In times of Covid-19, it is becoming more and more popular to meet virtually. Be it meetings, trade fairs or other types of events that can no longer be held in person due to social distancing. One of the most popular platforms to host these virtual meetings is Engage VR. It’s often used in combination with Pico headsets. This article will introduce how to get started with the Pico VR and Engage.
Engage is a social VR platform for business users. It offers a comprehensive ability to create various types of virtual business meetings with participants from anywhere in the world. It is used for product presentations, social gatherings, education and business meetings. Engage also has multiple offerings to learn about and teach with VR.
Engage offers three types of licenses, a free LITE-, paid PRO- and Enterprise License. The Pro and Enterprise license offers additional options and features, which are described further in the article. The Pro version can be tested free of charge with a demo account.
This article uses the Pico Neo 2 as a basis. However, Engage also supports other vr headsets.
Installing Engage and signing in
To start Engage you need either a PC that supports VR or a standalone VR headset, like the Pico Neo 2. Engage supports standalone vr headsets from HTC, Oculus, Pico and Windows Mixed Reality.
- To get started, you need to create an account on the Engage website( https://engagevr.io/)
- Second, turn on your VR headset and put it on. Once in the main menu, log in with your VR account (Pico account, Oculus account or HTC account) to access the App Store. Consequently, you go to the App Store and download the Engage app.
- Third, launch the Engage application. Following you will see a log-in window, where you log in with the Engage account you created on your PC.
Each user needs a unique account. Its not possible to share accounts and be in the same meetings. Lite accounts can be created for free.
Get started in Engage
After a successful login, you will first be asked to create an avatar. It is also possible to upload a selfie, which then together with a virtual body creates a realistic copy of yourself
Following, you will enter the main menu of Engage. Here you can select different options:
How to Join an Engage VR Session
You can join 3 types of rooms
Here you can join open public rooms. For a closed public meeting, the host needs to grant you access to join. You can request to joint these meetings. Afterwards you will receive a e-mail with the corresponding information.
here you can see scheduled and running events and register for them
- By ID to session
for this you need the ID of the session from the host of the session
Here you simply start your own meeting. You choose the location (virtual room) where the meeting should take place (e.g.: lecture hall) and define the content. Some of the locations are restricted for Pro users only, recognizable by the yellow Pro logo on the top right corner of the preview image.
Here you get directly to the events you can participate in as described under ‘Participate in session.
Here you get directly to the selection of the content, as described under ‘Start session
Create & Edit
Here you can create and edit forms and other content
Under this menu item you can view and edit your own avatar
The tutorial button is not on the left, but at the bottom in the middle of the menu. It is explained how to teleport, change location or to insert and move 3D objects
Engage has a large selection of rooms. A total of 64 rooms are available, 11 of them which can be freely used with a Lite license. The classic meeting rooms each have large screens centrally located, onto which imported documents and media can be easily projected. You can join rooms in two ways:
Create your own room
In the main menu you can easily create your own room, which is not publicly visible, but can be joined by other people via a Room ID. To do this, you click on the “Join session” tab, following you click on “Session by ID” and enter the Room ID code you have received. Up to 3 people can join a meeting with the LITE license, 20 with PRO and up to 70 with the Enterprise license.
Join a Public room
Some public rooms are open, some are closed. You can request access to the closed public rooms. When you see a closed public room you would like to join, you click “Attend”. Following you will receive a link via E-mail, which will contains the Room ID. The Room ID can then be filled in at “Session by ID”
Engage VR Features for virtual meetings
Within Engage there are various interactive elements and office tools that can be used. The three most important functions that are available for every type of users are:
- First, each participant has the ability to take notes and turn them into sticky notes, so they can be viewed by others.
- Second, participants can bring in media and videos and project them on large screens.
- Third, choose IFX elements from an existing library, move and scale them . IFX elements are 3 dimensional objects like animals, architectures or objects. These are freely accessible and available in the general IFX library. Pro users have the option to also upload their own.
- Fourth, connecting to a data cloud via the Media menu. In the lower tab selection, you can click on Media. Besides playing YouTube videos, you can also load media here as well as connect to a cloud service (OneDrive, Gdrive, Dropbox). This means that you will also have virtual access to all documents and document types via this Internet connection.
Engage makes it is possible to move around inside the room. In the menu of Engage, you can use the VR Mode tab to set the seat mode or activate the full motion tracking. In addition, you can move around in a room with the pico controller by using the touchpad, or make use of teleporting.
Other functions for virtual meetings
There are a few more functions in the menu on the right bar that can be extremely useful for your meeting. You can easily turn the microphone on and off, use the camera to take pictures or open the VR mode menu. You can also access the settings and exit the meeting from there.
Engage VR Pricing
In this regard, Engage reserves the right to make individual offers. However, one can contact Engage VR directly and ask for an individual price. See the table below for an overview of the most important differences between the 3 types of licensing:
|Host Private Sessions||Max 3 users||Up to 20 users||Up to 70 users|
|Virtual Locations||Limited (11 rooms)||Full Library||Full Library|
|Hosts in Session||No||Yes, up to 20 users||Yes, up to 70 users|
|Host VR Events||No||Yes, up to 20 users||Yes, up to 70 users|
|Custom VR Locations||No||No||Yes – Priced per project|
|Large Scale Events||No||Yes – Priced per project||Yes – Priced per project|
Overall, Engage is easy and hassle-free to use. It takes seconds to create, open or join meetings. The office tools offer a good alternative to conventional meetings and do not represent a significantly higher effort. The VR experience is very close to reality and quickly makes you forget that you are in the virtual world. Especially for the B2B sector and the possibility to hold meetings on the Pico G2 4k and Neo 2 line makes it a better alternative than Oculus which is less suitable for the business sector due to its Facebook restrictions.
Have questions about how to install Engage VR on the Pico Neo 2 for virtual meetings?
Contact us for advice or questions!