In the days leading up to the launch of Quest Pro, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, called the new headset “Great working device” – maybe even a laptop replacement. Gaming in VR is one thing – but socializing and living and working there? It seems as though the broad consensus on the internet is: “No thanks.”
But not me. I’m ready and excited to take my work life into virtual reality, and from what we know so far, the Quest Pro might be the device that fixes many of the current issues when trying to do so on current generation hardware.
What’s better than a mouse?
Navigation is one of the main reasons why work stops with trying to work in VR at the moment. The business requires it to be as efficient as possible, which isn’t exactly what current VR controls call it.
With your current Meta Quest headset, you’re stuck using both controllers. It’s quite comfortable and accurate, but it’s a bit like typing with two fingers. You have the option to pair a mouse and keyboard with the Quest 2, of course, or you can even leave the controllers and Use your hands to interact with the environment. Variety is great, but nothing too different from what’s possible in a laptop or PC.
However, replacing the mouse and keyboard is not easy. As effective as touch screens have become, most people feel that when it comes to getting real work done, the mouse (or pointer) and keyboard are still the most efficient.
The real innovation comes with eye tracking, a feature that is sure to be showcased with the Quest Pro at tomorrow’s Meta Connect event. With this new VR headset, you’ll be able to use your eyesight to control guide entry. This subtle difference can provide a significant increase in productivity.
Have you ever made the mistake of looking at a window or screen and starting typing while another window was active? Keystrokes and text will affect the active window. This can be disastrous if you have an app open that accepts keyboard commands. Some of the words you thought would be typed into a document or text field can become a series of commands that send incomplete emails, merge layers, or delete documents.
With eye tracking, the Quest Pro should be able to avoid this nightmare. If eye tracking is used to identify the active window, gestures, keystrokes, and keyboard input are sent to the window and app you’re looking at. This is just one example of how VR headsets can be more accessible since they have access to new forms of input and can function in a way that matches natural human interactions rather than forcing us to learn to do things the way a computer expects.
Are virtual reality screens better than real computer screens?
Screens are the next big hurdle with moving work to virtual reality, but this is an area where the metaverse really has an advantage. Virtual monitors take away all the hassle of purchasing and setting up physical computer monitors. You can create many large virtual displays at no additional cost and without the need Large desk or wall mount to hold huge monitors. With a high-quality VR headset, you can use a multi-screen setup anywhere whether sitting, standing, or even lying down.
I’ve tried using a computer with three monitors, a MacBook connected to an iPad connected via Universal Control, and a computer to a phone as a secondary device. Nothing really works perfectly because it’s physical objects that have size, location, and input limitations. Breaking out of the old way of computing could easily provide us with a much better solution.
Virtual screens for VR headsets behave more like floating windows in a 360-degree environment than regular screens. This provides as much flexibility as possible for creating screens with different aspect ratios and sizes. You can create a vertical screen for writing or formatting a print document, a landscape view for traditional computer work, or place a small screen nearby in your virtual space to design something that can be displayed on a phone or watch screen.
Of course, most VR headsets today lack the dynamic range and color accuracy of a high-quality computer screen. This will get better over time, and the Meta Quest Pro should offer a huge improvement in display quality as it is rumored to have a smaller LED backlight and higher resolution than the Quest 2.
The VR headset also displays a slightly different image for each eye, providing depth to things. Very few computer monitors have this capability. This is a game-changing difference if you’re designing real-world products or engineering, or if you’re working with 3D graphics.
With Quest 2, you can create a 3D model by directly drawing and manipulating objects. Ditch the flat screens entirely and virtually walk around a virtual building and get a sense of flow and scale. Virtual reality and augmented reality solutions are revolutionary in this regard, making concepts look and feel more real.
Virtual meetings may be better than reality
As video conferencing has become a more and more important part of our working lives online, taking these meetings into virtual reality has some very positive benefits. Nothing beats a face-to-face encounter, sure, but when that’s not possible, it’s easy to see how meeting in virtual reality beats standard video calls.
First, even the fastest flight or commute to work is painfully slow compared to teleportation to a virtual workspace, and Horizon Workrooms are just one example of how a team can come together to present and share ideas in a way more private than a video call using VR headsets. .
