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virtual reality (VR) zoom fatigue
Other, Video

Zoom Fatigue is real. VR is here to help.

The term ‘Zoom Fatigue’ was coined over the past year to describe the general malaise associated with constantly being on video calls throughout the day.

Now researchers say that it is a real phenomenon and have identified four main causes including “excessive and intense eye contact, constantly watching video of yourself, the limited mobility of being stuck at your desk, and more energy spent identifying social cues you’d otherwise pick up on intuitively in person.”

Virtual Reality (VR) offers an alternative to video by addressing some of the root causes of Zoom Fatigue.

Excessive and intense eye contact – While eye contact is an important aspect of communication, staring at a panel of faces for prolonged periods of time on a flat screen is simply not natural. VR replaces the flat screen with a shared 3D environment in which participants are spaced naturally apart and conversations mimic those of the real world.

Constantly watching video of yourself – It is natural for humans to fixate on our own appearance and this can distract from natural conversation with others. In VR, everyone is represented as an expressive avatar. This lowers self-judgement and allows for less inhibited conversation.

Limited mobility of being stuck at your desk – Sitting in one place for long periods of time is not healthy mentally or physically. Current VR headsets are not tethered to a computer allowing you to take meetings from anywhere, standing or sitting.

More energy spent identifying social cues – Non-verbal communication can be equally important as speaking and listening. With video calls, those cues typically only happen from the shoulders up and within the confines of a 2D box. In VR, hand gestures, gaze direction, and overall body posture are observable in a 3D environment giving a more complete sense of how someone is reacting to and absorbing information and conversations.

Foretell Reality is a VR platform for remote communication that offers all of the benefits of 3D environments and avatars. We work with our clients to design experiences that fit their use cases in areas like group therapy and support, soft skills training, and business collaboration. Interested in a demo? Click here.

Lifestyle, Other, Travel

Discovering Diversion, Connection, and Wellbeing inside VR

In light of the recent pandemic, stay at home orders are causing people to feel confined, isolated, and anxious. For WIRED’s Chelsea Leah, VR (Virtual Reality) became an unexpected tool for staying active and relieving stress during this period. Through meditation, exploration, socializing, and movement, she describes how she overcame her initial skepticism to make VR part of her regular routine. Here are some of the applications she discovered:

Meditation: Reef migration, as the name suggests, is an underwater VR environment in which one can explore a coral reef and interact with marine life. 

The graphics are wonderful, the sounds are peaceful, and there’s enough passive action to keep my brain entertained. The best part? I’m not wet or cold, and I don’t need to go up for air”

Exploration: Google’s VR version of Google Earth allows anyone who may feel homesick to revisit places from their childhood through their VR headsets. 

“Simply being able to see these places in VR helped me cope with the nostalgia and longing to go somewhere”.

Socializing: Rec Room is a social space where people from all over the world can play games and do other activities together.

“I recognize the subtle head and arm movements of my individual friends, making it feel as though we truly are in the same room together.” 

Movement: Beat Saber challenges players to physically slash through rapidly approaching music blocks with a virtual lightsaber. 

anything that mixes pop music with light sabers is destined for success.”

The Foretell Reality platform leverages the strengths of VR for professional use cases including tools and environments for therapy and support, soft skills training, and business collaboration. 

Other, Soft Skills

Recruitment and Hiring Through Virtual Reality (VR)

Online interviews are now the standard for job hiring. They are of course, not without their own challenges. From technical glitches, lack of body language cues, difficulty maintaining eye contact, and judgements on camera position and background, online video interviews can be uncomfortable and challenging.

One way to improve this experience would be to shift it to Virtual Reality (VR). VR touts many benefits from enhancing eye contact and body language to allowing both parties to grasp the context of questions and fit better. An interview is an opportunity for both the interviewer and interviewee to learn more about one another. A prospective employee can tour the office workspace virtually and view the company culture firsthand.

VR allows the candidate to interact with virtual team members in an immersive environment, perhaps even working through simulations to demonstrate their expertise. VR also masks the physical appearance of a candidate, removing stigma and bias from the interview process and also relieving a source of stress for the candidate who now does not have to concentrate on their appearance or physical location. VR also allows for all participants to be better focused and attentive.

Though video and audio may be the standard at the moment for interviewing, forward thinking companies should consider VR which promises a much more immersive, unbiased, and lifelike alternative to find the best candidates.

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