The promise of virtual reality has been a staple of science fiction – think The Matrix or the holodeck from Star Trek – an exciting yet elusive vision. While we are nowhere near having a holodeck in our homes, VR has the potential to be big. Right now, most applications focus on gaming, but that’s just a starting point. I see a possibility where VR could become a professional tool with practical applications for engineering, the travel industry, sports, education, and collaboration.

Cisco Spark is built around the concept of virtual spaces, where all your work lives, like messaging, files, whiteboards, etc.

Here at Cisco, we started thinking about the possibilities for VR in the business world – and ways to integrate that with our best-in-class collaboration technology. People are using VR for rich, fully immersive, gaming experiences. And naturally, as avid gamers themselves, our Cisco Emerge team started thinking about the practical applications of VR, specifically in meetings using the Cisco Spark platform.

Cisco Spark is built around the concept of virtual spaces, where all your work lives, like messaging, files, whiteboards, etc. It is designed to allow people to work and meet together, effectively, no matter where they are. And VR headsets let you go virtually into new worlds, rooms, and spaces. You have new ways for people to connect, even though they are thousands of miles apart. Bringing these two together has the potential to create an amazing work experience.

Which is why I am excited to introduce Cisco Spark in VR, a new experiment with the potential to improve team collaboration. It is available for download today from the Oculus Store.

Cisco Spark in VR is another way to access Cisco Spark content, just like the apps we have for the web, Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. It runs on the Cisco Spark platform, using the same APIs, and is tightly integrated with the Cisco Spark application. All your files, whiteboards, and conversations are available in virtual reality.

The Cisco Spark in VR experience has the added dimension of being able to interact, in 3D, with your files. You can grab, open, share, and present files – using just your hands. Using VR enhances the current (two-dimensional) collaboration environment, like being able to interact with a 3D model of a car engine, or stepping into an architectural design and see the building before any concrete is poured. This is just a start. I believe there are even more use cases for virtual reality in a work environment.

Cisco Spark is a great tool for real-time collaboration – and when you can design, draw and create together in virtual reality, it makes the experience better. The white-boarding capabilities with Cisco Spark in VR allow teams to create content together by drawing on the same virtual Cisco Spark Board… in virtual reality. But we’ve also built it so that you access the virtual board on your physical Spark Board or mobile device – with everything synchronized – collaborating in real time, both virtually and physically.

Cisco Spark in VR is a concept launch, an experiment. Our testing with early VR adopters led to some interesting results, not least of which was that users enjoyed the experience. We are continuing to work with this group to identify previously unexplored collaboration experiences with VR.

We know our customers and partners have great ideas and that’s why we want to work with you.

Download Cisco Spark in VR, and tell us what new collaboration experiences you discover.



Jens Meggers

No Longer with Cisco