Over the last three years, through the course of the pandemic, we have made various changes to how we operate. We have moved from going to work or class everyday in person to a completely remote approach where we hardly meet in person to get something done. Zoom along with the associated suite of tools has made this transition possible. We are at a point where even though things are relatively back to normal, we still prefer working remotely rather than actually meeting in person to get work done.
This is where we have questions. Are the technology and tools we use currently the best we can do regarding collaborating remotely? Do these tools work well for all the different types of work collaboration? Would it be better if the people collaborating feel like they are in the same place? Would it be possible to collaborate over VR? Would it be possible for a person to draw or write on a white board visible to everyone in the meeting? Is there a way for information to be shared between people attending the meeting? While in the meeting, would spatial audio give the people an actual sense of being in the room with other people rather than just being on a call?
VR is great, yes. But can we move one step back? Why limit ourselves to VR? Would it be possible for people to collaborate over different media? Say, we have a few people in person, a few people on their tablets, a few people with some AR devices and few with VR devices. How would collaboration work in this case? Say if we move something in the VR world or AR world, would the corresponding object in the real world move and vice versa? Would everyone witness the same scene? This leads to a whole new set of questions. If people had different environments, how would they collaborate? Would they still see each other or would it just be like a call? Each of these approaches could be extremely useful in different types of collaborative situations.
As you would’ve realized by now, these questions are just my ramblings about what working together remotely could be like. One could call it dreams. One could call it imagination. I just choose to call them questions because once you answer them, you’re one step closer to making the dream or imagination a reality.