Virtual360 Konnect | Together, Wired

Virtual360 Konnect residents Faiq Airudin from Brunei Darussalam and Chloe Lynne Choi from Korea collaborated throughout October 2020 to address the lack of options regarding spontaneity and subtlety in current modes of online communication software. Their collaboration resulted in a newly invented design that allows for more control over communication.

The authors worked with the notion that current forms of technology are insufficient in mirroring human interactions of the real world. This has become ever more important in light of current circumstances: the COVID-19 outbreak has relegated human interactions to the online space, and therefore online modes of communication need to fill the gap in communication as fully as possible.

The gap in communication is evident. Prevalent software applications such as Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and BlueJeans allow for closed-group discussions and offer useful features such as screen-sharing, recording, breakout rooms, etc. However, these platforms fail to provide the spontaneity inherent in everyday interactions. Meetings that occur via these platforms are scheduled ahead of time and proceed for a set duration, without deviating from the initial path. The environment does not allow for random conversations or digressions that lead to new and interesting insights. Nor do they allow for subtlety or privacy. When participants speak out, their words are broadcasted to the entire group. Breakout rooms do exist, but the fact that someone has exited or entered a group is relayed to everyone, and the lack of subtlety can be overwhelming and can end up stifling participation and engagement.

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