Virtual reality can often be escapist in nature, but sometimes you just gotta get shit done.
HTC has started looking at this with Call Services on the Vive so you can keep track of your texts while in VR, but for workplace communication not much has surfaced.
The VR call system works across compatible VR headsets so Vive owners can call Rift and Gear VR users. Additionally, Altspace has been building up a 2D web experience over the past several months which will allow individuals without headsets strapped to their face to get in on the group call.
Users can add the plug-in to Slack and type in /vrcall to generate a chat room link that users can follow to delve into VR and chat it up with each other’s avatars.
It’s a niche use case and probably one particularly targeted largely toward VR devs and the futurist/evangelist crowd, but Slack and Altspace starting to work together is definitely interesting. As tech picks up and we can gather more realistic avatars with facial expression tracking, virtual chat rooms like AltspaceVR could really take on existing teleconferencing.
Altspace has largely been functioning as more of a hangout space rather than a productivity app. For the general populace, virtual reality makes a lot more sense for entertainment purposes but at the moment the mass quantity of VR users are devotees and don’t have to be convinced of a ton. This can make it hard to gauge the stickiness of ideas, but it also gives companies like Altspace major freedom to get bold with moves like this one.