Hundreds of millions of people around the world are currently working from home due to various forms of lockdowns. Online meeting platforms have boomed as a result, many quickly building new features and meeting protocols in a short amount of time. HTC wants to make it more engaging with virtual reality meetings, which it is offering for free.
HTC have announced its Vive Sync business platform for virtual reality meetings, which has been in development since 2018 and open to all business for free. Of course, you will need to give all your employees VR headsets.
It will largely work like most other VR services – you create your VR avatar with a selfie and can then add some other customisations. This includes hairstyles, facial features, body types, and clothing options. HTC have said that they will offer more customisation options in time.
According to the company, the avatar will appear relatively lifelike in its behaviour. You avatar’s mouth and eyes will move as you communicate, mimicking your actual movements as measures by the HTC device you are using. If you have the Vive Pro Eye headset your eyes will be tracked as well, which will more accurately be represented in your avatar.
Vive Sync is integrated with various tools, including OneDrive. It will allow you to share and publish meeting agendas, PDFs, videos and other 3D models. It will all be shared in the virtual space, where everyone will virtually look in the same direction to a mock screen, much like you would in an actual meeting.
Other features are planned for the months to come, including host controls and the ability to record your virtual reality meetings. Importantly, they will also add compatibility with non-Vive headsets. Currently you pay between $549 and $1000 for HTC’s various Vive headsets, which is big expense to have more immersive meetings. Of course, until now it has widely been used for gaming purposes.