Pandemic May Ease Use of VR, AI, Wearable Tech in Corporate World

Consumer technology products may no longer be confined to entertainment activities, as the current pandemic may ease their use for the corporate world, serving as vital instruments for people looking for a more productive way of working away from their office. Tit for tat, corporate tools can also make their way to consumers. Zoom, a remote conferencing service, has become a go-to karaoke spot for the musically inclined. 

After all, working from home (WFM), even for expats, might become the new normal for a few months, as the government and the private sector alike unroll various initiatives to prevent coronavirus from spreading even further. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) calls the virus a global pandemic that needs to be taken seriously. Federal governments all over the United States are trying their best to contain it, while businesses are looking for ways to survive it.

Many employees have no choice but to work from home as a result. Yes, the assignee can do their work peacefully in the quiet of their own homes, without anyone looking over their shoulder. If their spouse and/or kids are living with them, they can also use the time to do some necessary bonding time, along with having actual long-overdue conversations. Until boredom sets in. 

The assignee also starts to miss the personal departmental meetings, and the ribbing and the camaraderie with their colleagues stationed at the next cubicles. They might also find themselves wanting to lock swords again with the competition in the usual interoffice feud. Netflix-bingeing has also become a tiresome tedious pastime.

Here are some consumer-facing products that may make certain technologies be a part of global mobility management and talent acquisition.

Virtual Reality

Video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Skype have become the de facto departmental or team meeting platforms these days. While these tools keep members connected, there may come a time when users will feel the need to have more than just a face they can talk to if a 3-D environment can help them become more productive and interactive. California Corporate Housing offers virtual tours of their properties.

Having a virtual presence might prove to be the next best thing to human connection—and it might soon be in-demand if this demand for social distancing continues. As described by Forbes, a Virtual Presence is almost real-life communication done through virtual reality. All you and your colleagues need are the right gear, including the headset, mic, and hand gloves, and you could find yourself in a simulated conference room with your office best friend, as well as your corporate worst critic.

Your bodies and faces would be presented in three dimensions. Your voices during conversation would sound natural, and not like they were coming through a microphone. All of your personal nuances that reflect who you are as a person—the raised eyebrows, facial expressions, and tapping fingers—would show up during the virtual interaction. That familiar, friendly office atmosphere you had missed would return. 

Another advantage of Virtual Presence over video conferencing:  a 25 percent increase in focus and concentration. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) bots

Friendly, little convo-ready AI tools are not just designed for customer service representatives or salespeople who want to reach out to a customer. At their more advanced forms, they can be your virtual assistant. 

Think of them as Siri or Amazon Echo’s voice tech combined with capabilities that can make your workflow more efficient. ReadWrite outlines the things they can do for you:  schedule your virtual meetings, transcribe their minutes, proofread your documents and weed out grammatical errors and typos, and notify you and your colleagues once specific project phases have been completed. 

AI bots can declutter your email, organize your files, and prepare you for the next virtual conference, while happily conversing with you about research and topics that can help you in your forthcoming brainstorming sessions.

Wearable tech

Wearable tech like the Apple Watch might soon replace the smartphone as the work-from-homer’s favorite tool, says Office Express. Its apps and functions are identical to the smartphone’s, but it is more convenient and effortlessly worn as compared to the latter which you still have to hold. Wearable tech also makes it more seamless for team members to connect and communicate.

These three technologies do not just help you become more productive and collaborative—they can also make your WFM situation more pleasant and even enjoyable in the long run.