A popular competitor app to Meta’s Horizon Workrooms will soon be largely free.
With Horizon Workrooms, Meta offers its first version of a Metaverse office. Users don Quest 2 to meet with each other’s avatars at the conference table or in front of the whiteboard.
A similar app, available since 2019, could give Meta more competition in this space in the future: The productivity app Immersed from the eponymous US startup now offers much of its functionality for free. These include three virtual monitors above the desk and the ability to collaborate with up to four people in a private online space.
Free VR office for Meta Quest 2
Remote Desktop can even bring the image of a computer, smartphone or tablet into VR. This means that users don’t have to constantly take off their VR headset to access other devices – similar to the Virtual Desktop app. What’s more, Immersed is even compatible with the first model of the Meta/Oculus Quest – unlike Horizon Workrooms, which requires a Quest 2.
In the future, the app will focus more on virtual collaboration, according to CEO and founder Renji Bijoy. In the past, Immersed was viewed by the community as more of an app for “screens in VR,” he said.
With the change in strategy, his company is likely preparing for Meta’s upcoming pro headset, Cambria. The new VR headset could make it easier to work in virtual reality for longer periods of time, such as through a sharper font rendering.
Immersed’s free offering also includes a shared whiteboard with other participants, an offline mode and a virtual webcam. Also included is the option to make phone calls in VR (beta).
Those who want to use Immersed professionally or on a larger scale need the “Sixer” edition for $29.99 – a reference to the corporate warriors in the Ready Player One. It allows for over 20 co-workers, five virtual monitors, and more sophisticated user management. In exchange for cryptocurrency, a “builder” license can also be purchased, which enables events to be held on purchased virtual land.
From subscription model to virtual marketplace
Bijoy explains why his company wants to slowly move away from the subscription model. This would remove unnecessary hurdles that could keep prospective customers away.
Instead, he says, the company is focusing more on selling virtual goods in the future: “Immersed is in the process of releasing a marketplace in which users can purchase the digital goods that they want instead of being locked into a specific pricing tier (ie., new environments, decor, avatar flair, etc.), which will be our longer-term strategy for monetization.”
Click here for an overview of the new pricing and free models, respectively. Immersed is available in the Quest Store. “Desktop Agent & VR App” for Windows, Mac and Linux can also be downloaded from the official Immersed website.