The massive change to working at home has made collaboration for work hard. Even though there are a plethora of video chat apps, they are used in crowded meetings where regular social interactions are impossible. Spontaneous chats and casual conversation have died out: calling someone without prior notice or reason is rare. By losing the sense of a shared workspace, not seeing other people work, one also loses motivation. This has created a major hit in productivity, as well as a degradation in mental health among a wide range of people.
We propose a professional telepresence platform to connect users in a virtual office environment.
What it does
We simulate a virtual office, where each connected person has a position in the virtual office. You can hear people in your proximity and talk to them, and move around to people at their desks or at the coffee machine. Simply connect with your phone or browser when you start working and see other people connected in the area.
Our provided demo works on a 2D top-down map of a sample office. Users can log in and move around on the map and talk to other logged in users. Voice volume depends on the proximity and orientation of other users.
This enables to walk up to anybody who is currently logged in and start casual conversations. Say a few words to your co-worker on the way to the coffee machine!
How we built it
We used React and Meteor to build this project.
What's next for Mirror Office
Changing the implementation to a 3D office environment would be the first step. Implementing support for VR and AR visualization would be the next:
If the virtual office layout is the same as the layout of the physical office, remote workers could use VR to be present in the virtual office, while onsite workers could use AR to see/interact with people in the virtual office. People could also use different customizable avatars for the 3D space.