The concept of virtual reality is not new. However, it took some time for technology to advance enough to create VR experiences that were both realistic and engrossing. Today, VR is becoming more and more prevalent, especially when Facebook changed its name to Meta and the public’s focus shifted to the metaverse.
Even though some people think the genuine metaverse won’t exist for many years, it has been used for online gaming for a while. The metaverse development services, however, also provides a game-changing possibility to hold meetings and work with remote teams in a brand-new method, aside from online entertainment.
But how can SMBs that aren’t primarily in the tech industry begin operating in the metaverse and have their first virtual meetings? This blog post will give you a step-by-step tutorial for setting up a real virtual office to have meetings in the metaverse as well as an overview of the various options that are available.
Why Would Businesses Need A Virtual Office?
Holding virtual meetings on websites like Zoom, Meet, and Teams has swiftly established itself as the new norm as remote work becomes more popular. But everyone who has attended one of these meetings has firsthand knowledge of its numerous limitations.
With fully interactive virtual workstations, virtual reality provides the potential to create an immersive meeting setting. It’s much better because you can hear space audio and see body language, allowing you to talk over one another rather than taking turns. You might lean in to focus on something differently based on posture, which is another crucial component of communication, and then use your hands to communicate, which is a significant part of how we interact with one another.
Additionally, participating in a VR meeting (with the headset on) totally blocks out any outside distractions, with the added bonus of avoiding having your cat wander in front of the camera.
Three Options To Pick From:
To create a true VR workplace area, there are three main alternatives.
Create Your Own Virtual World
The first choice is to genuinely build your office within your virtual environment. The platform must then be hosted on a server so that your colleagues can use it from a distance. Additionally, you have to deal with a lot of technological challenges that are difficult to solve on a tight budget.
However, some businesses have already done this with success. ZOAN is one instance. This business collaborated with top VR headset producer Varjo to develop a distinctively authentic VR experience for each of its employees.
Of course, it helps if your business specializes in developing VR environments. For the typical startup or small business, this is typically not an option.
Pre-Built Metaverse Workplaces
The second and third choices include entering pre-existing metaverses and establishing a business there. One alternative when taking this route is to select software programmes made expressly for business meetings and VR collaboration, such as Microsoft Teams/Mesh integration and Meta’s (previously Facebook’s) Horizon Workrooms.
Any of the many other businesses that are successfully fighting with these tech behemoths would be a fantastic choice. These are primarily paid services, despite the fact that they are integrated with current workflows and optimized for office use.
Create Your Workplace Within An Existing Metaverse
The alternative is to utilize more decentralised virtual worlds like Decentraland, Roblox, and The Sandbox, which are already operational and accessible from any location in the world. This is a compromise between the first two possibilities.
It also has the advantages of being totally customized and free (except from the first investment in virtual land, which can not be a small sum).
The remaining portion of this article explains how SMBs can utilize Decentraland as a metaverse platform to set up their virtual workplace and have meetings with remote teams.
Establishing A Genuine Virtual Office
Decentraland is a virtual environment, however it’s still incompatible with VR and VR gear, as a disclaimer. It is only reachable via a web browser. The platform is working on building VR capabilities, which should be available in 2022.
It’s a smart idea to get in early because when that happens, the value of its native cryptocurrency, Mana, and consequently the value of a land parcel and other assets, will probably increase.
Here are the methods for organizing your virtual meetings in the metaverse, without further ado.
Create A Virtual Wallet For Your Company
Anyone can create and discover experiences created by other users in the virtual environment Decentraland, which is powered by Ethereum. It is therefore ideal for setting up an office for online meetings.
A cryptocurrency wallet is required to open an account in Decentraland. This wallet will act as your bank account, a means of payment on the platform, and a kind of passport or ID.
You can select from a variety of cryptocurrency wallets, some of which allow you to open a commercial or institutional account. Given that this virtual world is browser-based, a browser-based wallet like MetaMask is the best choice.
