We’ve all come to know the virtual meeting well over the course of the last year and the online meeting landscape has and will continue to advance to offer new features that are making it easier and more efficient to collaborate via the internet. Virtual Reality (VR) has also arrived on the scene with the newest entry being a collaborative office space app brought to you by Arthur Technologies.
VR allows for a more immersive experience that mimics that natural face-to-face feel of an in-person meeting and Arthur attempts to bring that to the table. Participants are represented in the virtual meeting space with their own personal avatars, which can be generated using an image of their own face. Arthur claims that the technology for lip syncing and eye movement is in the works, but for now meeting attendees are displayed with sunglasses and a mouthpiece to cover their would-be facial expressions. Participants appear as floating from the waist up and arm movements are mimicked through movements made by users via the handheld Oculus Quest Controllers. Although the appearance is not yet quite up to par with a real-world face-to-face meeting, the feeling of being in close proximity within a space that is not your living or dining room is a huge bonus. Additionally, attendees are transported to one of many spaces that the app offers from a boardroom overlooking the water to an amphitheater or even a rooftop bar.
The VR meeting app offers powerful collaboration features such as the ability to upload a presentation and present it within the VR space, allowing you to pause for questions or point to certain details just as you normally would. Whiteboarding sessions allow for users to write on a 3D whiteboard just as they would during a meeting in the real world with participants able to view notations as they are being made. 3D objects can be uploaded to view in meetings whether a product prototype, architectural rendering or 3D model of a patient’s heart to discuss the mechanics of a surgical procedure. The app also offers a file storage and management system similar to OneDrive or DropBox.
Arthur currently offers a limited Consumer Edition for free via the Oculus Store. The Professional Edition is currently in public Beta on the Oculus VR Headset Series. iOS and Google releases are scheduled for later in the year