Facebook reveals Infinite Office, its VR product for the WFH future
Using an Oculus headset, users will be able to customise their virtual workspace to replicate a real office setup, with integrated features for meeting and typing.
- Jenny Brewer
- 21 September 2020
Facebook has unveiled Infinite Office, a new product directed at those working from home for the foreseeable future. The virtual-reality software is intended for use with the Oculus headset, the VR company acquired by Facebook in 2014, and aims to replicate a real office environment as much as possible while making the most of digital tools.
Users will be able to customise multiple displays, controlled by hand gesture, and type using a physical keyboard, as well as have virtual meetings via AR platform Spatial. They will also be able to use Passthrough – a mode that allows users to toggle between full VR and mixed VR and IRL, so they can see their virtual and actual surroundings simultaneously.
The advert depicts a WFH setup akin to what Minority Report prophesied back in 2002, but instead of fighting crime the protagonist is a fashion designer under pressure from a client. The film shows the user setting up her office at a kitchen table with just a compact notebook-sized console and her Oculus headset. As she scrolls through websites and emails, her housemate starts to make lunch in the kitchen behind her – a relatable segment that gives Facebook a chance to show off its experiments with the aforementioned Passthrough mode.
Our protagonist then moves to another space to expand her setup with further screens, which can be adjusted in size and proportion, and use a physical keyboard, a result of an ongoing partnership with hardware brand Logitech. The ad paints a picture of the dream virtual office environment, an immersive platform allowing for a range of working processes from admin to creative tasks to be dipped in and out of seamlessly – something many creatives have found challenging while working at home – but we’ll have to wait and see how real users respond to the final product when it launches later this year.
Infinite Office was unveiled at Facebook Connect, the tech firm’s first dedicated AR/VR conference last week, following early experiments with VR software Oculus for Business. The company says it plans to roll out the new products as an experimental release for Quest 2 – the latest Oculus headset – in winter 2020.
GalleryFacebook: Infinite Office (copyright Facebook 2020)
Facebook: Infinite Office (copyright Facebook 2020)