i3 | March 14, 2022

Technologies Powering the Hybrid Workplace

Jenna Silversmith
Animation of a woman in a virtual reality experience

The proliferation of hybrid work has created a need for technology that makes hybrid work, work. According to CTA’s annual Future of Work survey, 80% of companies recognize the benefits of a hybrid work environment for their employees and they will continue hybrid work as part of their long-term plan. One of the challenges, however, is keeping employees engaged and on a level playing field when some are in the office, and others are at home. Future of work experts have warned of the risk of creating two classes of employees, those who go into the office and those who work remotely.

At CES 2022, companies such as Canon, HTC Vive and Owl Labs displayed technologies to make hybrid workplaces more collaborative and effective. These technologies are designed to help mitigate challenges workers have experienced over the past two years and create a sense of belonging for all — no matter their location.


Canon announced the next progression of AMLOS (Activate My Line Of Sight). ALMOS makes hybrid work feel more natural, spontaneous and human. A key feature demonstrated during Canon’s CES press conference was the ability to put the remote user in the driver’s seat to control what they see in the room — the speaker, the presentation, an object or even simultaneously focus on multiple areas. Another feature allows the speaker to control the call using gesture controls. This creates more organic meetings as the speaker can walk around a room rather than being stuck at a desk. Kohei Maeda, marketing supervisor, Canon, explains, “If you have something you want to show to the remote participant, all you need to do is gesture for the AMLOS to automatically create a new video stream of the zoom-in view of that region of interest so that remote participant can keep up with the conversation.”

The future of the office is going to be pretty flexible.
Daniel O’Brien,  HTC VIVE


VIVE Sync is a VR solution for hybrid work collaboration. It is not exclusive to VR hardware — it can also be accessed on phones, tablets, laptops and desktops. Avatar features, such as lip syncing, shaking hands and high fiving, help create immersive interactions between coworkers and feel more authentic than talking to a static avatar or picture. VIVE Sync has all the features of video calls, but also includes features such as 3D model sharing and spatial audio. A technology like VIVE Sync will be key to remote and hybrid collaboration. “The future of the office is going to be pretty flexible,” Daniel O’Brien, general manager, HTC VIVE, says. “If anything, COVID forced us to be in this hybrid environment, and it’s going to continue because the technology is taking us there regardless.”

Owl Labs

Owl Labs created an all-in-one hybrid meeting device called the Meeting Owl Pro that has a microphone, speaker and 360-degree camera, which allows remote meeting attendees to see a panoramic view of the room. The Meeting Owl Pro identifies who is speaking, focuses on them, and if multiple people are talking, it puts them side by side on the screen to help the remote worker follow who is speaking. As Max Makeev, co-founder of Owl Labs, explains, these features benefit the remote employee by “helping that person feel connected to the conversation.” This is key to hybrid collaboration and ensuring that all members of the team are included.

These innovations from CES 2022 are solutions to the future of hybrid work. Employers should plan to incorporate them in the workplace to ensure equal focus on employees that are onsite and those working remotely to build a sense of community and belonging among teams.

i3 magazine March/April 2022 cover

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