Better than Zoom, and without a helmet, Spatial offers videoconferencing in virtual spaces

The virtual reality company Spatial has just announced the opening of web access for its 3D teleconferencing system. From now on, it is no longer necessary to have a helmet to participate. A simple computer or smartphone is enough. And it’s free.

The containment measures taken across the world to tackle the pandemic of coronaviruses have led to an unprecedented rise of video conferencing solutions. The virtual reality company Spatial Systems offers a virtual reality alternative to classic Zoom software, which is limited to a mosaic of video streams. No need to have a headset, since the firm has just announced that meetings are now accessible with a simple browser, from a smartphone or a computer.

Anyone can test the system, since Spatial offers free access, currently unlimited during the pandemic. People in telework will therefore soon be able to resume discussions around the coffee machine while respecting barrier gestures …

Free access with or without a virtual reality headset

The 3D Spatial universe is made up of virtual meeting rooms, originally designed to work with a virtual or augmented reality headset , such as Oculus Quest , HoloLens 1 and 2, as well as Magic Leap. The participants are represented in the virtual space thanks to their avatar composed of a torso, a head and arms.

Spatial superimposes a photo of each person’s face over the head of their avatar . This follows the movement of the person’s head and arms, and the face comes alive when she speaks. Participants can manipulate the environment, and add 3D objects, write notes, or even share their screen from the Web version .

As for people who do not have a VR / AR headset , the image of their webcam is displayed in a rectangle that floats in the virtual room. They therefore follow the virtual meeting on their computer or smartphone screen, and can interact with the other participants.