Facebook on Thursday unveiled technology for “workrooms,” allowing remote collaboration for people using its Oculus virtual reality gear.
The “Horizon Workrooms” project allows users to switch back and forth from virtual reality to web conferencing to adapt to different situations.
“Workrooms is our flagship collaboration experience that lets people come together to work in the same virtual room, regardless of physical distance,” the company said in an Oculus blog post.
“It works across both virtual reality and the web and is designed to improve your team’s ability to collaborate.”
This enables participants to join a meeting as an avatar in virtual reality or by video calling.
The announcement comes as the social media giant moves to blend its hardware, gaming and virtual reality units to build an immersive digital world known as the “metaverse,” borrowing a term coined by sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson.
The project is seen as central to Facebook’s future by chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, who is seeking to diversify the company beyond social networking and digital advertising.
It also comes with more people working remotely during the pandemic and companies seeking new ways to enable collaboration among scattered employees.
The Oculus division has largely been used for gaming but is gaining traction in other areas as virtual reality is adapted for tourism, remote work and other applications.