VR Proving Grounds

we had to prove
we could use


Yes, many of us still have that Oculus Rift, sitting next to the gaming PC and all of its cumbersome gear, collecting dust in the office closet. So before we got too carried away with this study, we had to prove to ourselves that the Quest 2 could be more than just another novelty device, but rather serve as a meaningful tool that can benefit our team and enrich our culture.

finding the

right toolset

To be considered a success, we felt VR needed to allow us to:
  1. Facilitate real working team meetings:
    • Project briefings
    • Reviewing and providing feedback on design and dev work
    • Brainstorming meetings
    • Collaborative work sessions
  2. Reviewing and providing feedback on design and dev work
  3. Increase morale and culture through entertainment and play
  4. Better connect with our clients in similar ways
  5. Hold one-on-one meetings in a more relational way
Fortunately, since VR was not launched yesterday, several platforms or apps already exist and they are continuously being perfected over the past several years.

Of course you can play the embarrassingly fun Beat Saber and a variety of other games. Popular virtual experiences even allow you to swim with the dolphins, climb Mt. Everest or tour Italy, but those things don’t help us do our jobs better. We were searching for places where we could gather and collaborate.

Results are in VR

We tested the five collaboration platforms available on the Quest 2, Immersed, Glue, Spatial, MeetinVR and Bigscreen.  Each platforms we tested had solid features and a somewhat a unique offering. We evaluated several factors ranging from features to useability, but most importantly the ability of each app to help us meet our goals. Although we were duly impressed by most of the apps Immersed proved to be by far the best fit for what we are looking to achieve. Read on to learn why we were so impressed by Immersed. We also have a comparison graph along with brief breakdown of the pros and cons of each platform on the following page.

Our VR

App of


After evaluating every existing platform, we found the Immersed app to be far and away the best and only platform that could actually meet our needs and goals. Although not completely perfect, Immersed surprised us in several ways. This tool was built to satisfy our perceived requirements: to jump into VR and collaborate with our co-workers in a way that feels increasingly human.

Virtual Computer

Immersed essentially allows for the creation of private meeting spaces to gather in groups of up to 12 people for meetings, presentations or work sessions. In these meeting spaces, you can display your desktop computer screen (Mac or PC) to view yourself, or to share among the group.
Of each of the platforms tested (full list included at the end of this article), Immersed is the only platform that works with Macs at present. Immerse supports as many as 5 virtual screens running on your computer.

Yes, you read that right, up to FIVE simultaneous screens!

These screens can be scaled, positioned and curved to your heart’s desire. It’s like working in a NASA launch facility. These screens are only visible to you, thus you could be sitting next to a coworker who has 5 of their own screens in your screen space, but you actually can’t see them.

You can use your computer mouse, trackpad and if so desired, your keyboard.

Quite honestly this is the feature that bests other experiences and platforms. Trying to control a mouse cursor or type in content using a controller or the Oculus hand tracking is just much too clunky to use consistently.



VR Screen Sharing in Immersed
Immersed Design Meeting On Starship

Any screen can be shared with other people in the room. This is great for sharing and reviewing work, collaborating, and giving presentations. Each person sees the shared screen within their own virtual environment. They are free to scale and position it to their liking, which has no impact on the source screen. This is huge as we found most people have unique preferences for screen configuration. Screens can be quickly hidden and revealed, allowing you to rearrange as needed to carry on conversations with people in the space.

Meeting Spaces

As mentioned previously, any user can create a shared meeting space. Immersed gives you a variety of environments to choose from. Examples of these include: the winter chalet complete with a fireplace burning and snow falling on the mountains out the window; the bridge of a starship with its breathtaking view of mother Earth, rotating in view through floor to ceiling windows; the cartoony fantasy cave with waterfalls and butterflies; or even a lovely cafe with ambient jazz.

If you have a big presentation to give, an auditorium exists to do so.

I have to say that I really love seeing my presentations and design work presented at IMAX scale.

One of our creative directors, enjoys working in the cave environment where he displays his screens as massive monitors and the solitude helps him to stay productive for hours at a time. This immersive work experience has helped him to create better separation between work and home in the WFH COVID reality. He can grab his keyboard and mouse and sit somewhere else more comfortable than his desk as well. Once he tires of the cave, he has the freedom to switch over to outer space or the Alps with just two easy clicks. Imagine switching to an IRL coffee shop to physically work from, where it takes 30 minutes to drive 5 miles during LA rush hour, and don’t forget the time needed to find parking!

tool savvy

Collaboration tools

Immersed offers interactive features like a whiteboard and sticky notes but honestly, they’re not all that compelling. What worked much better for us was leveraging collaboration tools on the computer. Presently, we frequently use InVision and it's freehand tool works perfectly here. Mural is another popular collaboration tool that could be used.

The team could be logged into the whiteboard on their own computer and view it on their shared virtual screen, contributing while using their own mouse and keyboard.

Others can see this shared screen in their own environment, which is much easier to use and considerably more effective.

The webcam, a fun little surprise

These screens can be scaled, positioned and curved to your heart’s desire. It’s like working in a NASA launch facility. These screens are only visible to you, thus you could be sitting next to a coworker who has 5 of their own screens in your screen space, but you actually can’t see them.

You can use your computer mouse, trackpad and if so desired, your keyboard.

Quite honestly this is the feature that bests other experiences and platforms. Trying to control a mouse cursor or type in content using a controller or the Oculus hand tracking is just much too clunky to use consistently.

feeling more

Our most surprising and satisfying discovery was just how human the experience feels when sitting together with co-workers, listening to music and chatting, all while we conducted our own work.

