Future of employment or digital headache?

F

So the basic premise of the article was that one of the writers over at The Guardian convinced his editor to work an entire day in Virtual Reality.

The writer in question, Alex Hern, works with majorly two types of environments on a typical day at work. Text editing and Web browsing. As he describes in the article, both are absolutely horrific to deal with.

The article gives a good look at the existing competition in the space, BigScreen and Virtual Desktop.

BigScreen is a screen-sharing app, letting multiple users sit around a massive virtual display. It’s perfect for, for example, watching a movie “with” your partner on another continent, or playing PC games in front of an audience. With a business hat on, I could also see it being useful for giving presentations to an audience dispersed geographically.

Virtual Desktop is more stripped-back, with the sole focus of placing your desktop in front of you in a strange virtual space. There are a few reasons you might want to do that, mostly around the ability to make that virtual desktop really, really big. If you have a dinky monitor, it can be quite cool to play your favourite game on a virtual 100” screen.

That’s perhaps the best thing about doing your work in VR. The ability to look away from your screen and see the sun breaking over a pristine landscape, rather than grey clouds depositing grey rain over a grey industrial estate, is quite pleasant.

One of the biggest takeaways from the article was the lack of any native VR experience in terms of text editing. Whether it be through a CMS system such as WordPress or just MS-Word.

There are also issues in terms of input methods as when the HMD is put on, you can’t really see your physical keyboard that is on your work desk. Something to remember is that this article was written at the beginning of this year (2017) and since then several advancements have been made in this area. Companies such as Microsoft and the latest HTC Vive Focus, have cameras at the front of the HMD which allows the user to both accurately track their hands in 3D space as well as use the camera to view physical objects that are in the real world.

The article also presents several plus points of working in VR. Increased efficiency, calmness, and all of the several screens leading to increased productivity.

It lays a good groundwork on the issues currently plaguing the VR industry in terms of task-focused applications.

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