For now, the problem is with avatars and tracking. There is little benefit from current technology, which does not give you access to the full range of body language and facial expressions needed to communicate properly. Technology is still evolving, and the current Meta avatars have a lot of room for improvement, that’s for sure.
But avatars are rumored to get a major upgrade with the Meta Quest Pro, making your virtual presence feel more realistic. With eye and face tracking, your avatar will look more realistic than ever before to others, showing your reactions and where you look, just as if you were present. On the flip side, your view of the environment can be brighter, clearer, and more realistic with processor and display improvements. If there’s one part of the job that’s best suited to metaverse, it’s definitely meetings, and I can’t wait to get more interactive and engaging meetings with my future colleagues.
Disadvantages and solutions for working in virtual reality
Not all news is good when working in virtual reality. Sharing in person is more difficult with a VR headset because no one can look at and see your screen. This can be a good thing if you want to avoid distractions or are working on a sensitive project. Your screen is automatically private when you’re wearing a VR headset and audio is completely muted to others when you’re wearing the Quest even if you don’t have earbuds. If you want to share your Meta Quest screen with others near you, it’s easy Send from your task to a TV, phone, tablet, or computer.
It’s easier to set up remote meetings without virtual reality technology, but the virtual environment has some advantages. Sometimes you may not feel good looking for a business meeting, but your avatar will look more stylish than ever – even if you just got out of bed in pajamas.
The multi-screen feature can also help with meetings because your virtual space has space for people, notes, reference materials, a dashboard, and more. You can even present 3D art that is difficult to experience with a traditional flat screen computer.
Another concern with VR productivity is discomfort after just a few hours of wearing the headset. The Quest 2 is relatively light and not a problem in the short term, but you’ll often notice a fingerprint on your face from headphone pressure. It can cause headaches and skin irritation. A lighter headset will help with better weight distribution that improves overall comfort.
Meta has already shared that it plans to use Pancake lenses, which are thinner and lighter. This type of lens also features a larger sweet spot than sharp focus. The Meta Quest Pro battery is also expected to be installed at the back to balance the weight for greater comfort.
Finally, navigation is significantly limited when wearing the current Quest VR goggles although you can turn on the transit view of your real room. The problem is that you see through a low-resolution black and white camera.
The Quest Pro will have a high-resolution color traffic camera, allowing you to move around your actual room without having to remove the headset. Rumors have it that the Meta will offer a next-generation headphone docking station that makes switching between wearing and charging the Quest Pro faster and easier so it’s ready to go at any moment.
Performance is the final piece of the puzzle. The Quest 2 is a relatively slow device when compared to a desktop PC, with most laptops putting it to shame by the standards. However, it was released in 2020, and the Quest 2 still tops our list of the best virtual reality headsets. It doesn’t lag when playing games, but when using the browser it shows some sluggishness. This is where his age is shown.
The Meta Quest Pro will have upgraded hardware intended for professionals, and rumors suggest that its performance may be similar to that of a Chromebook or tablet. This indicates that Quest Pro will not reach the highest levels of computing power, but it should have enough power to run most web applications at a decent speed.
Whether it’s fast enough or not depends on your usage. I don’t expect to edit 4K videos with Quest Pro or use it for mass RAW image processing. But as a writer, I generally need a computer that can handle some heavy web browsing, WordPress, Google Sheets, and similar web applications. Quest Pro can finally deliver enough performance for writers, researchers, salespeople, managers, executives, and anyone who spends a significant portion of their working day using a web browser.
Just as Quest 2 can run well-optimized intense games, Quest Pro should be able to handle even the most challenging tasks if a custom app is designed to work within its limits. A good example is Gravity Sketch, a professional-level 3D modeling app that works well in a Quest headset.
We’ll have to wait and test it ourselves to be sure, but performance is a key component to replicating the experience working in VR.
As much as I’m excited about the future of working in virtual reality, a lot depends on future hardware. So far, it looks like the Quest Pro might be the headset that makes working in VR less difficult. Of course, a lot depends on what Apple will do, but you can bet it won’t be gearing the headset towards gaming only.
For those of us who are willing to dive in, there are bound to be plenty of hurdles still ahead as technology improves. But I, for example, am excited about how the software and hardware of these new products will make working in virtual reality more efficient and enjoyable in the future.
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