bob-berryEnvelop VR is a productivity tool that provides a virtual shell to allow users to use all of their existing 2D applications within the context of virtual reality. I had a chance to talk to the founder Bob Berry at the SEA-VR Expo, which he also founded last year. Envelop VR announced last week that they raised a $4 million round of funding from Madrona Venture Group. Bob talks about their strategy to create a generalized solution to be able to work all day within VR, and some of the challenges that they had to solve along the way.

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One big issue with a virtual desktop solution is being able to see your hands on the keyboard, especially for people who are not touch typists. They point a web cam down at your hands, and then they render a virtual representation of you hands in VR laid over the keyboard.

Some of the other issues that we discuss include how the screendoor effect is negligible on the CV1 and Vive, the possibility for immersive visualizations, being able to increase productivity by having as many monitors and screen real estate as you want in VR, and the exciting potential of being able to code VR experiences while being within VR.

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Bob believes that immersive computing is going to provide a complete paradigm shift in how we interact with computers and he hopes that Envelop VR can provide the tools to be able to help make that happen.

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  • elvanas

    As a Web developer who work with very limited space, multiple monitors is not an option, but VR is, and having multiple virtual monitors is one of my very first wish i had for VR from the beginning. Glad to see someone heard my prayer

  • bji

    I’m skeptical, for two reasons:

    1) Current resolution of VR headsets is far too low for detail oriented work such as reading text in application windows
    2) VR headsets will have to become MUCH more comfortable before I would commit to wearing one for many hours every day. Maybe the released versions will be much better than the DK2, but there’s no way I would want to wear a DK2 for many hours every day.

    It’s great to get a head start on what will likely be a great way to work in the future, but I don’t think it really works well enough with the first generation headsets.

    • David Mulder

      Honestly, point two seems to be a non-issue: I would gladly trade the discomfort of even the DK1 for a couple more monitors, but I totally agree on the issue of resolution. Although I am greatly looking forward to workspaces like envelop VR I sadly fear it will take a couple more generations before the resolution will be high enough to make this an actual improvement in productivity.

      • bji

        Have you ever worn a DK2 for a significant period of time? It’s not comfortable. If you don’t mind the thing sliding around on your face and losing the “sweet spot” all of the time and having to re-adjust the thing, then I guess it might be OK; but I usually have to cinch the thing down pretty hard to keep it stable and the pressure on my cheeks is just not something I would want to deal with for hours on end.

        • David Mulder

          Not much of a problem for me, but yeah, in the process of doing a few hundred demos over the last two years I have definitely started to realize just how different everybody’s faces are and the shape of everybody’s heads. I have a ridiculously big head (61-62), so normally that tens to give problems, but guess it works just fine with the simple ergonomics of the old DK’S. Either way, the thing to judge is of course the ergonomics of the first gen consumer products and it seems that those have all improved.

          And just for the record: yes, I have worn both the dk1 and dk2 for extended periods of time.

    • laser632

      I have absolutely zero discomfort using my Oculus DK2 for many hours at a time so not sure why you’re having issues with it.

      It’s actually more comfortable than the Nvidia 3d vision 2 glasses I owned.

  • fabiombd

    Hi guys, check it out more info about VR at: http://discovervirtualreality.blogspot.com

    • bji

      That site looks like some bot generated screen scraper that steals other sites’ content and reposts it as click bait. Nobody click the link, OK?

  • ChrisC

    I just hope that working in VR won’t be used for spying on people and controlling them. Think of checking your private FB during working hours… in VR.

  • laser632

    Virtual desktop is a great free solution I use.

    It’s also enables me to use steamvr with Oculus runtime 0.7 or 0.8 and thus play HL2 or TF2 in full stereoscopic 3d. Oddly enough the latency is lower using this method.

    http://www.vrdesktop.net/

    • Vertigo1

      I was going to mention virtual desktop too. I can almost work using virtual desktop on a DK2, but the resolution just isn’t quite enough for me. I have no trouble seeing the viability of a solution like this when paired with the higher resolution and (assumed) more comfortable CV1.

      There is a lot of appeal to me for the HoloLens in this application as well, since it would seem to be a better fit/more acceptable in a corporate environment.

  • AJ@VRSFX

    Resolution and ergonomics are on a trend line of improvement over the next few years. If the question is “Can you replace your monitors with a DK2?” the answer is no, but I don’t think that’s the point. “Can you replace your monitors with CV1?” Probably. “Can you replace your monitors with CV2?” Almost certainly. That’s the point. Ten years from now, computer monitors may be as rare as fax machines.