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The virtual workplace

whatsapp-image-2016-09-02-at-13-11-08-1When I started out as a freelancer, I had one big problem: the lack of any real office. I live in an apartment with a pretty big living room, but only two bedrooms, one being used for sleeping, the other for a drying rack and storage. While it is definitely possible to do work in the living room, I have to put extra effort into keeping focus, especially when doing paperwork. So most of the time, I end up either working at the client or at a flex space.

Still, having an office of my own for a company was still something that lingered in my mind. I still have a vision in my head on how I want it to look: Just a nice, open room with my desk in the center. A bookcase on the side with some programming books and potentially comics. In a corner, I’d like to have a table filled with tons of little gadgets to tinker with. Space will be reserved for the HTC Vive. And a 3D printed version of my logo somewhere on the wall. I still have to wait until I’m getting a new apartment or house, but I definitely already have the whole thing in my head.

Eventually, my ideas about this subject has led to one of my favorite pet projects: The Virtual Office.

The possibilities of WebVR

NaamloosThe first time I used Google Docs, a whole new world opened up for me. I had been using and building web applications at the time, but what Drive offered just blew my mind. I was writing a document, just like Microsoft Word, but in a browser! Not only that, but I could actually work in real-time with other people. I wouldn’t have to worry about sending a document with the other person having a newer or older application. The biggest pro that this offered was that I could easily reach my documents on any computer without requiring to install any software or make sure that my files were synced properly. And then I haven’t even started about the possibilities with mobile devices.

For me, it was pretty much a turning point and made me turn to web applications for work that I would normally do via a desktop application. Especially with the incredible progress that’s been made with frameworks like Angular2, you can pretty much code web pages to give the same user experience like a regular application would.

All of this is part of the reason why I’m seriously enthusiastic about the possibilities that WebVR is going to offer.

The Five Stages of VR

(Since this article passes the 750 word mark, I fear it officially qualifies as a Long Read – my apologies for that in advance – but they are Five. Neither Four, or Six. But Five.)

It’s difficult to escape the mention of Virtual Reality when you’re out and about. There is hardly a single newspaper, popular magazine, news bulletin or tech-savvy blog that hasn’t devoted one or more articles to it. We’ve all Heard about it – Virtual Reality (and in its wake perhaps, Augmented Reality) is set to change the world. It’s an exciting new technology, being promoted by the technology enthusiasts and creating a buzz wherever you go.

But what IS it, really – and what does VR, as it is usually abbreviated, mean for you and your life? Well, as with most technological developements, from the Internet (which celebrated its 25th birthday – sort of, kinda – a few weeks ago) to Mobile telephones and especially the development of the smartphone, it usually takes some time for inventions to go from the lab/kitchen table/garage to the hands of the mainstream consumer. In fact, most technologies and inventions go through very distinct phases – and sometimes not reaching the consumer market at all.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor virtual reality experience

At The Reality Lab, we believe that VR is way too powerful to leave it out there in the ‘Through of Disillusionment‘ (more on that in a later article). We need to get this technology out there, and allow people everywhere to experience and use it. And that’s why we defined a number of objectives that we would like to achieve – stuff that we want to get done at the end of the day. We call them the Five Stages of VR – they are the five ways by which we want to make VR accessible to you.

So what’s up with Virtual Reality?

ExperienceIf you have visited our page, you are likely already well aware of what Virtual Reality is. With the use of a head-mounted display, your brain is tricked into believing that it’s standing in a completely different environment. By having the camera match the user’s head movement and with the addition of peripherals to interact with the world, the user can experience a reality unlike our own.

It’s just an amazing concept. Much like how Star Trek predicted the mobile phone and tablets, it was definitely on to something when the series introduced the Holodeck. We can go to different worlds, do things that we normally wouldn’t do or even be able to do. Shoot at robots as a space pirate, or become the main character in a story where you are entering an alien world to rescue your twin sister. Prepare for an important presentation by acting out the whole thing in a room filled with virtual people. Do your daily office work on a space station overlooking the Earth. Talk with friends on the other side of the world around a campfire. Or simply watch a movie in your own private cinema.

What I’m talking about here is not sci-fi. It’s already here. I’ve done all the above, some on a regular basis. We can already experience it. So why hasn’t it caught on yet?

Our new website is Live!

The Reality Lab was founded to make Virtual Reality available to a wide audience.

Cool new technology usually takes some time to reach all of us – but actually, VR is not that new. The concept and idea has been around for decades – and now it’s finally here for all to enjoy.

We have been working on a number of cool projects over the last few months, which we will be bringing to you all soon.

Are you anxious to learn more about Virtual Reality? Want to know what it might mean for you, your business or the industry you’re working in? Or perhaps you would just like to try it for yourself.

We run demonstrations using HTC Vive and Google Cardboard, among others. Curious? Drop us a line.

On our website we’ve described the services we offer in more detail. We’ll be updating our site with more content and links soon. Stay tuned and subscribe to the newsletter for our upcoming events!