Spatial Updates: VR Meetings App To Add Private Rooms, Host Tools & AR Object Scanning

The update includes support for custom environments, live translation tools & private rooms, attempting to make the platform "as ubiquitous as Google Docs."

Spatial Updates: VR Meetings App To Add Private Rooms, Host Tools & AR Object Scanning

Renowned cross-platform VR meetings app Spatial has a announced a slew of significant features that bolster its position as VR's premiere collaborative tool.

The update will include support for custom environments, live translation tools, private rooms, host tools, and audio improvements - all in the hopes of making the platform "as ubiquitous as Google Docs."

Spatial, the virtual reality (VR) collaborative platform, made waves when it first launched last year. Really taking advantage of the moment, the program delivered a virtual workplace meetings app right when the world needed it most.

As well as offering video & audio conferencing, as well as instant file sharing, the service also allowed users to build a virtual work environment where participants could manipulate virtual objects on the fly.

Since then, it's grown pretty exponentially. With more than 8 million minutes logged by users so far, the firm has decided to build on its success, announcing a slew of significant features that will bolster its position as VR's premiere collaborative tool.

For instance, the update will include stronger host controls, which will be useful when app launches web browser support. New users will be able to join Spatial meetings by simply clicking a link, with no install required.

The update will also arrive alongside a beta version of PCVR support, helping expand availability dramatically. HTC Vive, Valve Index, Windows Mixed Reality and Rift users will be able to access the platform through Steam VR.

Finally, Spatial also hopes to take full advantage of the iPhone 12 Pro's LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) scanner, an 'instant AR' technology which users lasers t judge distances and depths. The update will add the ability to scan objects or environments and instantly implement them as virtual 3D models.

In a statement, Spatial CEO Anand Agarawalia said: "We never built Spatial with the idea that it would replace in-person work but as we suddenly find ourselves in this new normal, companies are having to tackle issues they had not foreseen. Some of the new features mirror in-person work etiquette like greater security and controls for meeting organizers, whereas others have surfaced naturally after spending hours collaborating in these new virtual spaces."

"Our plan is to make Spatial as ubiquitous and useful as Google Docs is today. We want it to become a tool users can’t live without."

The update, when it launches, will include a bunch of other smart productivity tools for headset, web, and mobile. These include:

  • Custom environments – Import any 3D model or scan your own physical environment with LiDAR (using an iOS device) and set it as your room environment. Now your meetings can happen anywhere you can imagine.
  • Live translation – Accommodates 30+ languages for teams joining from multiple regions. Language never needs to be a barrier to communication in VR! (Pro only feature)
  • Private Rooms – Limit access to only those specified by a room admin, such as your immediate team or a specific group of friends
  • Host tools – Administrators of large meetings give the ability to mute users, lock content, remove participants and enable feature specific permissions
  • Better web experience – Better experience for web participants with moveable Spectator camera, allowing you to choose your view and position in the room
  • Selfie stick – Take pictures of objects or yourself that you can easily share with others via email
  • Spatial audio improvements – The farther you are from someone the harder it becomes to hear them, making it perfect for cocktail parties & breakout sessions
  • Outdoor campfire environment – A new beautifully designed outdoor campfire environment for large groups or intimate social settings and sing-a-longs!
  • Avatar customization – Includes skin and shirt color making avatars even more reflective of the real you
  • Simpler access via web
  • Join in one click – no account sign-up or user account required for web users. Great for quickly sharing meetings with new participants
  • Cast from macOS is a high-performance app that lets you stream your macOS screen into the space around you through VR, complete with audio. Work side by side with friends in virtual space, watch movies or play games together.