The hook for this product is an emotional one, a way to understand and better connect with remote colleagues, and removing miscommunication anxiety -- so where are they in the demo?
Apart from a brief glimpse of a meeting space, 80% of the time is spent messing around with an awkward whiteboard implementation. The video needs to show open collaboration with other humans in VR. I catch a quick glimpse of another disembodied head in the demo but that's all.
I looked at the page and thought to myself, "Show me what it does. How does it compare to, say, Sococo? Is there any way I could use it without VR gear?"
I didn't see any screenshots or videos or links that looked like they'd provide more info. Only in seeing this comment did I take a closer look and see that there was, in fact, a video. The play button really blends in to the background picture and just looks like some sort of logo.
Let us know what you think! We are really excited to be released, though we are in alpha, so we have lots of room for development and improvement!
You might want to consider throwing in a quick check on internet speed & latency at the user's location, and simply not allow them to connect if it's not up to a certain level (or gracefully degrade the experience to a lower-bandwidth, more latency-tolerant secondary UI).
As others have said, faces probably matter a lot. It would be nice to have face tracking through a bluetooth device or something, but direction of gaze with the right manual options (say, 5 gradients from smiling to frowning and a few other emotes) might be enough to start.
* Someone suddenly is not audible
* Someone doesn't realize they are audible, and starts speaking to someone else in person
* Glitches and breaks in the conversation due to words or parts of words becoming cut off
I imagine the VR equivalents may be comical or frightening.
The other "big" issue (anecdotally) is lack of visual cues to know when it's likely to be OK to start and stop talking
I'd bet big on anything that somehow managed to solve these problems.
I'm not sure if it's greater familiarity with the tools, or something else, but I can be on a 4 person group video call with my friends WHILE playing a VR game with them as well and everything runs smoothly and without lag for hours on end, but like 40% of video calls for past jobs have had dropouts, lag, difficulty hearing, and other issues.
One thing I think that really helps some of those issues is to get high quality headsets for everyone and make sure they know how to use it, but the lag I genuinely don't understand what makes it so common in work contexts.
The biggest difference to making it work was for everyone to be issued a decent headset so that you're not battling people using Apple headphones which pick up everyone else in the room, and setting up meeting rooms with decent video conferencing hardware so that its possible to bring in groups from different places.
If I had my way we'd have taken the much simpler approach of declaring that for any meeting with one remote participant, everyone connects by video, but that's a battle I lost long ago with management!
I've tried that in the past, but sadly even good office networks often get pretty choppy when you have 4 or 5 people all video calling from the same connection independently.
The best solution I've found for that case is to invest in good video conference hardware for meeting rooms. Get a couple of area mics, and a big TV with a camera on it that can see the whole table.
The reason meeting in VR is fundamentally better from a technical standpoint is the amount of information your sending over a network is GREATLY reduced. A video is a series of pixels with 4~ values that all have to be sent around 30 times per second at least.
On the other hand, in VR, all the textures are stored locally, so the only two network "dependencies" for communication are voice over IP and positions (usually about 4 sets of coordinates). This allows you to have 20+ people in a room with almost no lag.
This is something that is much better in vr. Eye contact becomes a thing.
Land-lines may have lacked fidelity but they were near enough to 100% reliable and simple enough for a child to use which is quite an achievement. In the world of consumer teleconferencing we are not even close to that experience.
Of those, Slack and Teams both cut out at seemingly random times. The others, though, were generally reliable.
If you feel like it’s wasting your time you are probably in a meeting you shouldn’t be in or it’s not properly organized with specific goals that need to be addressed in the meeting.
I feel like running an audio stream in the background and just do other things is not something that solves that. And why wouldn’t you be able to just minimize the video and do what you want to do if you don’t feel like attending?
"Portal" is the name of Facebook's home video call device.
"Spaces" is the name of Facebook's VR chat & hangout platform.
We also were using different hardware at the start, but as I'm sure you know, the market takes you wherever the best fit is, and now we are on the Go
The best of luck!
Also speech recognition or something should replace that pointer keyboard.
So virtualizing an already semi-broken part of scrum seems to address the symptoms not the problem but idk.
However this obviously pretty sweet. Amazing work. This appears to be fairly polished as well.
It's not a fully optimized "pragmatic" approach, but humans are social creatures and it shows in productivity and happiness when they are working remotely.
In the immediate future, I hope someone figures out a way to build a video conferencing solution which lets me "raise a virtual hand" when I'd like to speak, and for the person running the meeting to designate the current speaker. I think the current solutions all suck because there's no way to do it (so you have to talk over somebody else, fighting considerable audio lag), and I think VR would only exacerbate this because the experience is more visceral.
I suggest a little more contrast on the default video image, plus the "play" icon in the center could be more pronounced.
But still, awesome work!
That being said, we are a very young start up! We will continue to add to and advance our product in pursuit of creating optimal value for all of our users.
(Would love to hear more about what you like & dislike about your current work/meeting flow in the Go if you want to email email@example.com)