Social media giant Facebook is set to transform work collaboration, having unveiled its Horizon Workrooms application this week. The move comes amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has led to renewed interest in virtual reality.
“Flagship Collaboration Experience”
Facebook announced in a blog post on August 19 that it was launching Horizon Workrooms, its solution for remote collaboration. The app is available for free on the Oculus Quest 2 headsets in supported countries. Horizon Workrooms works across virtual reality but also across the web, much like conferencing software.
The new app aims to ensure a “flagship collaboration experience” through:
- Mixed-reality desk and keyboard tracking
- Hand tracking
- Remote desktop streaming
- Video conferencing integration
- New Oculus Avatars.
Facebook further promises “a virtual whiteboard as big as your ideas,” along with meeting notes, file sharing, calendar integration, and chat. While having VR headsets seems essential for using Horizon Workrooms, participants will also be able to dial into a room from their computer by video call.
Horizon Workrooms “is designed to improve your team’s ability to collaborate, communicate, and connect remotely, through the power of VR,” Facebook explained.
Nothing to Worry About on Safety and Privacy
The social media giant reassured consumers that it has built the new app with privacy and safety in mind. Workrooms will not use work conversations and materials to inform ads on Facebook. Then, third-party apps won’t be able to access, view, or use images or videos obtained from the device sensors locally to target ads.
Facebook also said that other people will not be able to see a user’s computer screen in Workrooms unless the user chooses to share it, as is the case with collaboration software in general.