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HTC's Vive Sync beta offers businesses free access to VR meetings

The VR collaboration tool arrives at a time when people are doing online meetups more than ever.
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HTC’s Vive Sync collaboration platform is now in open beta, giving businesses a way to hold meetings in VR at a time when people are meeting online more than ever. The company even made the app free to use for businesses of all sizes throughout the beta period this year to help keep them running in the midst of a global pandemic.

HTC announced Vive Sync way back in 2018, promising a “VR collaboration tool where internal teams can meet in a virtual shared space.” Since its purpose is to make teams that can physically meet feel more connected with each other, users will be able to create and personalize their own avatars. The process starts with a selfie, but they can customize their avatars’ hairstyles, facial features, body types and clothing. The tech giant says the avatars were designed to mimic real-world movements — even natural body language — and the platform can track eye movements for people using Vive Pro Eye that comes with integrated Tobii eye-tracking technology.

Vive Sync meetings can support up to 30 participants per session and can access files users need from OneDrive. Participants can, for instance, present PowerPoints, PDFs, marketing videos and 3D models in their virtual meeting space. They can also record notes, annotate them with a 3D pen and take screenshots. Those notes and screenshots are instantly uploaded to participants’ cloud services, making them easy to access on phones and computers.

In its announcement, HTC says it’s just getting started with Vive Sync and plans to implement more features “quickly.” Those plans include making Vive Sync compatible with non-Vive headsets to give more people access, as well as giving it the ability to record full meeting sessions.

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