A look at what we shipped in 2021
There were so many things we accomplished in 2021, it’s hard to believe that they all happened during the same year! So busy, in fact, that we shipped 37+ releases of new features and bug fixes! meetingRoom is an ever-improving, richer experience for our customers. Our goal is to continue to surpass their expectations with our virtual meeting spaces. We’ve gathered some of the highlights in this post to save you having to google some of our more esoteric updates.
Dynamic virtual meeting spaces
For starters, we revamped the way virtual meeting spaces are created in meetingRoom to be dynamic. Spaces are now built and distributed to your teams by the meetingRoom team. This is huge for collaborative work and means when you want to make a new type of room, we can do it in minutes, not months. The limit is your imagination for how you would like your ideal space to be set up. We work with team admins to ensure greatest efficiency when putting spaces together.
The multi-avatar system lets you create your own avatars without much hassle to use in virtual meeting spaces. Your organisation now handles external avatars in all your spaces. It enables users to take part looking the way that is most comfortable to them.
We have partnered with Ready Player Me as our first external avatar partner. This allows you many people working on a project at once with an avatar that matches them in real life. This opens up a much more personal touch for our users when getting set up and engaging in their sessions.
Any avatar may load into any space – no matter what device you’re using! This means we’ve removed the restrictions before enforced by our original avatars. Watch this space, there will be more ways to represent yourself in meetingRoom soon.
The password manager allows you to store your login information in one secure location. Password Manager works within the virtual meeting spaces. We see most users setting things up in advance on their Windows and Mac OS X computers in advance of the session.
We found it was a real pain asking people to enter their passwords whilst in virtual reality. It helps users to get through their workflows whilst in collaborative vr sessions, and ensures that your personal information remains secure.
We released modularised virtual meeting spaces tools in 2021. Before, only certain tools worked in one space at a time.
Now that virtual reality headset hardware has matured, we have retired access to less powerful ones (we bid farewell to the Quest 1 this year!). We are proud to enable all our tools within our dynamic spaces
e.g. whiteboards, sticky notes, 3D models and immersive content all in a virtual meeting space.
Display and content improvements
We provide an immersive experience for our customers, offering the highest quality experiences. We made many improvements to how you display content on screens in your rooms. With these changes, it is easier to add, review and remove content in your virtual meeting spaces.
Updated web browser
As well as adding the password manager, we have improved how the browser works. The meetingRoom browser brings your existing workflow of tools into your collaboration sessions. The list tools is growing, including MURAL, Atlassian, Miro, Google Workspace, Microsoft 365 and Salesforce.
Sticky note templates
A plan is only as good as the person executing it. Great plans are often ruined by poor execution. A lack of execution is often due to a lack of organization. We listened to our users. They wanted to be able to upload their own sticky note templates. Now they can in any virtual meeting spaces.
Whiteboards get used a LOT in vr, as you can imagine. We make it easy to export your work with the meetingRoom whiteboards. Now teams can bring in their own content to every whiteboard in any virtual meeting spaces.
2D images and videos
An image can tell a thousand words. Capturing the most inspirational and/or functional pictures and videos is incredible. There’s more to it than high-resolution cameras. We have made it simple to upload your beautiful images. You can then bring the content right into your virtual meeting spaces, so that everyone can get on the same page.
360 images and videos
360 videos and images are not new in 2021 and they will be a big deal in 2022 and the coming years. They tell stories, as well as advertise products and services. They enable teams to work. The more 360 cameras and tools there are, the cheaper they become and the faster they evolve. 360 images and videos are the next big thing in VR.
We have made it simple to upload your 360 content right into your virtual meeting spaces. Use cases include:
Preparing training scenarios
Reviewing content before it ships
Reviewing content after it ships!
Visiting sites from anywhere on the planet
Auditing global sites
3D model loading improvements
A lot of work has been going on in the background with regards to 3D Models. The new model loading system has been re-written from scratch to be faster and more robust. We improved performance, including doubling the size of files you can import into virtual meeting spaces. We continue to add more content types that work within meetingRoom, including JPG, PNG, PDF, OBJ, FBX, GLTF, MP4, Equirectangular MP4 and Equirectangular JPG.
Improved accessibility for virtual meeting spaces
A two-handed keyboard layout for improved input was released and we continue to improve the keyboard so you can input text with improved speed to capture your ideas in virtual meeting spaces.
App Lab Approval
Towards the end of this year we shipped to Oculus App Lab. This included a new and improved customer onboarding experience. It makes it simpler to enable business users to access virtual meeting spaces on their Quest 2.
With the 2021 releases, we know you’ll be able to get more done faster, and with less friction.
We can all agree that the virtual world we now live in wasn’t anything like the world from one year ago. Let’s get excited for a bright future in 2022.