You know when you got an app for your bank for the first time, how convenient it was doing your banking admin in your pajamas, from the couch, on Sunday morning. How many times have you stepped foot into a bank since? Probably not many. We see the same for when we incorporate VR into our convenience-obsessed worlds. Let’s jump in and take a look at how the Coronavirus (Covid-19) is pushing us into the future and why we’re all going to be working in VR next year.
Coronavirus Propels Us Into The Future
With the current Covid-19 virus spreading like wildfire, this ignited our interest in how technological advancements could speed up our race into the future. People – both children and adults – are being sent home, with many high profile companies and schools insisting that people work from home instead. Twitter recently told their 4,900 global employees to work remotely, and now what? Schools are also shutting down, sending pupils home to study through more virtual avenues. One TikTok user posted a video showing her class meeting up on Discord. Another video conferencing app, Zoom, has recently seen an unlikely increase in their stock prices as most stock prices are plummeting.
The Future is Virtually Here
The virus is forcing people to work from home, so now they’re having to look at new technology to facilitate this. We’ve seen an increase in video conferencing apps, but what’s the next level? How is this niche industry going to advance, to accommodate the now thousands of people from all levels of varying companies? Through VR that’s how – that’s why we’re all going to be working in VR in the next year. Through Virtual Reality, you can switch on your headset and suddenly be immersed in a conference room, with that meeting you had scheduled months ago. The virus doesn’t have to stop you from getting that done. And with the broad range of headsets currently on the market, VR doesn’t discriminate.
People imagined that this transition of working from home and incorporating VR would only hit us in 5 years time, but evidence suggests that this transition is happening sooner than we expected. As more and more people are sent home to work, how many do you think will want to return to their old offices once the virus threats have subsided? One of the most unlikely of outcomes, Coronavirus is actually propelling us into the future.
Right now we’re seeing a mass cancelling of conferences across all sectors and geographical locations. But why cancel when instead we could all attend in VR? For the organisers this makes sense both financially and logistically – instead of venue hire, caterers, furniture, exhibitors, food trucks, etc, how about a screen and a studio? Not to mention the environmentally-friendly impact of less cars and travel needs, or the money attendees can save. Of course it’s not that simple, but we can all agree it’s much more simple than organising a physical event for 3000 attendees.
The Rise of VR Conferences
Turns out VR conferences were slowly creeping up on us anyway, recently Educators in VR Summit was hosted in Microsoft’s AltSpaceVR. With one virtual stage, over 2000 “attendees” successfully watched 170 speakers from the comfort of their own spaces. HTC Vive Ecosystem Conference (VEC) also just announced they’ll be hosting their conference entirely in VR. Times are a changin, and we’re likely to see a much faster-paced VR adoption in the near future.
But What About My Social Life?
Fear not social butterflies, VR is on your side. Facebook has been working on a VR social platform called Horizon, which allows you to enter a whole new world of experiences from the comfort of your living room. Want to try painting? Like meeting foreigners? Keen to learn Taekwando from a Korean? The world is literally your oyster here. That social element is very much ticked, and Facebook is not the only company developing this avenue.
And don’t forget about the rise in VR Gaming. This VR-centred gaming industry has been growing rapidly in its own right (pre Covid-19). Already well established – and the reason why such a variety of headsets are available to you now – VR gaming can provide hours of entertainment, while also contributing to your social needs. Anyone keen to try Space Pirate Arena, a new PvP VR game? Battle it out with friends or strangers in literally any setting imaginable.
Ok, But What About Dating?
Guess who’s got that one covered: Tinder! They’re currently working on a VR version of arguably the world’s most famous dating app. So your dating life doesn’t need to take a knock just because you’ve been quarantined in a village outside of the great social circles. Thanks VR.
Why We’re All Going To Be Working In VR Next Year
And once we’ve gotten used to working, conferencing, socialising and even dating in VR, will we really want to go back? Will we forego our banking apps for mundane banking lobbies spewing elevator music? Probably not. Once we see a shift in technological advancements, it’s hardly ever the case that we regress. After all, how many horse drawn carriages do you see these days? It’s time to order that headset, get your colleagues, friends (and potential lovers) on board, and let’s get this futuristic party started. We’re all going to be working in VR next year, might as well get a headstart.