I worked at the Metaverse for three days – and was disappointed

René Seppeur works in the Metaverse
Rene Seppeur

René Seppeur worked at Metavers for three days. To do this, he digitized his workplace and transferred it to the virtual world.

He set up his office in the middle of a tropical forest. After three days, Seppeur stops the experiment: the graphics are too bad.

Nonetheless, he believes this form of hybrid work will prevail. He told us about his experience.

René Seppeur sits in a coworking cafe in the Spanish city of Las Palmas, with a wall of plants behind him. He has been working there for four weeks, but will soon return to Germany.

When he’s not spending his time on an island, he works at the start-up incubator Zollhof in Nuremberg. His own startup called Brandl sells nutritional supplements for athletes. He founded it in 2018. His company shares a floor with several other startups, each with its own small space separated only by waist-high wooden structures. He loves working in this open space office, he tells us in an interview. However, he is sometimes distracted by others who are within a few feet of him.

The Metavers gave him a cure. Seppeur moved his workplace there for three days. A metaverse or metaverse is a digital world that extends the “real” world by one level. With an avatar you create yourself, you should be able to work on it in the future, meet friends, learn, and even go to concerts. In the ideal form, normal life merges with the metaverse, so people can’t live two lives, but one optimized life – that’s the idea.

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With VR goggles and headphones, Seppeur was largely isolated from his surroundings. “The isolation allowed me to really focus on myself and my work,” he says. VR glasses are glasses with an integrated screen that allow the user to look around in a virtual world. But other than the on-screen content you see nothing, the real world is almost completely hidden.

Seppeur had learned from a friend that VR glasses could be used to work in the Metaverse. “I liked the idea straight away and knew I had to implement it,” says Seppeur.

To be able to work in this world, you need the glasses that Seppeur rented on the Grover platform, a laptop and the Immersed software, downloadable for Mac and Windows.

Then you need to transfer your current workplace to the metaverse, that is, to the digital world. To do this, Seppeur linked glasses to software and a laptop. Then calibrate the keyboard so that the keys you press in real life are the keys you end up pressing in the virtual environment. If the keyboard is miscalibrated, you accidentally press the “q” on the laptop, for example, when you wanted the “w”.

But since the calibration also doesn’t work 100%, you have to be able to type with ten fingers blindly, he says. “Otherwise you make too many mistakes,” says Seppeur. You can create up to five digital screens, and you can even import your cell phone. The installation took two hours. “At first, I felt like I was in ‘Star Trek,’ like I was in the cockpit of a big spaceship,” says Seppeur.

A promotional video for Immersed software describes what an ideal job in the Metaverse should look like.

According to his own words, he set up his office in the middle of a tropical forest, surrounded by a large river and many trees – like in the Amazon, he says. Brazil instead of Nuremberg. This is made possible by the technology behind the glasses, with which you can enter virtual worlds.

The resolution was too bad for Seppeur, but he still sees potential

But what bothered him was the resolution. “If you work with the MacBook every day, you’re used to high resolution,” but the glasses don’t keep up. The resolution was so poor that he could see the individual pixels when composing a message in the Slack messaging service. “After six hours with the VR glasses, I noticed it in my eyes,” he says. He was also bothered by the fact that the software had to be restarted every day and the keyboard recalibrated. It took four to six minutes a day.

Because of the graphics, he ended the experiment after three days. But if it gets better, he sees potential. “I think this way of working will catch on,” he says.

“The nice thing is that you can hang out with other people in a room who, unfortunately, aren’t there,” says Seppeur. Seppeur sees advantages in this, especially for the home office. Because meeting productivity is too low when everyone is in a different place. In the Metaverse, everyone could come together with their avatars and work together. From anywhere in the world – also from Las Palmas.

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