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SPACE wants to move your office into VR space

TechCrunch TechCrunch 28/06/2016 Haje Jan Kamps

Virtual reality can be used for a lot of things — and if Pygmal Technologies gets its way, you’ll be spending your office hours with a VR headset strapped to your face. It’s almost like Minority Report, except with Excel spreadsheets and TPS reports on six virtual monitors hovering in thin air in front of you.

Gone are the days that you could only have two or three monitors due to lack of space on your desk; SPACE simulates up to six screens at the same time. You can use and interact with the screens like you would anything else in a VR world. Once the product comes out of beta, the company says, the six-screen limitation will be lifted, so you’ll be able to surround yourself with as many screens as you like.

I don’t know about you, but I think I’d have to try this before I can become duly excited about the tech. Pygmal describes SPACE as “the future of work,” but honestly, it sounds like an insufferable hellscape — even if it’s possible to overlay the visual displays over a beach scene.

“As a software engineer, I use two 24-inch monitors daily at work,” says Xiao Jia, CEO and creator of SPACE, explaining how he came up with the idea. “I have tens of files I use at a time and switch between them. With just the VR platform and compatible goggles, users can work in the VR world — no more cluttered multiple windows and multiple large monitors required.”

The main problem the company is going to be facing is that VR headsets are struggling to be high enough resolution for the tasks at hand. The company suggests you will be looking at “productivity apps, web pages, videos, 3D models and more,” but from my experiences with VR to date, I couldn’t think of anything worse than trying to wrangle an Excel spreadsheet into shape through VR goggles.

Which isn’t to say that this isn’t a good idea, of course. The concept of virtualizing the office space is very interesting, and who doesn’t want six monitors on their desk, even if they are virtual ones.

For now, users are limited to using HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift headsets, and Windows applications only, although Pygmal suggests they’ll add support for additional platforms further down the line.

For a preview of what it all looks like, check out the video below.

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