Latest posts by Nick Rasmussen (see all)
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If you or someone you care about hold any kind of office job, you might know some of the challenges associated with such a lifestyle. Extended periods of time in front of a screen can become tiring and lead to a drain of your hard-earned energy. It might even throw in a headache as an added bonus.
Yes, working diligently takes a lof of focus, and we all have our own rituals and special ways of coping when push comes to shove. One such tool emerged on Steam’s Virtual Reality library earlier today, and it seems determined to fix the way we office-dwellers work with brainstorming sessions. On top of that, it might very well be the tip of a massive, game-changing iceberg.
Say goodbye to those four white walls of Conference Room B, and say hello to your very own, private island!
In it’s essence, Think Space is a creative drawing application. It allows you to hash out ideas on a whiteboard, while surrounded by a beautiful landscape of your choosing. Great for when the office is just too swamped, or you find yourself struck with a tough case of writer’s block.
As a minimal viable product, it’s gorgeous and surely accomplishes what it sets out to – being a handy new tech-gadget for brainstorming concepts in peace and quiet. It even prints the vector-pathed files for you in SVG – an application agnostic vector graphic format. This makes sure that each one of you working on a given project can bring home and modify notes using any vector-editing software like Adobe Illustrator or Affinity Designer.
This is not the full potential behind the app though.
Why “Think Space” Matters
This section will be the meat and potatoes of our article, so pay attention dear reader. While this idea (like most good ideas) is plain simple, it has quite a road ahead of it. By providing its users with a tool that is directly implementable into everyday office life, it could easily spark a ripple-effect of innovation in office-related VR experiences. Imagine what the next level of this will look like. If we consider this, the 2016 version as “Tier 1”, we will be looking at some mighty interesting things down the line – and here’s why.
Up until now, the simulations and games we have reported on here on VR Today Magazine, have all primarily been made for the sake of either showing what current VR technology can muster, or entertainment. “Think Space” is different.
We know for a fact that a vast number of corporations and organizations from all over the world are utilizing remote workers.
Having access to intellectual capacity from people residing in all corners of the globe is good business. It’s an incredibly powerful resource for any company and as such, any innovation in making cross-continential work easier is something to keep an eye out on.
The demand for physical presence however, tends to be the one most frequent roadblock in the process of hiring remote employees. If a hypothetical team works from 3 separate parts of our planet, it can be difficult to simulate the experience of just walking into a room, and hitting up a whiteboard with markers to share concepts and ideas.
“Think Space” brings that very same physical presence away from a local meeting-room somewhere, and transfers it into a tangible, digital environment.
- Work in 2 different scenes; Island or Desert.
- Save and open documents from within VR.
- All whiteboards are exported to SVG image format for sharing. (supported by all web browsers)
- Draw with smooth vector graphics in VR.
- Select from 4 different marker colors.
- Erase text with eraser tool.
- Add boards into scene.
- Move boards around scene.
- Walk around scene using teleportation.
What’s Next for Think Space?
For a moment, 5 years down the line, picture an office-suite of VR-software focusing entirely on bringing people and ideas together in a corporate environment. The features of said software could with the influx of VR capabilities, elevate global teamwork to new heights. In this hypothetical future, you could have several facets of the software, each with industry-specific features. To name a few that we would love to see:
- Being able to meet and greet in VR with your coworkers, and have the room scale, and the environment change.
- Integration into popular company-wide platforms like Slack, Skype or Fuze. This is particularly powerful because these platforms are known to work well with data and on-demand conference functions.
- Load in, and work on products from a digital company inventory
- Work with services like Lynda.com to do live-streaming of educational content.
It sure looks like the future is bright for the team, or whoever choses to onboard and fully monetize the potential behind the experience. If you would like to learn more about Think Space or Funly, you can check out their Steam profile, where the simulation is available for just 5.99€.