Since the pandemic triggered a global shift towards remote work, employees across the board have discovered the rich benefits that come as a result of working from home. While employees miss their social connections with coworkers, the increased productivity and convenience delivered by remote work have given rise to the demand for a hybrid work environment.
In the post-pandemic world, employees have begun to view remote work in a highly favorable light. Owl Labs determined in its State of Remote Work 2021 Report that 84% of employees are happier working from home, while PwC’s US Remote Work Survey found that 83% of employers have found their employees to be more productive when working remotely.
Despite its perks, working from home does prevent employees from fulfilling one highly-important need — human interaction. But what if there was a way to enable employees to socialize while still enjoying the perks of working from home?
Thanks to 5G and the Metaverse, there may just be.
The Metaverse, a collection of virtual reality worlds powered by AR, VR, and 3D technology, is an ideal platform on which to build a virtual work environment in which employees can participate in social activities with coworkers from the comfort of their own homes. Just some of the activities that workers can potentially enjoy include sitting with coworkers at virtual company lunchrooms and enjoying happy hours.
In order to make this vision a reality, however, a network with the capacity to support the transfer of significantly large volumes of Metaverse data is required. By outpacing previous networks in terms of broadband and latency, 5G is the ideal network to support vital Metaverse activities and its supporting technologies, including AR and VR devices.
Currently, there are a range of 5G network companies working to bring the Metaverse to life.
One of the top 5G stocks that is bringing the Metaverse to life is Verizon. Using its 5G networks, this telecommunications company launched an augmented reality treasure hunt called H1DD3N within geofenced areas across the cities of Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and Seattle. By scanning QR codes hidden across the cities with their smartphones, participants would be able to see animated characters interacting with real-world objects.
Two companies at the forefront of 5G technology that are working together to develop the Metaverse are network provider T-Mobile and semiconductor manufacturer Qualcomm Technologies. In a project supported by T-Mobile’s Accelerator program, Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Spaces XR development platform will be used to develop AR glasses that will act as smartphone companions.
T-Mobile’s Accelerator program will see tech developers and startups come together in order to develop unique Metaworld experiences for the AR glasses. The project is expected to be delivered in Spring 2022.
As the partnership between 5G and the Metaverse continues to strengthen, how will it impact the way we work?
is introducing cartoon avatars that team members can use to represent themselves on Microsoft Teams video calls. The company is also working on introducing immersive metaverse virtual meeting spaces, whereby avatars will interact as if coworkers were physically present in one space.
As the push towards collaboration in virtual workspaces fuels the growth of the metaverse, the role that 5G plays in supporting this technology becomes increasingly important. If you previously felt unsure about investing in this space, then this technology’s surging popularity and potential may give you the confidence you need to set yourself up for potential future growth.
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Teamflow is a startup that is creating virtual office spaces. On Teamflow’s platform, users appear as bubbles that can move around between different rooms.
Users have the option of entering private rooms for meetings that cannot be overheard, writing on virtual whiteboards, and participating in conferences. To add a drop of realism into the mix, the volume at which you are able to hear co-workers speak depends on how close your bubble is to theirs.
Graphics processing unit manufacturer Nvidia is working on a metaverse-infrastructure project called Omniverse. This 3D platform enables users to collaborate in the real-time construction of physical objects and materials that are used in industries such as construction, fashion, and game development.
Meta, formerly known as the Facebook company, has released a virtual office experience called Horizon Workrooms. Available on the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset, this platform is effectively a virtual meeting room that you can enter either via VR with an avatar or by dialing in from your computer via video call.
Once immersed in the virtual meeting room, you’ll have the ability to sit at the meeting table and use your keyboard just as you would in real life. Alternatively, you and your colleagues can make use of the virtual whiteboard or simply use the space for casual discussions.
While other innovations are aimed at transporting coworkers to a virtual workspace, Microsoft is bringing the Metaverse to us through its augmented and mixed reality Mesh platform.
5G and the Metaverse article and permission to publish here provided by Holly Clarke. Originally written for Supply ChainGame Changer and published on April 18, 2022.
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