Remote Office in VR

Mark Zuckerberg thinks the VR headset is the solution for future housing problems. Link by RoadToVR (direct link facebook)

If it’s possible to work everywhere with your personal remote office in a Headset and the possibility to work together with colleges by sharing screens and videoconferencing, then he has a point.

Nowadays people works in smaller teams by scrum squads and mostly remote to datacenters. So you can work remote from other locations and also connect colleges any moment.  

What is mostly in place now?

Remote workers can use a VPN connection to connect their business applications and mail, login to remote virtual desktops, Apps by VMware WorkspaceOne or connect by Citrix to business Apps and more. Communication by (mobile) phone and skype or facetime or other videoconferencing tools.

Most work is output driven and can be don also on every remote workspace. You only need a good laptop or tablet with internet connection. Most people do maybe already of their work on a smartphone. With the intelligence of the smartphone it is sometimes faster to write an article than on a laptop.

New remote workspaces.

With the introduction of VR and AR, we can connect in the headset to a remote workspace. Like the home office, we can connect to a virtual desktop in a datacenter (Company office) and do our work. With the ongoing development of the headsets, the quality and easy to where is no problem at all to work for longer periods in a VR world. In your virtual office (looks like you are anywhere in the world) you have the company work environment in front of you. Collaboration with peers is just a click away.

Now we have simple avatars, but in the future this projection of you is real-time and in real person. Face expressions will be available.

People from around the world can join teams from everywhere. Working on 3D objects in VR is possible, not only working on documents! The housing problem Mark is thinking about could also a small home in India.

With AR we can join teams in real life with colleges in the same room. Work on the same project that is projected in our space. Matter of time to use this. Designing cars and step into the just build interior is one of the benefits.

See Varjo predictions Varjo’s headset has an extra display in the centre of your eye with retina resolution, so ultra sharp vision.

How long does it takes? Some people say 5 years other 10 years. All great changes and inventions takes time. Looking back it’s easy to see what the difficulties are and how long it takes to embraces new methods. Mark focus is 2030.

135’’ monitor for € 500,- ?

Oculus Quest VR HMD!

The larger the monitor (or more), the more efficient you can work, has been known for years. Multiple application Windows side by side works a lot faster. What if you have a super large screen and a high resolution? What does that extra convenience cost? Is that possible for € 500?

Since a month I have had the Oculus Quest, the cable-less VR headset from Oculus. This 6dof HMD (6 degree of freedom head mounted display) with OLED screen is extremely suitable for use with a virtual desktop. The headset is connected via 5 GHz Wi-Fi network to a PC in the same network. The Quest App Virtual Desktop connects to the PC on which a stream client is installed. You can connect up to 4 PCs in this way. The video card of the PC sends a high resolution image to the headset. So you have a super monitor on your PC but then in Virtual Reality!

Everything that runs on your PC can now also be seen in the Oculus Quest. From all games to standard programs such as Word and the browser. Even 3D side by side movies are played in 3D with a VLC player. The environment in which that can be seen, can be an Auditorium or cinema. You sitting in front of the large screen, but also a virtual office is possible.

Working on the VR desktop

How can you type? Typing texts is done with the controllers, which takes a virtual keyboard and allows you to type two fingers. If you can type blind, then a Bluetooth keyboard can come true. Furthermore, with the pointer of the controller you can simply open all programs as if you were using a mouse.

You will think nicely, work in my own bubble, but what will it cost? First you need an Oculus Quest for € 450 (64 GB mem, you stream everything) and Virtual Desktop App of € 19.99 via the Oculus store. You can download the stream agents for different OSs on the Virtual Desktop site. You can also download the apk that Oculus had ordered to remove from the App: SteamVR games can also be streamed in VR to the headset! This apk can be placed on your HMD with SideQuest.

Once you have started the Virtual Desktop App you can choose which PC you want to connect, but that can also become automatic if you only have 1 PC of course. The image quality can be adjusted, but depends on the video card. I have a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti, the new NVidia without raytracing, comparable to the GTX 1070 Ti. You can see in the Virtual Desktop settings screen that the GPU is doing a good job. Ca. 80% with a frame rate of 72 Hz.

