Are you one of those loners who works from a remote location and are missing out on the fun while your colleagues at your company office enjoy a new year’s bash?
Fret no more, because with technology gaining pace, office parties have already transformed from dress up and walk in, to dress up and log in for a virtual office party. In fact, it may now not even be too far when you, who are thousands of miles away, could holoport yourself to party with your colleagues in office.
With holoportation, communicating and interacting with remote users becomes as natural as face-to-face communication. Microsoft’s research project holoportation is a new type of 3D capture technology that allows high-quality 3D models of people to be reconstructed, compressed and transmitted anywhere in the world in real time. Microsoft says that “when combined with mixed reality displays such as HoloLens, this technology allows users to see, hear, and interact with remote participants in 3D as if they are actually present in the same physical space”.
While remote-worker groups across organisations have already hosted virtual office parties with small groups of about 8-10 people logging in to their video conferencing portals in a festive fervour. It is a bridge for the telecommuters who yearn for a bit of traditional workplace togetherness, and the festive office celebrations. However, the current technology still has some limitations.
In a virtual party where participants login through a webcam, they may grab a drink and chit chat with people online and be able to see them, however ultimately they are still alone in their own rooms and may not feel the motivation to interact as they would in a natural physical set-up. It is more or less like any other virtual meeting or team building exercise and not so much of a real party.
On the other hand, the idea of holoportation opens up new hopes and possibilities for remote-workers as it allows people to see, feel and interact with each other in real-time three dimensional view. Though it’s yet to be seen how the technology will work out for bringing together larger groups of people spread across geographies, the concept for sure spells exciting times ahead. Who knows you could actually holoport yourself to the next New Year’s bash!