Workrooms participants can see who’s talking by way of visual cues—but those with two functioning ears can also identify speakers directionally, thanks to spatial audio processing. [credit:
On Thursday, Facebook launched Horizon Workrooms—its first major step toward CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s imagined metaverse, an all-encompassing alternate reality that blends the real world with digital imaginations and enhancements.
Zoom for nerds in goggles
This isn’t the most flattering way to describe Horizon Workrooms, but it’s not exactly inaccurate. The basic concept is that instead of videoconferencing with a webcam, participants use virtual reality gear—like Facebook’s own Oculus Quest 2—to meet up in a VR workspace.
We haven’t been able to run the app yet; my own Oculus Quest is an original model, sadly unsupported for Horizon Workrooms. (We don’t know why the OG Quest isn’t supported but suspect it has something to do with enhanced controller-less hand tracking on the newer model.) Two-dimensional recordings almost certainly don’t do the experience justice—they look like Habbo Hotel and Bitmoji got together and had a baby.