VR Virtual Interaction Room – part 6

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Previously…

Today, I am going to share our insights about entry barriers for VR virtual interaction rooms. I want to extend the VR moderator “cheat sheet” that I explained in the last episode, because I feel this particular aspect is crucial for a successful product and process for VR meetings.

If you want to catch up with previous episodes of this blog article series, here’s a link collection:

1. value proposition and assets

2. usage scenarios and features

3. moderation formats

4. market overview and practical experience

5. “Cheat sheet” for VR moderators

 

Observation

While testing VR Virtual Interaction Rooms with our colleagues from the different locations, I found it quite easy to find people who are curious enough to give VR meetings a try. However, I observed that the maximum number of attendees was 2 or 3 although all 13 locations were invited. How come?

Hypothesis

After the first curiosity is satisfied, people hesitate to put on the uncomfortable headset a second time. The value they get from a VR Virtual Interaction Room is smaller than the pain wearing the headset. But as with every new technology, you get used to it only after doing it a couple of times. Also, the barrier has to be as low as possible so the extra value unleashed by a VR Virtual Interaction Room does not have to compete with a very high entry barrier. We have to make VR meetings as barrier-free as possible.

Experiment

The following improvements can be done to reduce the entry barrier for VR meetings:

  1. use untethered / self-contained VR headsets to avoid hassle with cables or booting connected computers
  2. ideally, the software should support gesture recognition / hand tracking instead of controllers and
  3. run the software in kiosk mode so launching the software is as simple as possible
  4. For the first (or even the second) time attendees have VR meetings, make sure that they have a buddy with them who can help them with IPD settings, adjust the straps properly so the headset suits comfortably and show them how to use the controllers and software properly. In short, observe the best practices for VR meeting moderators.
  5. make sure that the software provides a proper onboarding so new users will have it easy to use the VR meeting software for the first time(s)
  6. design the interactions / user experience within the software in a way that does not bother the user. F.ex. typing in VR is difficult and takes a long time. Intuitive gestures and speech recognition are even better. Play with the options VR offers – remember you know what the user is looking at and what he is doing with his hands – use this knowledge!

We believe there are more but that should suffice for the moment. 1 and 4 are easy to accomplish, the others will take more effort. Since we addressed already (using Oculus Quest headsets mostly), we will concentrate on a good support for attendees for the next meetings. We expect that after 2 VR meetings, the attendees will start seeing the value and be more motivated to have more.

For point 6, we have tried out a “login trace” in VR that works similar like the “password-less login” on Android phones where you rather draw a trace and remember the form than remembering the numbers. In VR, it could be spheres and sound:

Conclusion

To be continued… 😉

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Christian is an agile evangelist and has more than 15 years experience working as a product manager for software applications in different domains. He is expert for scaled organizations and complex projects. Promoting value-add- and customer-first-attitudes, Christian accompanies our customers through the complete codecentric-Porfolio as a partnership companion – from idea-generation to maintenance of the final solution. Since 2017, he is leading Mixed Reality projects including the Innovation projects “modulAR” (2018) and “VR Interaction Room” (2020).

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