The current pandemic situation is giving us a clearer glimpse of how companies across the world think about remote work. Facebook has come up with virtual and augmented reality and started testing it. According to Facebook’s head of AR and VR, Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, the company is already using those technologies for investing in “super changing remote work and productivity”. He also shared real footage of an experimented test using prototype Facebook hardware and software on Twitter and tweeted along with that,” This is real footage using prototype headsets. We’re always experimenting with future concepts using different hardware configurations as part of our proof-of-experience process”.
It shows a floating display, which can be rearranged by the user accordingly in the form of a touch gesture that looks like a ping, zoom, and drag. The displays that we see here are virtual, but the world around them is real. Passthrough is used to create the virtual mesh barrier that restricts Oculus software within a certain area that we draw ourselves using the Touch controller. This feature will help us if we are curious about finding how close we are to a wall or a piece of furniture near us.
Facebook imagines a mix of AR and VR – called mixed reality and uses passthrough to show our keyboard while we are typing. By this, they are providing us with a tangible effect of using a physical keyboard. Also, there is a menu bar that floats at the bottom, that provides shortcuts and other quick productivity-related features that we can access with one tap.
Facebook and Oculus have shown capability in the context of demoing Oculus hand tracking and other features. But Facebook is accelerating mixed reality works during the pandemic and it already has an enterprise unit for Oculus for selling headsets to companies.
Facebook’s ambitions to try and transform remote work came earlier when CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a major change in how to operate his company by allowing the workers to ask for permanent remote status and to take up new roles in the company. Zuckerberg brought up AR and VR as options that could make remote work more viable by giving remote employees a sense of presence during meetings and other collaborations, in the long term.