Horizon Workrooms Reactions

Horizon Workrooms Reactions

Facebook finally released just a glimpse into their Horizon's strategy with Workrooms Beta. Here is a breakdown list of things I love and hate about this new platform.

Things I Hate

Clunky Dumb Facebook Login Process

I have yet to come across an organization that uses Facebook Workplace (their supposed G-Suite killer) despite them saying they have 7 million paying customers. The idea that I can't just log into Horizons Workspace VR with my G-Suite credentials is dumb.

Workspace vs Workplace vs Workrooms

Uggghh. Pick a name that doesn't sound or confuse. Nobody knows the proper name to this product. Or how it relates to your corporate workplace product. Also confusing it further as part of the subset of Horizons which was announced YEARS AGO, makes even a bigger mess to clean up. (I still am not sure what this VR product is called. You'll see it mentioned differently by different folks.)

No M1 Mac Support

The new Oculus Remote Desktop app doesn't support Macs with an M1 chip is a big miss with their launch. Since VR hasn't really hit full mainstream yet (it's coming though), I can't imagine that ignoring early adopter developers was part of a strategy. Makes me feel that they rushed this launch to coincide and reduce the news impact of the federal government investigating Facebook monopolistic doings. (I'll take my tinfoil hat off now. Also it seems that VR Desktop app is safe ... for now.)

Lack of 3D Model Uploading

It is dumb that you can't upload a 3D model into this 3D working environment. There really isn't enough meet on the bone to switch from Zoom to Workplace if you can't use "teleporter" or "replicator" like functionality by allowing remote teams to interact with digital 3D objects. Spatial has this in spades. (Though waiting for that full animated model functionality :) )

Finger Tracking is Brutal

The amount of times that finger tracking and pinching has let me down is akin to using a mouse with a dying battery. Unreliable, frustrating and useless in dark rooms where only monitor illumination is available (has Facebook ever seen their devs home offices?). I grab the handsets within the first 5 seconds of being forced to use finger tracking. They got to fix this.

Boz Platitudes

Hearing Andrew "Boz" Bosworth speak like Spatial VR doesn't exist and even ignoring the many many things better in Spatial than Workspace is kind of a bummer. It is always a bummer when OS makers try to kill innovation by wrapping functionality into their operating system (see Apple Spotlight vs Sherlock), but even with 10,000 devs, Oculus has much to learn about VR work spaces and what we are looking for.

Things I Love

Passthrough Keyboard

The subtle yet brilliant functionality of allowing singular passthrough of my keyboard through the virtual environment is a distinct "ooooh" pleasure. I'd love to wear my headset for hours of focused dev work and now that I can see most of my desk and not escape my VR realism, this is a very positive step towards that. Love it. (Interestingly the video capture I did does not show what the cameras are seeing of my room and house. Facebook being honest about not capturing the real world on their servers.)

Avatars

The Oculus customizable avatars and how they animate and sync with your voice and hands is spectacular. Poker VR uses them very well and it has livened up my poker tables and games. Facebook Workplace uses those same avatars. However, are muppet looking avatars really appropriate for "work" VR environments? I'm not sure that they are. Spatial uses real photos mapped on 3D models in their product. Some people look amazing and others (like myself) look like creepy Joker skin wrapped masks. So what is it? How do we express ourselves in VR for the purposes of work? Blue skinned elves or photo realistic versions of us? Somewhere inbetween I bet.

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