Steelcase and Logitech Offer New Extended Reality Experience for Virtual Meetings

Steelcase in Grand Rapids, a global design, research, and thought leader in the world of work, and Logitech, a multinational software-enabled hardware solutions provider, have introduced Ocular View — an extended reality experience that immerses people in virtual conversations that make them feel like they’re sitting across from one another even when they’re miles apart.
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Steelcase and Logitech have introduced Ocular View, a video conferencing system designed to make people feel like they’re sitting across from one another even when they’re miles apart. // Photo courtesy of Steelcase

Steelcase in Grand Rapids, a global design, research, and thought leader in the world of work, and Logitech, a multinational software-enabled hardware solutions provider, have introduced Ocular View — an extended reality experience that immerses people in virtual conversations that make them feel like they’re sitting across from one another even when they’re miles apart.

Ocular View is designed to enhance individual connections by integrating Steelcase hybrid collaboration insights and design with Logitech’s video collaboration technology, and supporting software like Microsoft Teams and Zoom, for people to meet with colleagues virtually in a more personal way.

These digital and physical elements work together to provide a space that helps achieve increased personal wellbeing, social connection and privacy — all of which are top priorities for employees, according to recent global Steelcase research.

Ocular View was first unveiled as a prototype at Integrated Systems Europe in 2023, as Project Ghost, with the intent to understand workers’ needs for better hybrid collaboration experiences.

Throughout Project Ghost’s iterations, the Steelcase and Logitech teams gathered invaluable feedback for its enhancement, leading to the final creation of Ocular View, a unique experience unavailable anywhere else.

“People need better hybrid collaboration options — especially in a time where we are spending so much of our day on video — so we wanted to create a more realistic experience that would help combat digital fatigue,” says Christina Vernon, general manager of distributed collaboration and tech partners for Steelcase.

“Project Ghost was an experiment to see if people could connect virtually in the same way they might over a cup of coffee. What we found through all of our conversations and in-person demonstrations was that people were craving this kind of immersive and distraction-free experience to really improve their connections with their colleagues.”

Enclosed in Steelcase Everwall (or Orangebox Campers & Dens in Europe) to provide acoustic and visual privacy, Ocular View seats one to two people. A complete hybrid collaboration experience, it includes a comfortable lounge, a small table, and soft lighting to help participants look and feel their best.

The space was intentionally designed to eliminate distractions, placing the technology secondary to the physical environment. Participants simply tap to join to start the realistic conversation.

“Working with our tech partners early on in the process gives our designers an advantage to create spaces that integrate technology seamlessly so people can focus on what’s important — the actual conversation,” says Vernon. “We’ve been working with Logitech for several years and this project was the clear next step in building better hybrid solutions.”

Steelcase’s knowledge of textiles and materiality combined with Logitech’s proven technology helps create an effect that removes the remote participant from their background and displays a life-size rendering. The camera also creates eye-to-eye contact by connecting sight lines to create a natural gaze, so people feel as though they are engaging in-person.

“When starting on this project, we asked ourselves how we could create a more human connection where technology fades into the background and people are front-and-center,” says Alex Mooney, alliances and go-to-market manager for Logitech. “By working with Steelcase so closely, we’re able to let everyone now experience Ocular View which removes the obvious presence of technology to focus on the engagement between two people. It’s an experience that’s unlike anything available until now.”

Ocular View joins the Steelcase OcularCollection, which includes a range of organically shaped tables designed to accommodate the increasing need for video conferences in meeting rooms that improve sightlines for better and more equitable hybrid collaboration experiences.

Ocular View is now orderable in North America and select European countries. Everwall configurations will be available for North American markets only starting in Summer 2024. The Orangebox version will initially be available for European markets in Summer 2024 and will be available in North American markets in the Fall/Winter of 2024.

For more information, visit Steelcase.com/OcularView.