General Question

mattbrowne's avatar

When will virtual reality systems be ready to replace almost all business trips?

Asked by mattbrowne (31628points) March 25th, 2009

Head-mounted displays could give you the feeling of sitting in the same room with your business partners. Less business travel means less CO2 in the atmosphere and less wasted time during airport security checks and by being stuck on airplanes. On the other hand, powerful computers will also require more and more energy i.e. they also produce a great deal of CO2. And maybe what’s more, people will still feel the need to meet business partners for real, don’t they?

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15 Answers

JellyB's avatar

That would be cool. Maybe the initial visit could be in real life, but after that, use the virtual one!

dearest_prudence's avatar

@JellyB X2!
I couldn’t agree more, I’d even like to try to take a day trip in virtual too!
just imagine, I could go to all the places I have ever wanted to go to in an afternoon!!!

Lightlyseared's avatar

When computers can generate 3D images and move them in sequence to the movements of the head as fast as the brain can process them. Otherwise everybody will be throwing up in their business meetings which is probably not productive.

Jiminez's avatar

Hopefully never.

dalton's avatar


I agree with Jiminez.

qashqai's avatar


No computer will ever be able to replicate such feeling of travelling in first class, eating in fancy restaurants, sleeping in ‘cushions everywhere’ suites when you know you are not paying a dime.

HarmonyAlexandria's avatar

I’m not sure virtual reality could ever replicate all the nuances of a face-to-face meeting any better than what we have today(teleconferencing,video conferencing,virtual meetings software, etc.).

The experience of walking into a conference room, getting a read of the other people in the building, etc.

Mr_M's avatar

The technology for group meetings is already there. I think people don’t use it because it’s kind of a perk to fly somewhere. We actually don’t need “face to face”. What happens with meeting minutes?

mattbrowne's avatar

@Jiminez and @dalton – Care to elaborate? Isn’t the usage of systems like or Fluther the first step which could ultimately end in a full 3D-experience? Why would this be a bad thing? I’m just trying to understand your concerns.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Mr_M – Is the technology good enough to schedule a crisis meeting? And what about a new project when people don’t know each other yet? Just curious about your thoughts.

dalton's avatar

Because you can’t look them in the eue when you are lying to each other..

Mr_M's avatar

@mattbrowne , I have coordinated and managed MANY, MANY computer implementations where the computer vendor is in one state and the company that purchased the system is in another. The hands on work, of course, required the computer company to come on site.

Do you know how each and every meeting took place? Over a SPEAKER PHONE. A conference call.

A new project where people do not know each other is no big deal when it’s not face to face. And, by “crisis meeting”, I’m not really sure what you mean but it is FAR EASIER to meet with people right away over a phone line then if they have to fly or even drive to be face to face. There have been MANY times when the mainframe computer system goes down during the night and the on-site manager is in his house, the tech support guy is in another state, programmer in another state, etc. and the crisis meeting was all done on the phone. These people were paged and a conference call initiated.

I’m not saying the technology is there to replace EVERY face to face. But it’s there. Even training, as you know, with the multitude of on-line colleges.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Mr_M – Yes, I can totally believe that modern technology is already helping in many ways as you were decribing, however there might be limitations. I’m not just talking about technical crises, but also personal. Two people who need to work together but can’t because they’ve hurt each others feelings. Same for a new project when one group is really worried the other one wants to take over. Or you’ve got a multi-cultural context, e.g. an Indian company involving the outsourcing of jobs.

Mr_M's avatar

I agree. As I said, the technology is NOT there to replace EVERY “face-to-face”.

Having said that, however,

1. Neither technology nor a face to face will resolve a personal crisis between two people. Watch “The Apprentice” some time.

2. If one group is worried about another one, a speaker phone with a mute button (where the team can make comments about what the other is saying) is a good way to go.

mattbrowne's avatar

I think we need a reasonable mix of both. Use technology and save travel costs whenever possible.

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