Facebook on Thursday launched a test of a new virtual-reality remote work app where users of the company’s Oculus Quest 2 headsets could hold meetings as avatar versions of themselves.
The beta test of Facebook’s Horizon Workroom app comes as many companies continue to work from home after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down physical workspaces and as a new variant is sweeping across the globe.
Facebook sees its latest launch as an early step toward building the futuristic “metaverse” that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has touted in recent weeks.
Metaverse is a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users.
The world’s largest social network 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 in the future on other hardware makers, such as Apple Inc, the company has said.