and what will be in it. Do you have an idea of what do you want to create? Then take a screwdriver first, disassemble it, and list each element in the document so that it does not create further questions.
How to create a design document? Let’s look at this aspect as an example of creating such a document for a game project.
Virtual reality is a future
We have no doubts that this technology diversifies our lives in many aspects, apart from entertainment, it can have a strong impact on the efficiency of our work. VR gives us opportunities that a human could only dream of. More and more companies use VR technology and derive many benefits from it, so why shouldn’t you also benefit?
This can be summed up with the sentence. What a time to be alive!