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Facebook is bringing the office to VR with Horizon Workrooms

August 19, 2021

Facebook has launched a new virtual reality app that allows remote workers to exist as avatars and collaborate in the same virtual space.

The social media giant on Thursday carried out a beta test of its “Horizon Workrooms” app on the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset.

It comes as companies continue to work remotely during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We shouldn’t really have to physically be together to feel present, collaborate or brainstorm,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told reporters.

“Video conferencing has taken us pretty far, but as we start planning to go back into the office, I’m not super excited about having most meetings be over video”.

In the VR test, Facebook showed how users can design avatar versions of themselves and can collaborate on shared documents and whiteboards in virtual conference rooms while using their own physical desks and computer keyboards at home.

Facebook employees have been using Workrooms internally for the last six months, something Zuckerberg told me about when I spoke with him in May about how Facebook is expanding its VR visions, five years after the launch of the Oculus Rift. Now I got to try it out myself. As an office tool you can use on a wireless VR headset, it's pretty fascinating. But for Facebook, it's the doorway to a lot more.

Technically this app is the first piece in a larger metaverse puzzle for Facebook: The company aims to reinvent its definition of social media into 3D spaces, and Workrooms is a foot in the door on that strategy.


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