March 24, 2022 – Virbela, an immersive technology company that provides virtual solutions for remote work, learning and events, has today unveiled a newly designed virtual campus, more flexible avatar system, and native integration with Zoom.
The Virbela platform offers a solution for enabling the metaverse at scale, as it is able to support thousands of users at once, according to the company. Virbela also has its FRAME offering, which provides users with access to immersive online spaces, right from a web browser. The FRAME team also recently launched the FRAME app on the Microsoft Teams App Store, announcing 100 user capacity, an integration with Ready Player Me avatars, and several new meeting environments.
“The enterprise metaverse is here, and Virbela is helping address common workplace challenges remote and hybrid organizations are facing today,” said Alex Howland, President and co-founder, Virbela. “In the next five to 10 years we envision millions of individuals and thousands of organizations operating in Virbela’s virtual worlds, and we’ve designed our platform from the ground up to grow with and help organizations improve the employee experience, operate more efficiently, and build strong community and culture.”
Today’s product announcements include:
- Newly designed virtual campus – A new generation of visual and functional updates have been designed to elevate the user experience, offering greater control and customization. Inspiration for the campus design has been drawn from real cities, business centers, and nature. Virbela added that the space’s dynamic architecture will open the door to creating digital twins of physical spaces and branded experiences, and will provide an opportunity for companies that want to invest in building out their own virtual real estate.
- Advanced avatar system – Virbela set out to create the most diverse, inclusive and flexible avatar system available today. Users will have complete control over their look and experience, and the company states that there are “Billions of customization options available” to ensure everyone is represented (e.g., gender, body type, style, mobility, etc).
- Zoom integration – This is the first of many native integrations that Virbela states the platform will have with leading workplace collaboration tools available to enterprises today. The platform’s integration with Zoom will mean users can connect to a Virbela meeting, no matter where they are, and from any device. Plus, it means that users can connect in the way they want – in the metaverse, a physical office, or dialing in from home.
Virbela stated that several companies are already using its platform to create experiences that foster collaboration and build community – including recruiting and new hire orientation, learning and development programs, company-wide meetings, team offsites, industry events and more.
Courtney Chakarun, Chief Marketing Officer at eXp World Holdings, commented: “Virbela is one of eXp Realty’s biggest competitive advantages, enabling our cloud-based brokerage model that is growing exponentially with 20 markets and more than 77,000 agents.” She added, “Not only are we the only real estate company in the industry operating 100% out of a virtual world – from agent recruitment to C-suite, to board meetings and investor conferences – but we’ve been voted Glassdoor’s Best Places to Work for five consecutive years. Virbela gives us a sense of place to build community so we can come together, engage and grow.”
We recently got to experience Virbela’s newly designed virtual campus and sat down (virtually) with Alex Howland. The scale of things was very impressive, with it genuinely feeling as if we were back on a University campus. In fact, the space is so large that Virbela has incorporated a “subway system” that allows you to easily teleport from one section of the campus to another. What was equally impressive was the seamlessness in which you are able to enter different spaces.
With areas of the map including an auditorium, a speakeasy-style nightclub venue, breakaway meeting rooms, a soccer pitch, and even a pirate ship, many areas did not require any additional load time at all. Those that did, the loading period was minimal and did not result in any real loss of immersion. Overall, first impressions of the new campus gave us a feeling that the Virbela platform is a shining example of how interactions in the metaverse will begin. It’s not quite the meeting lobby in ‘The OASIS’ as depicted the Ready Player One movie, but it’s a very solid start.
These updates and more were revealed today at the company’s first-ever community summit, Hands In 2022, which also celebrates 10 years of Virbela building positive office experiences in the Metaverse. The new virtual campus will be available for existing and new customers in the coming weeks. The company added that additional product updates will begin rolling out in Q2.
For more information on Virbela and its virtual collaboration solutions for the enterprise, please visit the company’s website.
Image / video credit: Virbela / YouTube / Auganix
About the author
Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.