When you think of VR, the biggest thing you likely think of at the moment is gaming. However, one thing that I honestly didn't think of is the way meetings and other collaborative areas, particularly work and education, could utilise VR. HTC Vive originally announced their XR Suite in June of this year and have now launched it.
The biggest perk, not everybody needs to use VR. The XR Suite allowing people to work together across all five applications through most VR devices, the PC, phones and tablets.
Before we look at the applications and features, let's talk cost. In the US, The Vive XR Suite costs companies either $30 USD per seat a month or $250 per seat for the whole year. In the UK and the rest of the EMEA region, customers can either buy the full Vive XR Suite experience, or choose which elements are best suited to them, with flexible options so companies can purchase multi-seat licenses for individual applications, and even build hardware bundles including HMDs.
The Vive XR Suite has "been created in partnership with leading VR software companies" and the five VR apps are as follows: VIVE Sync, VIVE Sessions, VIVE Campus, VIVE Social (provided by VRChat), and VIVE Museum. All of these have been designed to help with the challenges brought with the COVID pandemic, improving the function of working and learning remotely.
Cher Wang, Chairwoman and CEO of HTC, said:
Applying technology to solve real-world problems has always been a core tenet of our philosophy at HTC. The Vive XR Suite offers the ultimate VR enterprise software solution, specifically designed to help businesses solve today’s most pressing problems in a secure and innovative way. By putting the resources of HTC behind these apps, we can ensure business customers around the world receive the system scalability and professional support they demand.
Graham Wheeler, General Manager, HTC EMEA, said:
Remote working is going to be the new standard, so it’s important that collaboration across organisations is constantly improving thanks to advances in technology. Vive XR Suite is designed to offer the leading spatial applications on the market to deliver a seamless user experience which improves productivity and engagement for users with and without XR devices. We’ve worked with the best talent in the industry, and together we are leading the next collaboration revolution.
As the Vive XR Suite has been designed with businesses in mind, it includes a number of features to allow businesses of all sizes to take advantages of the suite. These features are as follows:
- Single Sign-On (SSO): Sign-up/log-in using one account to securely access all XR Suite apps
- Cross-Device support: Full interaction support for PCs, phones, tablets and most major VR devices
- Global Access/Support: Secure servers optimized for performance/accessibility/stability across all regions, enhanced multi-language UI, local customer support in your region.
- Unified UI/UX: Unified look-and-feel and custom 3D worlds/interfaces across all apps
- Customizable Avatar: Customize your avatar to fully express your identity
- Deep Linking: Easily jump into virtual sessions from a simple weblink (coming soon)
- Enterprise management: Central and secure enterprise management of applications and users.
While I certainly understand the push to capitalise on the home-working situation you find in these COVID times, the complete collection of applications isn't likely going to be needed for any single company. At least not that I can imagine. However, some of these apps will certainly have their uses and I imagine that this collection of apps will be improved and enhanced over time.