Location-based virtual reality was the hottest segment of virtual reality up until the coronavirus pandemic. Companies from consumer games, military, and other tech segments all rushed into the location-based VR market so they could monetize their expertise in virtual reality while waiting for remote collaboration, virtual conferences, training and education, and consumer games to become business opportunities in the future.

The future is now.  With the pandemic causing governmentally mandated lockdowns around the world, all those things that VR companies were waiting for happened overnight. Working from home went from 5% of the workforce to 35% overnight. Companies are using Zoom, Skype, Teams and other remote collaboration tools for everything that used to be done live.

One location-based VR company has recently pivoted their VR skills into a platform that integrates into those remote collaboration tools so the presenter can show up in virtual reality.

Spaces started out building custom location-based VR attractions in Asia. They more recently opened a couple of free-roam VR locations based upon the Terminator franchise. Their team looked at their core-competencies and had some brainstorm and hacking sessions and Spaces The App was born.

The Spaces app does more than just let you present in VR. It gives presenters the features of an $80K Microsoft Surface wall that you can show video on. They’ve created virtual 3D television studio sets, a large theatre and other virtual environments from where to present.

Spaces is integrating with LoomAI for avatar creation.  Loomie is an AI-based app that converts a standard mobile phone photo into a highly customizable avatar. It’s not quite up to the level of customization of Bitmoji, but it’s way better than most of the avatar creation tools I have tried for virtual collaboration.

Spaces is partnering with location-based VR arcades to use their VR gaming hardware so remote party hosts can do virtual birthday parties for parents of kids stuck at home.

I caught up with Brad Herman – CTO and co-founder of Spaces recently, to discuss his companies pivot, and where he sees this all going.  We also touched on the personal impact of the coronavirus on each of us, and the need to still have fun despite the heaviness of the situation. The Spaces team has built some fun little games into the meeting system, which is a good reminder that it’s OK to have a little lightness in our lives.

Check out the video interview below for some inspiration on how you can liven up your virtual meeting presentations with customers, prospects, team members and more. And subscribe to my YouTube channel for notifications of new interviews.