Kay Yoshimura is convinced that virtual reality will “supersede the PC and smartphone” – and not in some distant scenario, but soon. That’s why his team is preparing a Slack alternative that’s set in VR. It’s slated to launch later this year.
He’s designing Cynack as a meeting and co-authoring space where teammates work on projects together. Plus, users can “easily share files from their local PC in that space,” Kay tells Tech in Asia. “They can share files directly from their shared screen by putting their hands into the screen and pulling it out.” It can be used by workmates in the same building as well as remote colleagues.
Its VR office is now at a prototype stage.
Once it’s out, Cynack will come with free, pro, and enterprise options. There’ll also be an accompanying app store where “users can upload or download their customized rooms and bots/apps to make their VR sessions more useful,” Kay explains.
After checking out the recent Tokyo leg of the IBM Watson Summit, Kay is weighing up tapping into the AI. “The most inconvenient thing of VR is that no one can take any memos or minutes of a meeting because they are wearing a VR display. We are thinking to integrate with IBM Watson to analyze their voice chat and create a session log by inviting Watson as one user – like bots in Slack.”
The Japanese startup last month secured US$45,000 in funding from F-Ventures, a relatively new US$4.5 million fund devoted to seed investments.
The biggest challenge for Kay with this VR workspace is similar to that faced by VR game makers – persuading people that the expensive hardware is worth it for the immersive experience. However, Facebook’s recent beta release of Spaces, a way to connect with friends in VR, might actually help Kay’s startup by proving that VR is a great way to get people together.
Watch: Japan’s Cynack shows off its virtual office prototype
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