Future of Work at Meta Connect 2022: Last year at Meta Connect, we shared a vision for the metaverse that included new ways to help people collaborate and be more productive at work. This year, we’re sharing the progress we’ve been making towards that vision—including everything we’ve announced that’s advancing the future of work
Meta Quest Pro: Great for Work
Today at Connect 2022, we announced our all-new, advanced VR headset, Meta Quest Pro. It’s the first in our new line of high-end devices and it was designed with collaboration and productivity in mind. Meta Quest Pro will help you feel more present even if you’re physically apart. And it will give you a next-level setup that lets you overlay your work on top of the physical world while taking advantage of the vast virtual space for more flexible multitasking.
Meta Quest Pro uses cutting-edge technology that will evolve the way we work, with features and experiences including:
- Innovative pancake optics: Will provide clearer visuals for reading text (like documents and emails) in VR, with 75% more contrast than Meta Quest 2. These innovative pancake optics also allowed us to slim down the headset’s optical stack by 40% compared to Meta Quest 2, meaning you’ll notice less bulk in the front of the headset when you’re wearing it so you can focus on getting things done.
- Full-color mixed reality: Allows you to see the physical environment around you. Multitask at your virtual work space with three huge virtual monitors placed exactly where you want them, with the screens appearing right above your actual desk alongside everything else in your physical workspace.
- Eye tracking and Natural Facial Expressions: Lets your avatar represent you more naturally in VR. These features, combined with hand tracking, allow avatars to show non-verbal cues, allowing for greater communication and a greater sense of presence.
- A sleek and open design: Which will allow you to use your peripheral vision for easier note taking and greater awareness of your surroundings. Plus, Meta Quest Pro features flexible levels of immersion with magnetic partial light blockers included in the box to create a more immersive experience that can be used for focused work.
- All new controllers: Which are shipping with an added stylus tip for natural writing and sketching – particularly useful for writing on the whiteboard in Workrooms. The controllers are also completely self-tracked for a 360-degree range of motion, designed to be more balanced and ergonomic with precision gestures and upgraded haptics that will add up to a better experience for people who want to build, review, and collaborate on 3D objects in VR.
At launch, Meta Quest Pro is built for people like architects, engineers, builders, creators, and designers who want to augment their workflow and supercharge their creativity with the power of VR. Longer term, we expect the device to unlock a wide range of new ways to experience and improve work across many different industries and the enterprise.
You can check out the Meta Quest Pro page to learn more about the headset and its tech specs.
Meta Horizon Workrooms: Your New Virtual Office
Last year, we announced the beta of Meta Horizon Workrooms, our VR space for teams to connect and collaborate. Now, we’re adding a series of new Workrooms features—purposefully built and optimized for the Meta Quest Pro—to help you be more productive, collaborative, and creative:
- More expressive avatars: By utilizing Meta Quest Pro’s inward-facing sensors that power eye tracking and Natural Facial Expressions features, we can now generate more authentic, lifelike avatars in real time. And because avatars can now show non-verbal cues like eye contact and facial expressions, meetings in Workrooms will give you a much greater sense of “being there” than traditional video calls.
- Breakout groups: We’ve introduced the ability for teams to shift from a big group presentation into smaller discussions in the same room for more active brainstorming. With spatial audio this means you can hear your breakout group clearly and the ambient discussions in the rest of the room, with less distraction.
- Sticky notes for whiteboard: Right now you can turn any free space in your physical environment into a virtual whiteboard. We’re introducing the ability to add sticky notes to the whiteboard for brainstorming and collaborating. And because it’s persistent, it will all still be there the next time anyone on your team logs in to that Workroom.
- Multiple screens in a new personal office: The solo Workrooms experience is also getting a major update. We’re shipping the ability to spawn three massive virtual screens on your desk, as well as four types of personal environments. These changes, combined with color passthrough, will turn your headset into a portable office.
- Zoom integration: We’re continuing to improve the Workrooms experience. Early in 2023, you’ll be able to join Workrooms via Zoom, enabling more options on how you choose to show up.
- 3D models: Next year we’ll launch an option to view 3D models in Workrooms, which we believe will be game-changing for designers, architects, and creatives.
