As DaaS is set to become widespread, the tech giants are already thinking about the workspace of tomorrow.
“Imagine. You are sitting in Starbucks sipping your coffee, and with a snap of your fingers, your work screen appears in front of your eyes as you left them at home. Rather than calling a colleague when you need some help, the colleague will teleport to you, see your documents, stand by your side to help you, then disappear in an instant. This is what we call the infinite office. ”
This is what Mark Zuckerberg said last July in a podcast with “The Verge”, presenting his new flagship concept: the Metaverse.
A few months later, building on the success of its Teams videoconferencing application, Microsoft announced the new features that will be added to it via the 3D Mesh application. The upcoming features are automation, setting up avatars, integration of participants in a common virtual setting, increased attention to non-verbal interactions, facilitated creative brainstorming-type teamwork, etc. Microsoft itself calls this tool a “Metaverse platform.” And that’s not all: Apple, Alibaba & Tencent have also invested in this very popular technology.
Is the Metaverse, going to represent the workplace of the future, much more than just an ultra-sophisticated game world? Of course, for the moment, it is only about virtual work meetings, which is different from the concept of virtual desktop as in Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). In the first case, it is a place where meetings take place (i.e. the office or the meeting room), in the second case it is virtual computer desktop Cloud and remote resources.
However, we are very close to that time where the VDI will allow you to connect to your professional metaverse: a virtual desktop that will allow access to applications allowing to simulate fake physical workplaces in augmented reality….
The ability to teleport into a virtual world and meet your colleagues from your living room is certainly puzzling. But the potential long-term consequences on work habits are even more so. Below are few questions that arise after understanding Metaverse:
- Will telework be 100% generalized for everyone?
- Is business real estate doomed to disappear, as physical offices are almost useless?
- Will we be able to create CEO-like virtual physical offices with a 360 ° view of the Manhattan skyline, from our small apartment located in the suburbs of Paris?
- Will we be able to shake hands with colleagues for years to come, knowing only their avatar?
- Will we be subjected to ultra-sophisticated surveillance systems controlling keystrokes on the keyboard and mouse movements?
- What will be the future of break rooms and coffee machine places, where people usually mingle, chat and share secrets and ideas?
A fascinating concept, which goes well beyond corporate IT, poses profound societal questions. Blog to be continued…