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The Father of VOIP Assembles Dream Team to Create the Workplace of the Future

The Father of VOIP Assembles Dream Team to Create the Workplace of the Future

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 12, 2018
Provo, Utah

The “Father of VoIP”, Richard Platt, worked in enterprise communications for over 30 years. He played a critical role in the creation of the first commercially available IP phone in the mid-1990s which triggered the evolution from traditional phones to the next generation of internet-connected phones. His company, Selsius Systems, was acquired by Cisco and with Platt at the development helm this IP phone and Call Manager software became a full-fledged communications product which today is a multi-billion-dollar business for Cisco.

A departure from Cisco and one networking company later, Platt, always one to look toward the future, was following what was happening with VR in 2015 and saw the potential for another evolution – this time not just an evolution in communications but an evolution of the entire workplace.  He foresaw a future where the immersive nature of virtual reality would transform the way people work.  No longer would a person be limited to the 2-D world of a phone, tablet or laptop screen.  No longer would conference calls immediately lose every bit of their productive steam with questions like, “Can you stop sharing so I can share?”  Leveraging the immersive magic of VR, a remote worker could have as many monitors in their VR office as they’d like – no physical monitors required.  They wouldn’t be reading their data on a 2-D screen, they’d be swimming through it in 3-D, completely immersed in its intricacies like Tony Stark in Iron Man.  They’d do all this while 100% engaged in conversation with spatial sound and a feeling of presence that would have users convinced that they were in the same room with their co-workers.

With these ideas in mind, Platt got together with Selsius co-founder, David Tucker, and started talking with the some of the most experienced and passionate people he knew as well as the next generation of creative minds.  Today he has assembled a dream team with over 200 years of collective experience in telecommunications, networking, cloud and virtual reality – a level of experience unparalleled in the VR industry, even at the largest companies. Together they are bringing you vSpatial, the workplace of the future.

vSpatial CEO, John Sallaway shared his excitement about the future of work and the role virtual reality will play in the professional lives of the up-and-coming workforce:

“Young professionals place a high value on the ability to work flexibly and remotely but also in having a sense of purpose and connection with their co-workers.  In virtual reality those two priorities are no longer in conflict. The future of work will allow people to have immersive collaborative experiences with a tangible sense of presence from anywhere in the world and we are excited to be a part of bringing that opportunity to the workforce of the future.”

Imagine a young rural family physician who could use the 2nd opinion of another practitioner, but time and distance make that possibility little more than a phone call or at best a 2-dimensional experience with a legacy video conferencing solution.  In virtual reality, because sharing is not limited to one screen at a time, these two doctors can now instantly and simultaneously share multiple patient charts while they also interact with a 3-dimensional image, perhaps an MRI or CT scan.  Meanwhile, they are experiencing immersive spatial audio that complements the interaction perfectly.  In this, and thousands of use cases just like this, the immersive nature of VR will revolutionize how we get work done – we will be quicker, more profitable and most importantly better at our jobs.

Like every truly revolutionary idea, it will take a legendary team to make it happen.  The vSpatial team, with their experience, passion and creativity are perfectly poised to lead the way into the future of work.  The future is now!

Interested in learning more? Check out https://vspatial.com to see demos, join the beta group, join our announcement list, or even hop in a VR meeting with a member of the team and talk about how you might introduce VR conferencing to your organization.

Meet with your Team in Virtual Reality with vSpatial

Meet with your Team in Virtual Reality with vSpatial

The vSpatial team is distributed across the United States, but we work together and meet from all these different places in virtual reality every day!  Meetings in VR are unlike anything you have ever experienced.  We have been meeting in VR for some time and last week we rolled this feature out to our users in our latest release.  Here is an overview of some of the major features for you!

1) Share Unlimited Screens with your Team Member in VR Meetings

You can now start a call with any of the members of your team using the tablet.  Here is a video introduction to getting going with this feature and starting a call and sharing your screens with one another.

Meeting in VR is better than traditional video conference meetings because you are IMMERSED in the meeting and every person can share up to 4 screens at a time.  With 4 users in a call you can all view 16 screens at a time.  Anything even close to this in real life would cost tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.  In addition to that every team member has the best seat in the house where they can supersize what is shared to fit your desires.  No more trying squinting at a full screen and still not being able to see the excel spreadsheet report.

In addition to the best seat in the house when you are in a VR meeting you really feel like you are with your colleagues.  This feeling of presence helps us to be more productive than anything else we have ever experienced.  Our users tell us is just something you need to see and try for yourself.  It’s incredible.

2) Virtual Reality Slack Integration

Here at vSpatial we are huge Slack fans and users.  There are over 9 million other weekly slack users in 50,000 teams around the world.  As we got going on this team meeting feature we knew we had to build our first integration around slack.  Now users can log into their slack account from directly within the vSpatial app using the profile icon on the tablet.  From here users can call other members of their slack team directly from vSpatial to initiate the call.  Users can also initiate calls from the channel directly within the app.

3) Move Screens Around with “Grip Grab”

Anytime you are working with unlimited screens you have to have an easy way to manage and work with all those screens.  One of our most requested features (we hear you!) was the ability to move around screens.  With that in mind we are thrilled to introduce the “grip grab” feature for each screen in virtual reality.  To use this feature simply point your raycaster (pointer) to a screen you want to move. Then press the grip button on your controller (your middle finger on the Oculus Rift) and you’ll see the screen shrink toward your hand.  Keep holding the grip down and point to where you want the screen to go.  When you let go the screen will instantly go there.

