There is no telling when the COVID-19 pandemic will really end but, when it does, it will be a very different world. Work alone is undergoing a shift and some tech companies are seeing a drastically different future at least for some kinds of jobs. Facebook, for example, thinks that computing and work will be not only remote but also virtual. And, of course, it’s in a perfect position to push its social platform and products to be at the head of that new wave of computing.
Of course, tech companies and pundits have been talking about how VR or AR or both (as a single Mixed Reality brand) is the next wave of computing. Those voices slowly died down as those markets seemed to have plateaued but now Facebook sees the perfect opportunity to sell that idea again.
The coronavirus has pushed many to work from home or collaborate remotely and Facebook’s young Workplace platform is in the position to help users remain connected over distances. Together with its Portal smart display and new Workplace Live and Workplace Rooms features, users can collaborate and be social at the same time.
Perhaps more interesting is the even more futuristic vision of the future of work that will take place in virtual spaces. Facebook is already using its Oculus for Business program to help companies take advantage of the technology but it is looking to go beyond the confines of virtual reality. Mixed reality workspaces could give workers the perfect blend of real and virtual, going beyond the limits of physical desks and offices.
Of course, Facebook is saying that “genuine social presence” is at the root of this future of computing since people rely on facial cues and hand gestures to communicate. From realistic Codec Avatars to hand tracking, Facebook is proudly saying that it is already at the forefront of that next wave, ready to embrace and engulf all parts of people’s lives, both the social ones and the professional ones.