"A Resource Guide to XR Collaboration" is an interactive and comprehensive guide to using Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) – collectively described here as “eXtended Reality” (XR) collaboration platforms for business and education.
Last year we were forced to adapt to the rules of social distancing brought on by the global COVID-19 pandemic. In response, we all learned how to utilize technology to enable us to work, learn, and interact with one another in a viscerally personal way while remaining physically distant in our respective homes.
We watched the enormous impact this crisis had and continues to have on educational institutions forced to transition from in-classroom learning to homeschooling or remote learning. We spend the bulk of the work day connecting through chat, video, and collaboration platforms with no user manual on how this all works best.
Many of us struggle with the challenge of adapting to this “new normal” where much of the world's population has found itself unable to safely hold face-to-face meetings.
Along the way, XR collaboration tools have emerged as viable alternatives –not to replace current video conferencing, but to augment them through spatial understanding. By sharing fully immersive spaces with others, we begin to bridge the physical gap between us, opening up a whole new world of communication possibilities.
Think about your last “remote meeting.” First, ignore the kids who come in and ask where the peanut butter is; that is just part of your new background. If you are like many of us, you are disengaged, checking Instagram on your phone while searching Covid-19 news in your browser, vaguely listening to what is being said on the conference call. "Video fatigue" has increased to the point where we even turn off our camera during calls – greatly reducing the sense of presence and engagement with each other.
The same meeting in XR is a new experience: nobody can see your kids enter the physical room, you cannot be distracted by your phone, you are transported to a new virtual world with your colleagues, and you become 100% present together. With XR conferencing, people may not be able to see your face (yet), but they can certainly see your body language, and that is really powerful.
Our goal in creating this publication is to provide an unbiased resource that outlines how immersive XR technologies can not only support human interaction, but also empower us to collectively adapt to our new reality, while bringing us closer together.
You are about to learn how to deploy one of the most powerful communication tools humankind has ever created. You will have everyone’s undivided attention on the task at hand, but that also means that – as a facilitator of this new medium – you must use the technology responsibly. From platform selection to security to hygiene to device selection and management, this guide will walk you through everything you might need to know to leverage the transformative power of XR collaboration in your organization.
We are all in this together, and we will continue to thrive, no matter what the future holds. Stay safe and productive, and remember: it is the personal connections we make each day that make us human. So let’s put this technology to use to bring us together like never before.
Should you have any questions or suggestions, we welcome them so that we can share this information in future releases of this document. Please email email@example.com with your input.
The XR Collaboration Team and Sponsors
March 9, 2021