Collaborate from anywhere in AR and VR

Spatial: App overview by XR4work

What is Spatial?

**Spatial is arguably the best known and most talked about immersive meeting and collaboration platform out today. **The team made a big splash back in 2019, partnering with Microsoft to show off its features on the Hololens 2. Since then the company and the platform has grown at a rapid pace being a leader in the field of enterprise immersive collaboration.

Who is Spatial for?

Spatial is an ideal platform for any distributed team or group to take advantage of. The free level alone offers a generous feature set, that most casual users would find quite adequate. Larger organizations and enterprises would find the pro and enterprise levels catering to expanded meeting and group management.

What does Spatial run on?

Spatial runs on a variety of immersive and 2D platforms. As mentioned, they run on mixed reality devices such as the HoloLens, Nreal glasses, Magic Leap, and in full VR on the Oculus Quest platform (soon coming to PC-based VR systems too). Users can also join from a web browser on their Mac or Windows or Chrome devices. Applications are available for users to participate in meetings from iPhone and Android - in regular "flat" mode as well as augmented reality.

What are the features of Spatial?

While Spatial has many features, it is likely best known through its singularly unique Avatar system. Avatars in spatial are based on a photograph of the users face, mapped went to a floating head and torso which animates head, neck and eye movement to provide a realistic representation of the user in the virtual space. It's a different and unique approach can user environment and users can have polarizing views on whether they like it or not. Hand and arm movements are tracked using the controllers with hand tracking available in the HoloLens and Oculus platforms.

Spatial provides all the standard functionality you would expect in a leading immersive meeting and collaboration platform. Users can create spaces or rooms for specific projects or meeting purposes. Users can take notes using pens or even their voice. There is always a presentation surface available in every room that can be used display images, documents, videos or other meeting content. And you can import 3D objects either to enhance the space or to use during a meeting or demonstration. Spatial has made it possible to link out and connect to your Microsoft 365, One Drive, Dropbox, Google Drive , and Slack instances to bring in and share content.

The team has been iterating rapidly and regularly over this past year. At the time of this writing, they are at a 3.0 release. Some of the recent things that they have released include new environments for your meetings and conferences. On top of providing users with stock environments to work in, Spatial now lets you import your own 3D spaces for your meetings - or even scan and instantly import them with a LiDAR-equipped iOS device. And when those meetings are international or there are language considerations to be made Spatial provides live language conversion on the fly during your meeting sessions. During your meetings, you can turn on spatial audio so that during a presentation everyone in the room can clearly hear you but then afterwards could break into smaller groups and have more private conversations. You can now allow guest access without an account into a meeting. And then grab a selfie with everyone to share after the event.

What is the cost of Spatial?

Spatial is available with a generous free account offering where you can try out the platform with others and experience its richness. Pro accounts start at $20 per user per month and offer more advanced features like the live translation feature mentioned above, meeting hosting and administration tools. Enterprise level accounts get all these features as well as the option for Single Sign On and things important to Enterprises such as an MSA (Master Service Agreement), priority support and customizations.

XR4work assessment of Spatial

  • Consumption/Retention of Information: 5/5 (How well can users access and refer to info in the environment)
  • Production/Efficiency of Creating Content: N/A (How well can users create content in the app)
  • **Flow/Ergonomics of UI: 4/5 **(How easy is it for users to navigate and use the environment and tools)
  • **Social/Collaboration Features: 5/5 **(How well can users interact and work together in the app)
  • **Value: 4/5 **(Total cost of ownership relative to offering and other similar platforms)

Written by Rick Casteel / XR4work

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