What do you think of the latest version of vSpatial?  Have you tried a call yet?  Let us know what you think!

Remote Working is Not Dead (Part I) – VR is the Solution to Distractions

Remote Working is Not Dead (Part I) – VR is the Solution to Distractions

Remote working policies have been one of the celebrated improvements of the modern age for work-life balance, as well as general employee satisfaction.  No longer do we need to commute through terrible traffic and waste hours of our day going to and from an office.  As work has adapted to the digital age, we can work just as well, and sometimes even better, from a remote location as we could in the traditional office.

All this seems to be crumbling, however, as big enterprise companies end teleworking options and bring remote employees back into the office.  But why?

Some argue it is about collaboration – remote workers are distracted and lack personal connection with their co-workers.  Others say it is about trust.  In reality it is probably a combination of both.  Ultimately, some employers feel like they are not getting the same benefit from remote employees as they are from those in the office.  But what if there was a solution to these problems?

Virtual Reality (VR) is the solution that can appease both employers and employees.  In this article, and several others we have planned, we will outline how VR is poised to not only mitigate these concerns, but present such a compelling case that traditional offices will become something we tell our teenage grandkids about to scare them into doing their homework.

Let’s dive right in and take on distraction.  Here are four common arguments we hear about remote working distractions right now and a couple of ways that VR will address these concerns.

ARGUMENT: Remote workers get distracted by their environment. 

Clarification: Distractions are everywhere.

First off, let’s be clear.  There are distractions EVERYWHERE!  Everyone has had that colleague that loves to talk (I’ll admit it has often been me).  They come into your office right when you are in the middle of a project and chat about their weekend for 30 minutes.  All the while your project mojo goes out the window and the project that should have taken 1 hour ends up taking 3 hours.

We need a solution that blocks out distractions at home as well as in the office.

Answer: VR is IMMERSIVE and  encourages concentration.   

What that means is that you are better equipped to block out everything around you.  When you are in VR you can still be tempted to fold laundry, or walk your dog or talk to your co-workers (if you are in the corporate office), but when you are working you are REALLY working – you are far less likely to be distracted by these things.  There’s something indescribable that happens when you are face-to-face with a spreadsheet you are working on.  A spreadsheet which in VR is so present, is so in front of you, that you feel like you could walk into one of the cells and place a number in it with your hands.  Meanwhile, you have tailored your surroundings in VR to be uniquely comfortable to you with your favorite music playing comfortably in your ears.  You have become IMMERSED.  You will still stop and walk the dog, but, for now, you’d rather keep living in the task until it is done.  Won’t the walk with the dog be so much more relaxing now?

You can (and should!) still take breaks like you normally do, but a break will really be a break when you take off your headset.

Ironically we could build a VR office that looks just like a regular office where colleagues can come over and distract you. I personally think we should have some of this to build up relationships, but we will have the benefit of being able to mute your colleagues as well or with the click of a button going into a private do not disturb room.

ARGUMENT: Remote employees get distracted by social media, movies and other things and are not as productive.

Answer: VR collaboration FEELS like you are together with your colleagues.

When an employee is in a shared office there is some social pressure to make sure we are spending our time well.  Virtual reality can replicate that same feeling.  When you are in VR you can look around the room and see your colleagues while you work.  You can even see what they are working on to some extent, which means they can also see what you are working on.  That social pressure is back in place when working in VR.

ARGUMENT: Employees don’t pay attention during remote video conference and call in meetings.

Answer: In VR you can supersize and interact with your colleagues as if you were in the same room. 

The technology has come a long way.  With devices like the Oculus touch and the Vive controllers, users can now grip pencils and draw on collaborative whiteboards.  Headphones give users spatial audio which means if John is on my right and talks, it comes in my right ear and sounds like he is on the right hand side.  The same happens at the same time for Jill on my left. I feel like I am in a room with them and working together.

Everything gets really awesome when users can save everything that was done on a digital whiteboard for later, or even save the entire room for the length of a project.  No one ever comes in and erases your whiteboard for the project. Or if you run out of room just create another whiteboard.  There are no limits in VR.

ARGUMENT: Employees don’t ask questions when they work remotely and get distracted working on things that don’t matter.

Answer: In VR your co-workers are still right there, just like they would be in a corporate office.

Remote workers have a tendency to wander off track.  When the time comes to ask a question regarding the scope or direction of the project, it is oh so tempting to take an educated guess on what the boss would want.  A week later the result of the educated guess is, “I should have asked for direction.  Now I’ve done 40 hours’ worth of work that was not necessary.” How do remote workers ask questions: an email, which may never get answered; a phone call, which will almost certainly go to voicemail (same fate as the email); an instant message (see email and phone call).

Let’s be honest, in a traditional office, employees are far more likely to get feedback, ask questions and receive valuable direction regarding their work.  That is a reality of being in the same physical space.  VR can recreate that.  It’s as simple as a virtual shoulder tap.  Instantly you are talking with your team lead in your VR office with all of your documents on giant monitors ready to be discussed – no voicemail, no read receipts on your email – just a real-life conversation with your co-worker.  Just like you would in “the office” but without the commute, the suit and thousands of dollars of rent.

These are just a few of the things that we hear about distractions from remote workers that VR is going to address.  What other thoughts to you have?  How can VR and AR help you and your team stay focused on the task at hand?

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