You can look over and talk to a person who appears as a cartoony 3D torso, head, and hands, however it seemingly felt normal after a while.

The Quest 2 audio provides a sense that these people are sitting right next to you. This quite frankly, is the most compelling aspect of the experience and proof that this is just the beginning of something that will continue to vastly improve over time.

But having that headset on your face can’t feel comfortable, right? We admit it takes getting used to it. The Quest 2 is well balanced and fairly lightweight, so prolonged use is not as challenging as you might think. Like all new things, time is necessary to acclimate. We have found that once you find a generally comfortable strap position and tightness, you get used to it. Some people are working in VR all day long. To them it is like getting used to your office chair. After a couple of hours’ usage, most of us are ready for a break. Other things need a bit of an adjustment period. For example, on cold days the lenses might fog up at first until they warm up. Or if it is really hot, you might get a little sweaty. All in all, if you approach this experience with a positive attitude and let yourself adjust to it over time, you will find what works best for you.


In our profession we work with a lot of video content and animated prototypes. Google Hangouts and Zoom really struggle to deliver that type of content in a presentation, usually dropping the frame rate from 30 to 1 frames per second, at best. This is a genuine problem for conducting productive business.

With Immersed, we were beyond delighted the first time we opened an Apple Keynote presentation that contained considerable video and animation content, and it played flawlessly on a shared screen.

Not only was the playback seamless, but we scaled the screen size as large as an IMAX theater screen and achieved the same result.

Our immediate thought was that we need to get our clients on board in using and appreciating VR! Outside of presentations, we tested running multiple screens simultaneously and working with collaboration tools together and continued to see perfect performance. The caveat is that your team members need a really strong internet connection, Gigabyte download speeds advised. If Net Neutrality pushes through and ISP’s are no longer able to throttle connections, this might become less of an issue. We also had to spend time upfront to get our monitor settings just right, but with these settings in place the app consistently delivered an instant, real time sync with the computer.



Virtual Keyboard in Immersed

It is encouraging to know that the Immersed team is continuously working, along with the Oculus team, to evolve and mature their platform. At the time of this writing various issues need to be ironed out:


Setup and settings require too much trial and error to figure out. We hope that they are able to either simplify setup, and/or better utilize video or step-by-step tutorials to help new users to get up to speed quicker.

Virtual Keyboard

The virtual keyboard mapping and accuracy feels off with our Mac keyboards. We give kudos for their effort. It's cool to have a keyboard in virtual space that you can see your VR hands typing on while feeling your real keyboard under your real hands as you type. The problem is that many types and brands of keyboards exist today. Feeling slightly off on such a precision-based tool creates a very serious problem. It might work perfectly with PC laptop keyboards, but we have not tested this as of today. For us it is a much better experience to not have the virtual keyboard and to touch type on the keyboard you can’t actually see, than to type on something that is slightly off. So for those that can’t touch type, no better time exists than the present to learn!

Hopes &


We understand that we still live in the early days of this burgeoning technology, but it is already proving to be effective. By nature, we are curious and creative types, and as such we are always dreaming about the prospects of what could be. Here are 10 ideas that we hope to see become reality in Immersed.

More spaces*
Improved UI
Keyboard Selection
Space personalization *
Space Marketplace
Desktop viewer *
Hosted events
* Feature listed on the immersed roadmap at the time of writing

Note: On the next page you'll find a summary of all tested platform pros and cons.

work culture

Is Not



Work Hard, Play Hard….
(In my most cliché business guy voice)

Ok, so in general VR is an entertainment platform. We wanted to find apps that our team could use to sync up, not just to do work but to connect and spend time together. Here are a couple of opportunities for fun outside of the “office” workspace.

Mini Golf Meetings

Business and golf go together like coffee and cream, right? Well that's what the biz dev team believes anyway. This solution came as a recommendation from a friend that had a number of remote teammates even before COVID. Rather than hosting Zoom meetings, the company bought Quest headsets for team members so that they could conduct one on one meetings with direct reports while playing a round of golf, well miniature golf, well virtual miniature golf.

Effectively managing people is more about building a relationship more than anything else, and in the remote working reality it is the hardest thing to foster. We also are confident that when we tire of mini golf, we will find other games to move on to.

So we gave Walkabout Mini Golf meetings a try. The verdict? Yes it was way better than sitting at our desks talking at a Zoom screen and staring at a thumbnail image. As you have likely witnessed, most people don’t actually like to present their video in internal meetings.

Most importantly, it got us together, standing up, moving around, very slightly anyway, and engaging in conversation by laughing and bonding.
Walkabout Mini Golf
Walkabout Mini Golf


Watch Together

I will give you a dollar if you don’t smile at the thought of sitting on the patio of a skyscraper penthouse, watching Jack Black dive like a luchador eagle as his film Nacho Libre plays on a massive movie screen attached to the skyscraper next door. Welcome to the world of Bigscreen. This is an app that lets you gather with friends in public or private spaces to watch live or on-demand movies and TV with others in VR. The 3D movies are actually pretty cool, with perhaps the exception of Titanic! Want to connect with the team over a lunch break and watch an old episode of Star Trek? No problem.

When James T. Kirk offers one of his campy lines and you want to throw your soda, popcorn or a tomato at the screen in response, Bigscreen has got you covered.

Maybe you're interested in watching a ball game with the team?

You can gather in Bigscreen or you can simply create a party call on the Quest and tune in the ESPN app or one of the many other featured sports apps.

Bigscreen App

Image courtesy of Bigscreen

Image courtesy of Bigscreen

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