There is no doubt that the extended period of remote working, limited traveling, and need for efficient real-time collaboration/communication due to the COVID-19 pandemic has boosted the growth/adoption rate of video conferencing tools, such as Skype for Business and Zoom, and established them as essential working tools not only for businesses but also for schools and universities. At the same time, other real-time collaboration solutions followed in terms of growth, such Augmented Reality (AR) Remote Assistance platforms for frontline remote workers/healthcare professionals and virtual collaboration platforms such as Spatial, MeetinVR, Glue, or Spaces (which was recently acquired by Apple). These virtual platforms promise to optimize distance meeting experiences by simulating in-person meetings with real life avatars. More specifically, with the assistance of AR and Virtual Reality (VR) headsets (or a browser), users are able join virtual rooms and interact with 3D models and avatars like they do in physical word or bring holograms into their space. Virtual collaboration platforms are not a brand-new concept and have the capability to compete traditional video conferencing tools in scenarios of remote teams that need to work with 3D models or for teams that are looking for more realistic communication. However, the market opportunity is currently limited and affected by various factors, from AR/VR hardware capabilities to connectivity and trends in user behavior. The primary questions are what is the future/potential of virtual collaboration platforms when employees return to their offices after COVID-19, and what are the platform features that can drive demand and adoption?
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