The user interface is attractive and precise, controls are slick, and movement is comfortable and natural. Plus, productivity is front and centre in Arthur
➨ US-headquartered Arthur’s professional virtual reality office solution of the same name is now available on Oculus Store for Quest 1 and 2
➨ This free version is aimed at independent professionals, such as freelancers and small startups
➨ For Arthur, the enterprise market very much remains the focus, with several clients already signed up
Arthur Technologies launched its virtual meeting and office space service on Oculus Store today and in doing so, highlighted both demand for solutions recreating the typical working environment and the Oculus virtual reality platform as a faster route into the enterprise market.
US-headquartered Arthur’s professional virtual reality office solution of the same name is available on Oculus Store for Quest 1 and 2. The consumer version of Arthur is free to use and offers a quality, productive experience for meeting, collaborating and communicating in virtual reality.
VRWorldTech recently attended a press briefing in an Arthur room hosted by business operations manager Simon Berger, to get a feel for the service and how it handles on Oculus Quest 2.
The room was impressive in scale and scope, with spatial audio delivering a sense of presence that’s so essential to virtual reality collaboration and communication tools.
Berger says product design for Arthur has so far focused on productivity within the space. So while its avatars may not be the “prettiest” (although updates here are coming), features and integrations, particularly those with cloud file storage systems including Google Drive, make this virtual office service something enterprises and professionals can actually use to carry out tasks.
With this in mind, VRWorldTech found the whole experience to be as advertised. The user interface is attractive and precise (including virtual key inputting), controls are slick (with a range of options available to interest with objects), and movement is comfortable and natural.
Arthur rooms feel like virtual offices should—and this experience was in the consumer version, which has several limitations.
The consumer version is limited to up to about six users in any one space, compared to the enterprise version’s capacity of 40+. Certain features and integrations are also unavailable in the consumer version, including the previously mentioned Google Drive integration.
Berger says the consumer version is aimed at independent professionals—think freelancers, small startups and really any individuals who have a need for a 3D space—to host meetings, workshops or permanent virtual project hubs.
All Arthur rooms and environments are persistent and can be easily reconfigured so that they can serve as offices while at home, or put another way, virtual bases of operation where colleagues and clients can meet, work or learn together.
The Oculus Store launch ‘really simplifies the enterprise sales process’
Releasing a consumer edition of Arthur also serves another purpose for the service’s developer, beyond providing an option for independent professionals. Berger says the enterprise market very much remains the focus, with its version launching in beta last year, as Arthur landed $2.5 million in seed funding.
“One of the kinks in getting enterprises to adopt virtual reality is that they can’t picture it very well,” Berger says. Arthur usually sends headsets out to prospective clients and gives them access to the enterprise version, but this process is time consuming.
Now, all those prospective clients need to do is download the consumer version on their Quest headsets and try the service for free. If they want to find out more, they can book an enterprise demo. This option “really simplifies the sales process”, according to Berger.
So far, Arthur counts the United Nations, Société Générale, and an unnamed professional services firm as enterprise clients. These organisations are all huge, operating in multiple jurisdictions and finding the service and their current need for a virtual office space met.
These needs include bringing teams together to collaborate in ways they did before the shift to remote working, breaking down geographical barriers to achieve similar results, and even recreating the social side of working that many of us sorely miss. Again, workshops and project management are Arthur’s strongest applications, and where its enterprise clients are seeing the biggest benefits.
The last word on the release of Arthur on Oculus Store and the benefits of this virtual reality platform for emerging developers in both the consumer and enterprise markets goes to chief executive officer Christoph Fleischmann.
He said in a press statement marking the release: “We are very excited to be partnering with Oculus in making our acclaimed platform available in the most seamless and effortless method possible.”
“We are honoured to be part of the Oculus VR ecosystem and have every confidence that new business customers experiencing Arthur for the first time will be just as impressed with it as some of the biggest companies in the world were when we announced our open beta with them at the end of 2020.”