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Future Workplace: Augmented Reality Lounges

For years now, I’ve been pessimistic about the Metaverse. To the point when anyone mentioned the metaverse, I would quickly jump into Decentraland and show them the low-quality graphical ghost town where all there was to do was gamble – either with an online casino or on ‘land’ prices within the metaverse.

Metaverse flaws

The problem I had with the metaverse that is its primary purpose was to create revenue or sell something, rather than being focused on the experience. I remember one company proudly showing off their corporate metaverse campus, with the opening sequence being someone driving to the campus – why they thought replicating an employee’s painfully dull daily commute was a great idea, I’ll never know.

Thankfully all the metaverse hype died down, with Facebook rolling back their strategy after investing $10 billion in the project with little to show for it. Again, their value proposition was so flawed that they couldn’t even get their own employees to use it, and had to mandate a certain amount of hours using it.

The VR/AR Potential

Earlier this year, Apple released their VR/AR goggles which is the first time I’ve been optimistic about more widespread adoption. It will probably still take another 5 years for widespread adoption, but its integration within the IOS ecosystem and the mix of AR and VR capabilities give it the best of both worlds rather than standalone VR or AR devices.

Particularly the way it slowly reveals your eyes and the outside world as others approach you I thought was a cool feature.

Women sitting in a futurist lounge wearing a VR headset

So if there is widespread adoption of Apple Vision Pro over the next decade, what does that mean for the workplace?

The shift to hybrid working and endless MS Teams or Zoom calls gives us an early insight into the potential impact. Most offices still don’t have enough focus or retreat spaces for loud virtual meetings, leading to situations where nearby workers are frustrated or you have multiple people sitting next to each other but all using individual screens and instances of the same virtual meeting.

The 2033 Workplace

A connected but more relaxing reality?

One of my more outlandish predictions is that the 2033 workplace will have ‘augmented reality lounges’.

People lounging iin sunlit lobby with dedicated 'pods'

These futuristic lounges would provide an acoustic refuge for virtual collaboration. Screens or soundproof walls would prevent noise from disturbing coworkers. I even envision the lounges being used for quick micro-naps to recharge - if future work cultures become more accepting of the practice.

Ideally, the lounges would have some kind of screen for acoustic and privacy reasons, and maybe it could even be used for micro naps - should some work cultures ever choose to accept the practice.

Within this post are concepts created via MidJourney.

Do you think we’ll see spaces like this over the next 5-10 years?

People sitting in pods alone and some together in a tree and sunlit filled lobby.

While the specifics are speculative, one thing is certain - our workplaces will continue to transform in response to how we work. The virtual collaboration technologies of today are merely a prelude to the immersive workspaces of tomorrow.


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