We had several members of the team together last week for a VR headset configuration session. Over the course of a few days we took dozens of brand new VR headsets out of the box, updated code, loaded VR for Business apps, created accounts and email addresses, set them up in the management platform, verified everything was working as expected, created User Guides and processes, and ways to track it all. It was a lot of work........and a lot of fun, too.
Three things stand out in my mind.
1) It's still kinda hard
Even though the modern version of the VR headsets have been out 7 years (Facebook's purchase of Oculus in 2014 started the VR headset race), the initial setup of a VR headset is still a heavy lift compared with initial setup of a laptop or a phone, no matter who makes the headset. Some of the challenge is unavoidable because there are brand new ideas and ways of doing things that don't exist anywhere else in technology. You need to create a boundary inside your room so you don't run into things, and there are unfamiliar controllers you use to interact with the virtual world. But some things seem needlessly complex (Meta - why do you have to create two accounts just to be part of the business environment, and then account-like things if you want to use the Meta business app?).
None of that really concerns me, though. It's just the way technology develops. At first, everything is manual and requires input from the user. Gradually, much of it is automated and streamlined, and initial configurations are quicker and more accurate. Configuring a VR headset today is much, much easier than it was even just 12 months ago. Meantime, I still suggest you phone a VR friend if you're a consumer putting on a headset for the first time. And if you're a business dipping your toes into the VR waters, I highly recommend you hire a really good VR services and consulting business to help you adopt the technology in a way that will work for you. If you're in need of a recommendation, I know a good one (Bernoullium Services). :-)
2) VR for Business is Awesome
In spite of the initial configuration work, VR remains awesome. Even though I've spent what has to be thousands of hours now in virtual reality, I am always struck by how really cool and game changing it is.
As we were configuring all those headsets and installing applications, I couldn't help but look around every time I stepped into the Workrooms VR conference room. It's just cool. And it's compelling for business. If you have a business where travel is a major expense, VR for Business is for you. You can have effective and productive meetings in virtual reality at a small fraction of the cost of in-person meetings (Cost of in-person vs VR meetings). You can have your team from London, Atlanta, Singapore, the countryside in Nebraska, the desert of Dubai, or wherever they may be, gather in a conference room and share directly from their laptops and collaborate around a whiteboard. It is so realistic that you can actually feel crowded sometimes - think about that.
3) GenZ can bring it.
Last thing is a shout-out to the GenZ'ers. Last week, working with our Bernoullium GenZ team, I was struck by the swirl of new ideas they bring to the table, their endless energy and enthusiasm, and the easy camaraderie and acceptance these young professionals extend to everyone.
It put a huge smile on my face and made me proud. GenZ'ers configuring virtual reality headsets - I mean, that's like seeing wildlife in it's native habitat, right? Our GenZ team is a tremendous benefit to Bernoullium and I look forward to the continuing impact they'll have.
So, yeah, if you have to spend hours configuring things, it's better if you can do it with cutting edge technology like VR, and it's best when you can configure VR with GenZ'ers.