Dell Gears Up to Marry Virtual Reality to Skype

Mike Vizard
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8 Uses of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality for the Enterprise

Dell, a unit of Dell Technologies, is quietly working on integrating virtual reality with the Microsoft Skype for Business video conferencing cloud service.

At the Dell EMC World 2016 conference this week, Jeff Clarke, vice chairman of operations and president for Client Solutions for Dell, says virtual reality technologies will soon be transforming the way individuals interact with each other across both gaming and business applications.

While not quite ready to show a live demonstration, Clarke says it’s already apparent the VR will be widely employed to enable multiple people to interact with objects and processes without ever having to physically touch or be in the same location with them. Dell EMC showed how virtual reality applications are already being employed to train employees on new processes.

While virtual reality headsets are still fairly cumbersome, Clarke notes it’s only a matter of time before they shrink to the point where it becomes feasible to employ them across a broad range of applications.

“Thanks to miniaturization, the headsets will eventually shrink down to the size of a pair of sunglasses,” says Clarke.

In general, Clarke says, the way people interact with PCs is transforming quickly. While most people still rely on a mix of keyboards and touchscreens to interact with applications, it’s already apparent that speech, gestures and other types of input devices will soon change the way people interact with applications. In fact, Clarke says most of the foundational work needed to create those new interfaces already exists in Windows 10.

Combining those new interfaces with virtual and augmented reality applications (that, in turn, are connected to communications platforms delivered via cloud service) promises to fundamentally change how everyone works and plays. It may take a little while to make that an everyday reality that most organizations can afford. But at this point virtual reality in the workplace is more a question of when rather than if.


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