Zoom CEO plans to use AR & VR to make virtual meetings better than face-to-face! 👓
If there's one phrase that's caught on the most in 2020, it's 'Zoom fatigue'. As soon as the entire world went remote, Zoom's popularity skyrocketed (and so did its stock!). But just weeks later, people started experiencing fatigue & burnout due to the excessive number of video calls.
Rightly so. We were connected to work 24x7. Scheduling a video call was as easy as clicking a button, so people jumped onto calls for even the smallest of things. Moreover, the only way to connect with your family & friends was again through video. So naturally video fatigue set in.
Of course people realised the problem soon, and took measures to avoid an excessive number of calls. But we can still see the remnants of 'Zoom fatigue'. Even today, one of the arguments against going full remote is that it could possibly cause burnout or fatigue due to video calls.
AR & VR to the rescue
Eric Yuan, Zoom's CEO, believes the solution to this is incorporating AR & VR capabilities into Zoom/video calls.
In his words,
”We truly believe video communication like Zoom can give a better experience than face-to-face meetings in the future. We are not there yet but we're working to get us there.”
Yuan also said that they are adapting Zoom for the Metaverse — an immersive virtual experience using AR & VR, that Facebook & Microsoft believe is the true future of work.
We need social interaction
Yuan also said that it's impossible to eliminate the need for in-person interaction, and hence hybrid working is the solution.
In his words,
”We need to get together. That is why hybrid work is the wave of the future: Two days in the office and two days at home.”
As I commented last week, hybrid is a very broad term. While I agree that there's a need for human interaction, I don't think a blanket X days in office & Y days at home is the best hybrid model. I believe companies can do much better in providing flexibility in terms of when employees can come in, and how they collaborate in the office.
Nonetheless, I do find the prospects of AR & VR very exciting when it comes to remote working. We're still far from a practical, large-scale solution but hopefully in a few years, we'll see widespread application of this technology.