Horizon Workrooms makes Facebook's own VR workspace a public tool

The latest in remote workplace action from Facebook is "Horizon Workrooms." In this bit of software, Facebook imagines that users will wear their Oculus Quest 2 and join coworkers in a virtual room "collaborate, communicate, and connect remotely." The concept of a virtual reality workspace is not entirely new – but this Horizon Workrooms attempt at said concept might just have the right combination of features to make it a reality for future workers in the new world.

With Horizon Workrooms, users appear with custom, virtual avatars (AKA the newest in new Oculus Avatars). They're sort of cartoony, 3D, and made to match the environment. The software uses features that make this VR workplace unique to the Quest 2 hardware (and future Oculus hardware, we must imagine).

Features include:

• Mixed reality desk tracking

• Mixed reality keyboard tracking

• Hand tracking

• Remote desktop streaming

• Video conferencing integration

• Spatial Audio

• Oculus Avatars

Facebook suggests they've been using their own version of Workrooms behind-the-scenes to collaborate working at the social network already. This latest version works with the ability to support up to 16 people in VR at once, with up to 50 total people at once (the rest on video call). Video call-in participants appear in a grid of video call boxes on a virtual wall, just as they would on any other video call.

Facebook's Horizon Workrooms can be downloaded right this minute for the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset. This app can be downloaded for free, just so long as the user is downloading in a country where Quest 2 is supported. This is an "open beta" launch of the software, so don't be surprised to find functionality change or features not working perfectly right out the gate.

It would SEEM that Facebook is taking the privacy and security of this platform seriously, too. Per the release, "Workrooms will not use your work conversations and materials to inform ads on Facebook. Additionally, Passthrough processes images and videos of your physical environment from the device sensors locally. Facebook and third-party apps do not access, view or use these images or videos to target ads."