VMware Horizon 7.9 virtual desktops

In addition to a physical PC connection, I have also connected a virtual desktop of VMware Horizon 7.8 with two monitors. Just add a streaming agent in the Linked Clone and AppVolumes in the Appstack with agents and ensure that the desktop is in the same network as the Wi-Fi of the Headset. Connect in the headset and you will see one monitor, but can switch between the available monitors. (or 4 in Horizon 7.9) screens. On a mobile headset like the Oculus Quest is only one screen visible because the processor power of the headset is less than an HMD like Oculus Rift, that is tethered to an GPU in the PC. Quality of course dependents on the video card in the server. A vGPU system is highly recommended. VMware Horizon 7.9 supports now NVidia T4 cards.

note: only NVidia drivers with vGPU pass-trough can accessed. VMware VGA driver cannot connect!

Virtual workspace in VR/AR?

My last presentation on the VMUG TechCon in March was all about how the journey of VR/AR is running into the future. After a few years there are several new products to make 2019 the year of VR.

VR creates an immersive virtual world. AR let you enhance the real world with digital add-ons. Better display’s, wireless and easy to use 6dof (6 degree of freedom) are available now. The best HMD (head mounted displays) are the HMD with more than 180 degree FOV (field of view). StarVR, X-TAL and consumer friendly PIMAX produce these. All connected to a big PC.

I was waiting for the new Oculus Quest and happy to be an owner now. After a few weeks working with this device, I’m very excited about the potential of this headset. No wires, easy setup and 6dof. Streaming the user view to Chromecast v3 on a big TV is great for the others, watching why you are running around with funny moves.

Everything is bigger and immersed in the headset: You don’t need a big TV (3D) to watch movies ore Netflix. 360 photos and videos are now the ‘real’ world. With a stream application ALVR, it’s possible to stream content from you PC. SteamVR games run in the Quest. Not all high end games, but Google Earth VR is working well. Fly over your hometown in 3D and visit places on the whole world. Even the Desktop of your PC is on a very big screen available.

What if we can create a virtual workspace in VR with all the screens we need (more is more productive), team meetings virtual in the same room we live video communication? It’s possible with ‘BigScreen’ but more professional in vSpatial. This could be the workspace of the future. Running virtual desktops in the cloud and share with the team. vSpatial is working on the Quest version. I can’t wait its ready.

Flying around the world to meet members in the project is reduced with this technology. It save more time and CO2 , save the environment. Just to drink a beer together we must physically meet, so do not replace all by virtual. All my earlier bought stuff and profession experience is coming together in the Oculus Quest. My first 3D video camera, Samsung Gear360 camera and virtual desktops. If you see the right path, every investment in time and money is worth of it. Join the journey!

Some VDI movies

How can I connect to a PC with special hardware in it. Physical cards are not vMotionable. So maybe we need a PCI extension card over IP? USB ports can connected over IP to a virtual machine.

Video 1

View4 connection to physical PC with TV card on board. LAN connection 100 Mb. View protocol RDP. (no Teradici card in PC). See WinTV uses about 50% CPU. With a Teradici card its possible to show real PC experience.

User experience: ** (technical even not bad for RDP)

Video 2

Ericom Blaze RDP connection to physical Win7 PC with TV card. LAN 100 Mb. Blaze settings: Highest Quality (lossless). WinTV uses 50% CPU and Ericom Blaze Server 30%

Video 3

PCoIP connection with virtual VLC running a DVD VOB file (Transformers) and a 3D CAD e-drawings program. LAN connection 100 Mb.

User experience: **** (real PC experience, 5 stars when running on high end hardware)

Note: Interference of the movies by LCD screen. VM’s running on Whitebox hardware (ASUS M2N32-SLI deluxe motherboard, 2x Gb LAN, AMD + 6000 dual core, 8 Gb Mem) and stored on NFS share on Windows 2003 R2 server (raid 1+0 on XFS SATA controller). Virtual View 4.1 server, ESXi4 on USB drive.
Physical server (storage) LAN 1 Gb, View client on notebook with 100 Mb connenection.