Facebook launched today, Thursday, a visual test of a new virtual-reality remote work app where Oculus Quest 2 headsets users can hold meetings as avatar versions of themselves.
Facebook’s Horizon Workrooms app test run comes as many companies continue to work from home after the Covid-19 pandemic shut down physical workspaces and as a new variant is making its way across the globe.
The social platform sees its latest launch as an early step toward building the “metaverse” that CEO Mark Zuckerberg talked about in recent weeks.
Facebook has invested heavily in virtual and augmented reality, developing hardware such as its Oculus VR headsets, working on AR glasses and wristband technologies, and buying a bevy of VR gaming studios, including BigBox VR.
Gaining dominance in this space, which Facebook bets will be the next big computing platform, will allow it to be less reliant on other hardware makers, such as Apple.
Facebook’s Vice President of its Reality Labs group, Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, said the new Workrooms app gives “a good sense” of how the company envisions elements of the metaverse.
“This is kind of one of those foundational steps in that direction,” Bosworth told reporters during a VR news conference.