Purchase Some Cryptocurrency
Some aspects of this metaverse require payment, while others allow free transactions in exchange for fees that go to the Ethereum blockchain miners. This implies that in order to begin, you’ll need money in your wallet.
If you’ve never purchased cryptocurrencies, you’ll need to download a cryptocurrency exchange that enables you to do so using your home currency or another available one.
Among the most prominent options are Coins Mart, Coinbase, and Binance. Any option is OK as long as it is compatible with the wallet of your choice (the most are, but it never hurts to check).
Once your exchange account is set up and connected to your wallet, you must buy some Ether (to cover the gas fees for the Ethereum network) and some Mana (Decentraland native currency).
You should have at least $100 worth of each, ideally 0.05 Ether and between 20 and 30 Mana, but don’t worry about the exact numbers just yet.
It’s a widespread misconception to believe that you can purchase cryptocurrencies like Ether or Bitcoin via an online trading platform, but this isn’t how those platforms operate.
On some sites, you can buy and trade multiple cryptocurrencies, but you can’t move your cryptocurrency to a wallet to spend it in the metaverse.
Set-Up An Account on Decentraland
This account opening procedure is straightforward. You can create an account on the Decentraland website by clicking Get Started, after which you will be asked to link your wallet.
After completing that step, you are prepared to begin personalizing your avatar. At this point, there’s no need to be a stickler for detail. You can always make changes afterwards.
Give Your Avatar A Unique Name
You can enter Decentraland with a random guest number as a visitor and explore the area, but in order to become a true resident, you must register a distinctive name for your avatar in the blockchain. As of the time of writing this essay, this procedure costs 10 Mana, or around $27.
Study The Tutorial To Familiarize Yourself With Platform
Like in other online games, Decentraland has a tutorial mode where you may learn how to move around and carry out various tasks. I recommend that you finish the tutorial. It will clarify everything else.
Purchase A Piece of Land
Land parcels in Decentraland can be purchased and owned as if they were suburban properties since they are distinct digital assets known as NFTs. When you purchase a piece of land, you own it forever and can do whatever you want with it, including construct on it.
Real estate in the virtual world functions exactly like real estate in the physical world, with the exception of the irksome laws of physics, taxes, and upkeep costs.
On NFT marketplaces like Opensea, you can locate available land plots for sale. However, the main obstacle to entry in Decentraland is the cost of this virtual land.
Nevertheless, it can make sense to use it as real estate to create your virtual office and as a long-term investment that could be profitable.
You can always hire a virtual office if you don’t have that much money on hand.
Build Your Office
A very simple and user-friendly drag-and-drop 3D builder is provided by Decentraland. You can utilize the 3D assets that are either free or paid for in the builder collection, or you can make your own 3D assets in a separate 3D modeling programme and import them into the builder.
This gives you the ability to design a unique workspace that complements your brand and that your coworkers and employees can readily identify with.
Even better, you can hire expert architects to create Decentraland- and other metaverse-specific components.
Register Your Coworkers And Staff Members In Decentraland
Everyone who wants to attend a meeting must sign up for a Decentraland account as previously mentioned. They are not required to register their distinctive names, but it is recommended.
You’re ready to go. All that’s left to do is arrange your next meeting and provide your staff with directions to your plot of land. Everything else is up to you.
For startups and small firms, setting up an office in the metaverse to hold meetings is a simple approach to enter this ground-breaking industry.
The cost of land and the fact that it isn’t fully virtual reality (VR) are without a doubt Decentraland’s major shortcomings, but it also gives you the chance to quickly design your own environment and own it thanks to the strength of NFTs.
The good news is that you can sell your office to the highest bidder and recoup some of your investment or maybe even turn a profit if you ever decide to close it.
Therefore, this is one of the best possibilities to pick from if you’re running a small firm or startup with a remote crew.
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