ARE VIRTUAL REALITY SPACES THE ANTIDOTE FOR REMOTE WORK?

After a year and a half of much of the globe working from home we have mixed feelings. It is nice to work in one’s workout clothes from the waist down with a curated selection of snacks nearby. But it has a number of downsides, like zoom doldrums and a serious lack of inspiration from spaces and places outside of the home. Virtual Reality Spaces are demonstrating promise – from digital transformation in numerous industries to spicing up the workday. We’re intrigued.

Let’s explore: VR Spaces are digital environments in which we (humans) can hold meetings, exchange information, share media and even inspect 3D product models, in real-time from anywhere in the world.

The breadth of possible interactions within VR Spaces is vast, as is the scope for designing the spaces themselves. Unbound by physical restraints or costs, these spaces can look like anything from a sophisticated bond lair to a completely alien environment. Or a high-end office building if that’s the desire.

We recently delivered a series of VR Spaces for two of our clients: Lablinks and CatSci. Who approached us looking for solutions to provide a shared, interactive and virtual environment for their partners to be able to meet and collaborate as a remedy to the global travel restrictions. We took their initial concepts for a VR space and translated them into broader spatial experiences, based on research we undertook into the notions of virtual space and digital interfaces. They will use these spaces to host their many virtual events – in fact, the spaces were designed around the ability to provide key capabilities of product presentations, client meetings and conference-style talks.

The LABLINKS Virtual Conference Space

Lablinks VR space in Hubs

The CatSci VR presentation theatre

CatSci VR space in Hubs - Presentation Theatre

Building these rooms revealed the vast potential these 3rd spaces have in a world of reduced travel and less in-person social interaction.


OUR VR WORKFLOW

Our process for developing any VR space is broken down into three key stages:

1. Understanding your goals and business needs in full through a consultative process in order to ensure alignment on strategic direction.
2. Translating these goals into action by helping to further develop your concepts into spatial experiences by designing and building a highly optimised, pre-lit space in a 3D software application.
2. The addition of technical capabilities like waypoints, external links and interactive media using Mozilla’s authoring environment Spoke.
3. The publishing and implementation of the space on Mozilla Hubs.

Hubs workspace for LuzidLab expo

A SPACE OF OUR OWN

Feeling inspired by these clients, and in working with these new tools/platforms, we also created Luzidlab’s very own Virtual Gallery. Our first exhibition in the VR space features artworks by the artist Finn Campbell-Notman as well as Luzildab founders Mike van der Noordt and Giles Pooley.  Feel free to visit it here.

We will be hosting a programme of virtual exhibitions in the Luzidlab space featuring artists from or associated with our collective. As the calendar for these exhibitions is created we will announce those shows across our social media channels.

MOBILE VR EXPERIENCES

In addition to the Luzidlab space we created on the Mozilla Hubs platform, we also recreated the same space using Unity3D. This is a standalone version in our own app, which will be public soon. Whilst the mobile version is not a multi-user and/or browser-based experience, it allows for a higher visual richness, bespoke customisations and more complex interaction models. The mobile version isn’t suited to the same use case of the Mozilla hubs model, i.e. you can’t host interactive meetings within it (yet…). However, it offers a whole new medium for the creative industries to design and build 3D environments that can be moved around – and that appear absolutely real.

iPad LuzidLab expo image

We invite you to take a look around the Luzildab Expo, share it with your friends and let us know what you think.. We are keen to find out if others share our enthusiasm for this space and its capabilities.

We are also curious to get your thoughts on the notion of VR Spaces, which, whilst they have been a huge part of the gaming world for a long time now, are suddenly getting their day in the sun as alternative ways of doing business by facilitating connections and collaboration. Do you think they are here to stay? Or just a technological fad?


Luizidlab is an international community of acclaimed digital storytellers and strategists, content creators and experience designers. We are a collective driven by the desire to bridge the gap between culture, technology and humanity.  We come from within the Museum and Heritage sector, having worked to create tools that underpin digital culture at interpretation agencies for leading institutions around the world. It is our mission to work with museums of all sizes to ensure they have the tools, skills and know-how to thrive within the ever-changing realm of digital culture. 

We are always looking to collaborate with cultural, educational and social entities to build projects that will lead to more positive futures for all. If there is a project we can help you with, get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

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