Okay, let's talk about workplace services. You mentioned that is your third prediction. And we're in a post-COVID world, we all know. It's funny, when I get an out of office email, I'm thinking: “you were never in the office!” So, so many people never, ever go to offices. And those of us that go to offices all the time or some of the time, it's different. And you had mentioned front-, back- and middle-offices. Talk some more about it… people know that workplace services are important. It's changed a great deal. What are the trends now? What's changing as we move into 2023 in this broad area of workplace?
Yeah, but let me put this in a couple buckets because I think it'll help the conversation.
Let's think of the first category of knowledge workers in general and use that as a category. Knowledge workers. We go to meetings, we interact a lot, we collaborate a lot with each other. We do a lot of diagrams, we do a lot of PowerPoints, we do a lot of word docs, that's sort of the work that we do, you know, as we go forward. Now, imagine that you're sitting in a meeting. In 2020, we would have all been sitting in the meeting together, conversing, sharing. Today in the hybrid world, some of us may be in a conference room, some of us may be in Zoom, some of us may be in Teams, some of us may be on a phone. How do we build an environment where we all feel collaborative?
Right. When I go to conference calls today, sometimes it's difficult if there's a group in the conference call and everybody else isn't. How do you make sure you've got a good experience there? Well, what we are seeing in organizations like the European Central Bank as an example. The new workplace solutions really integrate virtual whiteboards and collaboration boards, screens around all of the video conference rooms, people dialing in and sharing stuff, and it's such a more interactive way of working. Now, you couple that with what I think is going to just be an explosion of AR/VR type solutions. I think we're going to really enhance the way that we collaborate with each other. I really don't expect us to be back in the offices in the same way any time in the future.
Now, I know there are some leaders that disagree with me. I think Tesla, Meta, Google and some others that have massive campuses are really encouraging people to come back and trying to get that feeling, and I think there’s a level of collaboration there. But for many others, it's much more about creating this collaborative feeling through different mediums, whether it's the Oculus headsets, whether it's the collaboration that we're doing: we're just seeing an explosion of technology. And I think 2023 is when this is all going to come together. 2020, 2021, we scrambled, we did okay, but now each of us across the planet must step up and figure out new ways to do it.
I think what you're seeing now is that technology is going to come together. We'll have whiteboards, we'll have different things besides just Zoom or Teams or Riverside or other apps which will really help us be able to do that next level of collaboration. That's the first bucket.
I liked your first one in the metaverse. I think it seems like workplace services is one of the early entry, killer applications for Oculus.
It really is. And we're going to have to rethink that, right? Because a lot of us think that you want to make it very inclusive and that's a core value that we have. So, how do you make it inclusive using technology to do it, recognizing that there's a lot of ways for different people to work.
The second bucket is the field workers.
Think about field workers applications like this: whether it's workers in manufacturing or on the shop floor or in the field with mines or people that do dangerous work on equipment, what if we were able to create a virtual reality, IoT, data-driven environment where you could work in a much safer environment, maybe from home, maybe from, you know, different centers where you could interact with the equipment or the machinery or the fields in a much safer way? Right? So how could we integrate autonomous driving, autonomous solutions with AR, with VR to create this environment where you have all the right knowledge at the right time presented to you in such a way that you can now interact to do your job much safer, in much better working conditions with better insights on what you're doing. And I’ve seen some great early insights that this is what we're going to be able to pull that together. 2023 we're really going to take that experimentation to the next level.
And I think you'll see much deeper integration all the way through the entire organization on how we start using AR/VR enhanced reality, if you will, to create a much better workplace. A great example is training. Now, if you think about training environments, I love LinkedIn training. As you said early on, I'm a very inquisitive guy. I go through lots of courses, but it gets boring just watching videos. What if it could be more immersive? I’ll be completely connected just as if I was in the classroom. I can interact with colleagues and things as I go across. It really changes how we do it, how we learn and how we think. And I think you're going to see more and more of those immersive experiences as we go forward.
You know, we knew it was going to go beyond gaming. The Metaverse and AR/VR seem to be really happening.
Well, Steve, this has been great. Thank you so much for this. I love hearing your thoughts all the time. It's great for everybody to hear what's top of your mind in your predictions. I'll say we won't hold you to it, but we'll be back in a year and see how you did.