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News » Virtual 3D offices take off as remote work evolves

Virtual 3D offices take off as remote work evolves

Virtual 3D office by Katmai
Photo from Katmai

CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES — A new form of remote work is emerging – virtual 3D offices. Katmai, a startup founded in 2021, has created a virtual office platform that aims to make remote collaboration feel more like working together in-person.

Katmai’s software allows remote coworkers to see each other via live video feeds placed around a 3D-rendered office space. Users can move their avatars around the virtual office, talk spontaneously, and problem-solve together through video chat.

The company hopes this virtual approach can capture the casual, unplanned interactions that happen in a physical workplace. Katmai CEO Erik Braund believes video calls in these simulated offices will lead to more natural conversations than traditional flat video chats.

“You’re in a circle. It’s natural. It’s like a left-right cadence,” Braund told Business Insider. “You have a neck and you’re used to kind of looking.”

Early users seem enthusiastic. James Eby, Chief Creative Officer at agency tms, said, “Being together in the virtual office allows for deeper connections, real-time collaboration, spontaneity and fun.”

Katmai has raised $22 million in Series A funding from investors including Starr Insurance Companies. The startup currently has around 10 employees.

While virtual reality platforms have provided 3D collaboration spaces before, Katmai aims for accessibility through standard web browsers rather than VR headsets. The company believes this practical approach can make the concept of virtual offices truly mainstream.

If Katmai sees rapid user adoption in 2023, its virtual office platform may set the stage for a new phase in the evolution of remote work – one that finally allows distributed teams to build camaraderie and culture.

 

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