How Virtual Reality Improves Online Meetings

How Virtual Reality Improves Online Meetings

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Jonny Cosgrove has a background in events, marketing and technology and is the CEO of meetingroom.io, a virtual reality (VR) meeting room solution. He discusses how virtual reality ISN’T going to replace the traditional meeting rooms platforms like Zoom.

Jonny touches on how each virtual meetingroom space can be customised, how the app changes the audio direction depending on who is talking, the importance of voice and being in a distraction-less space, and how this technology can take your online meetings to the next level!

Virtual Reality is probably NOT going to replace traditional online meetings

Virtual reality isn’t going to take over your one-to-one calls, let’s face it, video calls will probably be around for a really long time. For meetingroom.io, it’s not about replacing everything, everybody’s using video calls right now so video call platforms like Zoom will probably own the one-on-one and one-to-many online meeting sphere for a long time.

A virtual reality platform like meetingroom.io is ideally for those 3-to-12 or 3-20 small group, high participation meetings. It’s in no way trying to replace platforms like Zoom, instead, the idea is to compliment your Zoom meetings with something like meetingroom, the purpose of which is not to overload but to ensure everyone has a better experience. The creators of virtual reality applications like this are on a mission to augment the human experience so you can actually spend more time in real life and less time in meetings.

What makes meetingRoom better than a traditional Zoom call?

There’s nothing wrong with a basic Zoom meeting if everyone just needs to do a quick report or a 15-minute standup, but let’s take a real-life situation such as a high-performance meeting for 3-12 people in a Fortune 500 company.

With a virtual reality meeting platform like meetingRoom, everyone in the meeting experiences the added auditory enhancements of a real meeting, so if I’m sitting to your left (virtually speaking), it really does sound as if I’m there, sitting on your left. You’ll get the feeling that the people in the meeting with you are physically there, increasing your presence and focus in online meetings. It basically tricks your brain into believing it’s physical reality.

How does it work and what’s the visual experience like?

When you come into the room, whether you have VR headset or just an iPad, you have the same experience. As you enter the room, you’ll gather around the table. The first room you get introduced to is the starter room which looks very much like a 1970’s office with three walls and a view.

The different walls are kitted out with different modules so you can come up with an agenda that the whole team can see, or make notes on the sticky note wall. VR meeting rooms are ideal for when you need to bring in body language, have a tough conversation around the table, or bring in tools from the real world, such as the whiteboard, which allows you to explain a problem efficiently. You’ll even get to pick a meeting room according to what you’ll need in your VR meeting.

Is virtual reality ideal for every online meeting?

Realistically, this is not for every situation but the output is so much better, vitual reality meetings enhance engagement and help to ensure that everyone is on the same page. It removes the visual stimuli of your regular surroundings because you’re essentially in a VR meeting room and that’s where your focus will be.

You’ll have all the tools available to ensure you don’t miss a thing. This means that it’s now more possible than ever to keep your virtual meetings to around 15 minutes if that’s what you want, making them more effective!

How can virtual reality meetings help you engage?

They provide a space of equality if you will, one where all can participate, and not just the extroverts. Your virtual self will always look professional and always appear the same, so whether you’re an introvert or simply just a little self-conscious, you can feel safe in knowing your ideas can be freely expressed without having the anxieties that would usually plague you in a regular physical or online meeting.

Problem-solving with virtual reality platforms

Virtual reality meeting technology is all about solving problems. From a sustainability point of view, VR (Virtual Reality), AR (Augmented Reality), and XR (Extended Reality) are going to be some of the most helpful technologies, particularly in that it allows us to engage in a location-less setting. These technologies will allow people to engage, not just from a work perspective, but from a holistic perspective.