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Will the Varjo and MeetinVR Team-Up Offer Human Touch to Videoconferencing?

Extended reality (XR) and virtual reality (VR) headset manufacturer Varjo declared a coalition with the providers of virtual enterprise collaboration software, MeetinVR, to offer people realistic experiences.

As part of the collaboration, MeetinVR is going to launch a dedicated version of their app which every Varjo headset – from the XR-1 Developer Edition to the VR-2 and VR-2 Pro – will support. Any new buyer of a Varjo headset will avail free 6 months of MeetinVR usage for up to 5 users. Varjo made the announcement during its keynote at the grand AWE event, which has been made online due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Previously, Varjo has attempted to strengthen enterprise usability of VR through its products. Their release of the VR-2 and VR-2 Pro was aimed at establishing a new standard in visual clarity to make it workable for VR technology to work at the enterprise level. According to the company, its partnership with MeetinVR would strive to enhance the user experience because plenty of companies are adopting remote work.

Varjo’s co-founder and chief product officer Urho Konttori said that working remotely is becoming usual and the need to virtually communicate with customers, colleagues, partners and teams across the globe is now a critical part of the business. With enterprises now adapting to a new kind of work environment, they are thrilled to collaborate with top industry players like MeetinVR to help develop the future of virtual and mixed reality collaboration.

As the coronavirus pandemic is taking people hardships across the technology sectors, the virtual reality industry has been working on its position to bring forth better innovations. In March, IDC said that even though short-term fall in hardware shipments occurred, it was natural and the long-term approach will witness a greater enterprise VR interest.

Among the areas companies like Varjo and MeetinVR may want to capitalise is the big boom in remote meetings through videoconferencing. Zoom did a good job in terms of communications, but how necessary is it to initiate face-to-face contact while the pandemic continues, and will VR be able to provide?

The consultancy agency Expressworks has been trying to find out easy and effective ways to conduct meetings in virtual reality, which includes using MeetinVR. European practice director Jonathan Berry told that the experience of videoconferencing had not been satisfying every time.

From the tests, it was discovered that VR may not be prepared for mainstream use, the main concern being motion sickness due to lag in movement. Among the trialled vendors was AltspaceVR who offered fine experience but missed the corporate professional touch, while Rumii seemed to be great for education and training but not dynamic enough for large meetings. MeetinVR occurred to ‘the most promising’ tool.

Berry said that despite the technology not having made its mark yet, it seems close. He hopes that the ‘new normal’ might give the catalyst required to motivate the investment needed to turn this possibility into mainstream.

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