- Magic Room: At Connect, we showed a sneak peek of a mixed reality experience we’re building that lets any mix of people, some together in a physical room and some remote, collaborate together. Workrooms is already a great solution for fully remote teams, but Magic Room will make collaboration easier and more productive for any team, including hybrid teams. We’re already experimenting with Magic Rooms at Meta, and we hope to make the experience widely available next year.
Powering Productivity with Microsoft
Workrooms is an early step towards virtual offices in the metaverse. But the metaverse won’t be built by one company alone. At Connect, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg was joined by Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella, and together, they shared their plans to accelerate the future of work.
We want Meta Quest Pro to be an enterprise-ready device that’s easy to use, deploy, and manage at scale. Our partnership with Microsoft will bring powerful new work and productivity tools to Meta Quest Pro and Meta Quest 2, including:
- Microsoft Teams immersive meeting experiences for Meta Quest: Connect, share, and collaborate in Teams immersive experiences.
- Microsoft Windows 365 for Meta Quest: Stream the Windows experience on Meta Quest Pro and Meta Quest 2 devices, and access your personalized apps, content, and settings in VR.
- Microsoft 365 app experiences for Meta Quest: Interact with 2D content from Sharepoint or productivity apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook directly from Meta Quest Pro and Meta Quest 2.
- Microsoft Teams/Workrooms integration: Join a Teams meeting from inside Workrooms.
- Meta Avatars in Microsoft Teams: Use your Meta Avatar in Teams for whiteboarding, brainstorming, and meetups.
- Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory support for Meta Quest: Enable enterprise security and management on Meta Quest Pro and Meta Quest 2 devices.
According to Nadella, Microsoft is particularly excited about the ways in which the virtual and physical worlds are coming together. This new partnership brings Microsoft’s popular productivity tools to Meta’s virtual reality devices, giving people even more flexibility in how they collaborate and get work done.
And as Zuckerberg put it, our partnership with Microsoft is a really important part of bringing VR to the workplace.
We can’t wait to start rolling out these experiences to both Microsoft and Meta customers over the coming months.
Accelerating the Future with Accenture
At Connect, Zuckerberg was also joined by Accenture Chair and CEO Julie Sweet, who revealed that the global professional services company is teaming up with Meta and Microsoft to help businesses around the world create new experiences that accelerate the future of work.
Over the last year, Accenture deployed 60,000 Meta Quest 2 headsets and transformed its onboarding process, welcoming 150,000 people in its “Nth Floor” virtual campus that was co-created with Microsoft.
Accenture will be working alongside Meta and Microsoft in the coming year to help companies use VR to transform the way they engage employees, interact with customers, or create products and services in the metaverse.
More Powerful Partnerships
These companies aren’t the only ones who are optimistic about the future of work in the metaverse. Over the last year, we’ve been working with dozens of partners to create new experiences for people looking to get things done in VR and beyond.
Autodesk is updating their collaborative design review app to take advantage of the new possibilities unlocked by Meta Quest Pro. This will give architects and designers a new way of reviewing 3D models immersively.
We’ve also been working with Adobe to help people get more done in VR. Next year, Adobe’s Substance 3D apps for professional 3D creators, designers, and artists are coming to Meta Quest Pro and Meta Quest 2, so anyone can model 3D objects and join collaborative reviews inside VR with our controllers. And Adobe will bring Adobe Acrobat to the Meta Quest Store, enabling PDF document viewing, editing, and collaboration—major advances for productivity in VR.
Making Our Devices Enterprise-Ready
Our partnerships with Microsoft and Accenture will help us make sure we can scale VR experiences to more people at work. And we know that a key part of this is ensuring businesses can easily deploy and manage devices across the workforce.
So next year, we’ll launch Meta Quest for Business, a subscription bundle for Meta Quest Pro and Meta Quest 2 that includes essential admin features like device and application management, premium support, and more.
It will also unlock access to Microsoft Intune and Azure Active Directory. This means companies that want to provision Meta Quest devices can be confident that the security and management options they expect from PCs and mobile devices will be available in VR. You can learn more here.
Changing the Way We Work Together
We believe the feeling of being present with each other across virtual, digital, and physical spaces will change the way we work together in the future, unlocking new possibilities for collaboration and connection.
Meta Quest Pro, along with our other work products, experiences, and services, will help change the way we work together.
Look out for more news and updates on our evolving work products. Or sign up for our newsletter to stay in the loop.
Last but not least, we’re accepting new applications for our Independent Software Vendor Program. Interested developers can submit their application here.