via Fast Company
Much the way the first movies were basically radio plays with images, VR/AR workspace technology will start by replicating in virtual space the kinds of collaboration we can already do in the real world. From there, they’ll quickly evolve to provide capabilities we can only dream of today. For brainstorming, ideation, design, and related tasks, that’s going to be transformative.
Twenty years ago, email was the dominant means of collaborating remotely, because at the time, that’s all that existed. Yet it was a huge improvement over phone calls and faxes. A decade later, webcams came on the scene. They were expensive accessories, configuration could be a problem, and broadband still wasn’t great. But compared to email, it was a huge step forward. Eventually, Skype took off, webcams got even cheaper, and now they’re built into every laptop and mobile device on the market.
VR is going to develop in a similar way. Oculus Rift headsets are expensive, bulky, and block out the real world completely. But like the early Logitech webcams, they’re just the starting point. Eventually, VR tech will become smaller, lighter, and—especially in the case of mixed-reality—far less intrusive.
When that happens, VR is going to reshape business collaboration and communication even more profoundly than videoconferencing did 10 years ago, or email 20 years ago. It’s going to be a whole new world—woven right into the one we already live and work in.