Our global current affairs is tough to adjust to. It’s a concerning time for many people for many different reasons, health and well-being are the biggest concern for most. Further down the priority list might be that you are struggling to keep your business operating in this restrictive climate. I get it. Or you may be a colleague who is missing human interaction – sure 2D video calls are a great short term solution but you are beginning to feel disconnected or even bored of rigidly sitting through those now. Or perhaps you are isolated and missing your friends or loved ones and yearning to spend time in the same room together again.
I promised you that I would cover the various virtual reality collaboration, meeting, event and virtual conferences VR applications that are currently available to use. Remember that even outside of global pandemics these immersive platforms are there to help you collaborate, feel like you are really in this same space as others for your interactive needs. The benefits include feeling engaged, present, connected, great for the environment and saving real world logistical costs for hosting events & conferences.
Why you should keep an open mind
On a personal level, this topic is close to my heart. I have been working remotely for 4 years now and beyond that I work in a geographical location that can, at times, feel like I’m being held back from my ‘dream job’. I can’t be alone feeling that way and I appreciate that our current situation is a lot more restricted than the norm. However, being put in this isolated situation has opened many eyes to how the future of work is going to evolve. Ultimately it has made people question how we can become socially connected whilst being physically distant.
I would ask that if you found this article to be useful, the companies listed as inspirational and actually useful to your business roadmap then please, please share this with your decision makers. The future of work is changing. It is up to you to decide whether you are going to adapt and prepare now or whether you will be one of the companies who finds themselves fighting against the tidal waves to catch up.
Many of the platforms listed below are device agnostic and some you can even access on Desktop or Mac without the need of a virtual reality headset. At the very least I would urge you to try them out. Try them out if you are the meet-up host with flare, try them out if you are a small business owner who is struggling to differentiate yourself from the bigger competition, try them out if you are pulling your hair out after cancelling that conference that you spent so many months planning for! The tools are ready and waiting for you. As an avid user of virtual reality events and conferences, I can promise you that virtual reality technology is the next best thing you can do other than face to face. In fact, I would go one further… I would strongly argue that when things do return to ‘normal’ for the world, that virtual reality should be part of your events & conference planning going forward alongside your real world showstopper. Why wouldn’t you want to open the doors and allow for people from all over the world to come and engage with your content? It’s a no-brainer!
Having said that, let’s get straight into listing them for you so you can see for yourself exactly how ready this technology is for your virtual meeting, events and conference needs. I’ve listed 22 virtual reality platforms for you but there are others out there. Remember, I am always here for any questions, guidance or support in all areas that I write about.
Virtual Reality Applications for multi-user meetings, events and conferences.
Acadicus – Compatible with Oculus Rift and Linked Oculus Quest.
What can you do here – Acadicus is a Training & Education virtual reality platform that supports multi-users for collaboration.
Special Features – Customisable environments, 3D recordings, 3D assets.
AltSpace VR – Compatible across VR headset, Desktop, Smartphone.
What can you do here – create, host and attend virtual events. AltSpace has multiple events happening each day that cover a spectrum of educational events, entertainment events, lifestyle events and more. There’s something for everyone but you can of course create your own personally branded events too.
Special Features – customisable environments – perfect for branding your own VR events, host your own private or public event, customisable avatars, 3D assets, browser access, ability to record from desktop, one of the best platforms in terms of access entry, great for engagement and more! I thoroughly recommend this one from a personal host & attendee perspective.
Bigscreen – Compatible across VR headset, Desktop and smartphone.
What can you do here – Bigscreen is primarily an entertainment virtual reality application for watching movies, tv shows or livestreams on your own or as a watch party. However, I have attended training sessions in here too. You have the ability to share your desktop screen so things like presentations, accessing browser & video playing is perfectly fine. So Bigscreen is great for getting together with your friends or family as well as a tool for collaborating virtually from a business perspective too. The user experience is enjoyable.
Special Features – Browser access, desktop sharing, customisable avatar, desktop recording function, multi-user, nice informal vibe for your immersive sessions.
Clay Reality – Compatible ‘across all platforms’ (couldn’t find further info).
What can you do here – Interact with 3D assets, create bespoke environments, immersive animations.
Engage – Compatible across VR headsets and Desktop.
What can you do here – Create, host or attend virtual reality meetings and events in this multi-user virtual platform. I’ve attended VR events on Engage for a few years now and can recommend this platform.
Special Features – Ability to create bespoke immersive environments – perfect for branding your own VR events, customise your avatar, loads of template scenes to choose from, browser, ability to record in 3D and replay with all virtual hosts and guests, whiteboards you can write on, save and distribute your work, large library of available 3D models and 3D assets. Lovely user experience and recommended.
Glue – Compatible with VR headsets, desktop and smartphone.
