VR games garner headlines, but potential business applications might even be more alluring. Case in point: Chance Glasco left his role as a founding member of Infinity Ward, the studio behind Call of Duty, for the decidedly less sexy world of teleconferencing.
Most office workers spend at least some of their time in the purgatory known as the corporate conference call. Many have learned that it’s the perfect time to zone out and play with their phones. Glasco told Forbes, “Something like 67% of people doing teleconferencing are actually doing something else.” Companies waste hours with workers half-listening to managers drone endlessly in distant offices. Glasco wants to change that with Rumii, a VR conferencing app.
A typical session in Rumii begins with meeting and greeting in a shared lobby, then moving on to the conference room, complete with a virtual projector that can display shared desktops or slide shows. While Rumii won’t make chart-filled PowerPoint presentations any more entertaining, Glasco hopes that the addition of eye-tracking to VR headsets will allow for more natural interaction. Rumii also records meeting animation and audio data, giving those who missed the meeting no excuse not to relive it themselves.
Glasco’s founded Doghead Simulations and built a team scattered across the world, making them the perfect test case for their product. They are their own best customers. Remote teams often feel disconnected from each other when they only interact through email or the occasional video chat. Rumii allows teams to come together and get to know each other in a shared space, even if it’s a virtual one. Glasco described the experience, “I think one of the biggest issues is that you’ve got a lot of people who work together who don’t feel like they’ve been together. So using the power of social presence, we’re a lot closer… The thing with Rumii is you really feel like you’re with other people, your brain just buys into that sense of team, and collaboration is a lot stronger than using video.”
Doghead Simulations qualified as one of ten finalists in Nvidia’s AR/VR GTC Competition earlier this year. Rumii is slated for release in the last quarter of 2017. Those of you who can’t wait to share your undoubtedly thrilling PowerPoints with your co-workers in VR can apply for early access on Doghead Simulations’ website.