Dan KallenDecember 4, 2020December 18, 2020Are you ‘Zoomed’ out? This list of Virtual Reality Meeting Apps and Software Platforms will take your next virtual collaboration to the next level.Out of necessity, 2020 has seen an incredible and potentially long lasting shift in the way companies and both their employees and customers interact. Due to the restrictions placed on business for safety purposes, we have witnessed the rise of interactive video conferencing, or the Zoom Meeting.No matter which platform you choose (Blue Jeans, Microsoft Teams, Go To Meeting, Webex), they all offer a similar variation to the same theme and for the most part all have most of the same features. So after nearly a year of these Zoom type meetings, it is easy to understand how end users are starting to feel some fatigue with this new way of conducting meetings. People are looking for something that feels more interactive and more connected…a different way to experience a meeting or event.What is the solution for continuing these essential meetings while simultaneously offering something that feels more like a real meeting? How can you turn a hybrid meeting in to an exciting Virtual Sales Kickoff Meeting or Virtual Board Meeting?One of the most intriguing developments in the meeting space has been the rise of Virtual Reality meeting platforms. For the past several months we have been exploring VR Meetings and have come up with what we believe is a list of some of the very best VR meeting tools.Spatial VR Meeting AppSpatial works in both Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality formats and on many devices from the Oculus Quest to the Microsoft HoloLens to your cell phone or PC. According to the Spatial website “we can accomplish anything, but we need the right tools and we need each other. Yes, most tools aren’t designed for how we naturally think, and our coworkers are spread all over the world. Spatial breaks through these limitations, transforming work from how it is, to how it should be. In the process, teams grow closer, think bigger, and accomplish things faster. To push the world forward, we need to spend more time thinking and less time traveling. And to execute the next big idea, we’ll need more space to think than a laptop or phone screen can provide.”In this program you create a lifelike avatar based on your likeness (selfie) and then collaborate with other people via their avatars in a simulated environment. This is truly groundbreaking VR conferencing innovation and is certainly one major step ahead for the future of VR team meetings.Meet In VR Meeting AppMeetinVR is a four year old virtual meeting platform. According to their website, “There is no doubt in our minds that VR will be the primary way people will work and connect in the future. When removing the limitations imposed by the real world, the possibilities of what can be accomplished through VR collaboration are simply unlimited.” MeetinVR is a terrific choice for Oculus Quest Virtual Meetings.Glue VR Meeting AppGlue is currently one of our favorite platforms for VR meetings. According to their website, “Glue is a modern collaboration platform that takes advantage of recent advances in immersive 3D graphics, virtual reality and cloud computing. It is intended for business professionals who need global remote access to a shared team space for efficient collaboration. Your team may be spread around the world, but in Glue’s immersive virtual environments you can come together as if meeting in person. 3D avatars reflect the movement and gestures of their users, providing non-verbal communication in addition to voice, while spatial audio gives you a natural understanding of where they are around you.”Glue’s toolkit includes “post-it notes, whiteboards and freehand 3D drawings enabling users to express and share their ideas in-session with ease. When the meeting is over, come back later if you wish – your materials remain just as you left them, for as long as your team needs them. You can also export your stuff out of Glue through our web user interface, in various supported file formats.”Glue can be used on Oculus and HTC VR headsets as well as on a PC with a good pair of headphones and a microphone.Frame VR Meeting AppFrame VR According to the Frame VR website, “We take your team through a curated exploration of virtual reality in the FRAMELABS. As your minds are collectively blown we help you explore how your organization can use this new toolset to do the same for your business.Frame VR has a wide assortment of offerings related to VR meetings. These include VR consulting and strategy where companies can learn to understand VR and apply it to their business; Training and education to stimulate deeper engagement; Immersive Content Production utilizing custom built 3D models to create and harness the power of virtual reality and 360 degree video.ENGAGE VR Meeting AppENGAGE “is an education and corporate training platform in virtual reality. It empowers educators and companies to host meeting, presentations, classes and events with people across the world. Using the platform, virtual reality training and experiences can be created in minutes. The tools are very easy to use and require no technical expertise. You can choose to host your virtual reality sessions live, or record and save them for other to experience later. A wide variety of effective immersive virtual experiences can be created with an extensive library of virtual objects, effects and virtual locations available on the platform.The ENGAGE platform can be used with a WIN 10 PC or most Oculus or HTC VR headsets among several others.Rumii VR Meeting AppRumii “brings efficiency to the education and training and re-engages people in immersive and social environments that leverage our natural human desires for socialization and achievement, reducing the leader-learner paradigm to an average of 8 meaningful hours of intentional interaction. Imagine that – an entire complex concept taught in an average of eight hours. Our goal is to equip leaders with the tools they need for the next reality of education and training.” Via the use of an “avatar customization tool, users can capture their personality, exercise their sense of individuality, and create their true self. Through Rumii’s high-quality, realistic environments users are able to focus on collaboration and learning rather than the distraction of low quality, foreign environments. Our shared asset logic makes it faster for teams to share and collaborate on images, videos, 3D objects, etc. instead of wasting time searching through files.”Big Screen VR Meeting AppBigscreen VR is “like an Operating System for VR. It has many applications and use cases, ranging from productivity and chat, to gaming and movie watching. Founded in 2014, Bigscreen is a California-based startup creating an immersive virtual reality telepresence platform that aims to revolutionize the way people work, play, hangout and collaborate.Use cases of Bigscreen include both entertainment and productivity. It’s used as a virtual living room to watch movies, play videogames, browse the web, and hangout with friends. It’s also used for productivity as a tool for remote teams to collaborate together in virtual offices.Since the beta launch in March 2016, Bigscreen has become one of the most popular and highest rated VR apps on the Oculus Store and has an incredible 93% positive rating on Steam. Power users spend 20-30 hours per week in Bigscreen, making it one of the most widely used ‘killer apps’ in the industry.We aren’t building a content company or a gaming company. We aren’t building the ‘metaverse’ and our goal is not to build a social network. Instead, we aim to build useful tools that enable users to use existing content, apps, and games in VR and to socialize and hangout in a shared VR space with their friends and coworkers. Bigscreen is approaching a specific question: how will VR and AR headsets change the way we use our computers?”Try Before You Buy VR Headset ProgramVR Rentals are the perfect way for you to try out many of the programs listed above in demo form. But you will still need Virtual Reality Headsets to use in your evaluations. That’s where Hartford Technology Rentals come in. We carry a wide range of both AR and VR headsets in quantity from Oculus to HTC to Samsung and Microsoft. Your headset can arrive with the VR experiences that you are interested in exploring preinstalled and ready to use. Our technicians are available to walk you through any questions that you may have to help you get the most out of your evaluation period. And we also have been working directly with several of the software companies mentioned in this blog so we have hand’s on experience to help guide you as you start down this exciting road of virtual meetings. The world is definitely changing and here at HTR, we want to be your partner as you explore this exciting new way of doing business.Give us a call at 888-520-5667 to get things rolling!