What can you do here – immersive meetings, events, conferences. Specifically targeting high performance teams and for work style collaboration.
Special Features – Customisable spaces – perfect for branding your own VR events.
Inlusion Netforms– Compatible with desktop virtual reality headsets.
What can you do here – designed for remote working, virtual conference rooms and industrial training environments.
Iris VR – Compatible with most VR Headsets.
What can you do here – Iris VR lets you collaborate with other users primarily for design and architecture work.
MeetinVR – Compatible with more VR Headsets.
What can you do here – virtual work, meetings, events and more.
Special Features – ability to use your own files, desktop sharing, browser, assets, sketch and more.
Meeting Room – Compatible with VR headsets, desktop, smartphone or tablet.
What can you do here – virtual work, meetings, presentations, browser access, sketching.
Mozilla Hubs – Compatible across VR Headsets, desktop, smartphone and tablet.
What can you do here – multi-user events, presentations, events, meetups, conferences.
Special Features – browser, videos, 3D assets, desktop recording
Rec Room – Compatible across VR headsets, PC, Smartphone and Tablet.
What can you do here – Informal multi-user events, meetups, virtual team builder games and more…
Special Features – Ability to create & host your own meetings (new from April 2020), presentations, desktop recording.
Rumii – Compatible across VR Headsets, Desktop, Smartphone or Tablet.
What can you do here – multi-user events, meetings and conferences.
Special Features – Customisable avatars, bespoke environments (choose from many pre-built templates), whiteboard, desktop recording, emojis & confetti, browser, video player and more.
Sketchbox – Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Windows Mixed Reality Headsets.
What can you do here -Collaborative immersive space for design and architecture needs.
Softspace – Compatible with VR Headsets and Desktop.
What can you do here – You can build your own immersive spaces to collaborate on immersive design projects.
Special Features – multi-user, sketch/whiteboard, 3D & 2D assets, ability to build own vr environments with their tools.
Somnium Space – Desktop VR headset compatible.
What can you do here – You can host any events, meetings or conferences that you want here.
Special Features – Blockchain & Virtual Reality environments. Ability to purchase your own ‘land’. Customisable environments and avatars.
Spatial – Compatible with HoloLens, MagicLeap, Oculus Quest, Desktop or Smartphone.
What can you do here – multi-user colleaboration virtual space for meetings, events. ‘Visualize and immerse yourself in any topic with just the lift of your finger. Share and organize 3d models, videos, docs, images, websites. Your work is automatically saved so you can revisit from any device’ – Spatial website.
Special Features – Realistic life-like avatar, 3D Browser, cross device user experience. An impressive application that I look forward to trying out in the near future.
Trezi – Compatible with desktop VR Headsets.
What can you do here – A shared virtual space for architecture, design and building professionals. Collaborate and share ideas by mapping them out into the virtual space.
Special Features – Useful tools and templates in built for design and architecture professionals such as sizing and visual scale.
VirBELA – Compatible with desktop VR headsets and desktop.
What can you do here – a virtual space for collaborative & remote working, meetings, events and virtual conferences.
Special Features – Templates of meeting/event rooms, conference spaces as well as customisable spaces, multi-user, customerisable avatars, file sharing, browser.
vSpatial – Desktop VR, Oculus Quest, Oculus Go, Windows & Mac.
What can you do here – Create your ideal workstation environment with unlimited screens and collaborate, meet and communicate with your team remotely.
Special Features – Desktop sync & ability to use all applications with unlimited screens, browser, video player, slack integration,
vTime XR – Compatible with any VR Headset, Desktop, Smartphone or Tablet.
What can you do here – Socialise, collaborative meetings, events and conferences
Special Features – Customisable avatar, lovely environments including 360 photo environments and multi-user.
The Wild – Compatible with any VR Headset, AR (iOS) and Desktop.
What can you do here – Shared virtual space for designers and architecture professionals. Up to 8 at a time.
Special Features – Integrates easily with design tools such as Revit, SketchUp BIM 360.
So as you can clearly see, this is no longer science fiction. This is no longer a topic for the imagination. This virtual reality meeting with your colleagues, virtual networking at events and personalised branding of virtual events malarkey is already our reality my friends. The tools are available, many of which are free, so please do try them out for yourself. If you can then please help me to spread the word so that others can gain this knowledge too. Thank you -)
And thanks for reading all the way to the end!
My next blog post will be covering an example case study of using virtual reality in one of these virtual platforms listed above. I attended a book launch & reading with Matt Ruff, author of 88 Names. Matt was able to share his new captivating story and engage with attendees who joined from all over the world in VR whilst most of us were in lockdown. I’ll share more about that and how the virtual environment was branded appropriately for his book launch too. So if you want to be notified of when I hit publish on that one then be sure to sign-up for my newsletter.
Thanks again and take care!