Morpheus XR: Simplifying The Enterprise Collaboration And Training Space In VR

By Anshel Sag, Patrick Moorhead - March 29, 2023
ANSHEL SAG

The XR collaboration space is full of applications that look to capitalize on the decreased human interaction within organizations as a result of Covid and the accelerated growth of remote work. Many XR collaboration tools seek to bring teams together and increase staff cohesion through more lifelike interpersonal engagement and common spaces. I saw this desire to provide something more engaging than Zoom or Microsoft Teams many times even before the pandemic, and there’s no doubt that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of some of these apps.

Many of these apps are trying to bring together teams that might be geographically dispersed and are looking for a better way than Brady Bunch-style group calls to interact with each other. That’s where Morpheus XR comes in. Morpheus is a rare breed of company that not only creates virtual experiences but also enables others to do so; it also provides white-glove services that include setup and configuration for the VR headset.

Morpheus XR’s turnkey difference

One of the biggest ways that Morpheus XR is different from most of the other enterprise collaboration apps I’ve seen is that the company owns a headset rental service, which includes setup and support to give users quicker and easier access to more VR apps. This means that Morpheus has already taken care of one of the biggest points of friction for adopting VR headsets for remote collaboration, training or workshops. In fact, by offering the white-glove service—and the headsets themselves as a part of the service—Morpheus removes multiple friction points. This could serve as the foot in the door for XR applications in some organizations that have struggled with adoption.

In addition to offering the headset preloaded with the Morpheus XR app, Morpheus also offers its platform for companies that want to offer XR training, workshops or collaboration as a service to their customers. I saw this in action recently when I attended a workshop in Morpheus XR conducted by one of its partners, Blue Sky Training, which I’ll discuss below. Morpheus has designers on its team, and in fact one of the co-founders, Mikhail Krymov, is a former architect who has been crucial in helping to shape the different experiences that Morpheus can offer to customers. Additionally, co-founder Jennifer Regan is a long-time expert in change management and has lots of experience with entertainment brands, so she understands the adoption issues that enterprises moving to XR are likely to come up against.

Based on what I’ve seen, I regard Morpheus XR as a complete solution in some ways that other apps are not simply because it integrates the content, hardware, and services as one solution. Even the way that Morpheus XR uses AI to generate new customized spaces is both cutting-edge and unique. At this stage in the industry’s development, many companies are still looking for complete, turnkey solutions and not piecemeal apps, hardware, and services that they need to hire a consulting firm to integrate.

ANSHEL SAG

Collaboration, training and workshops

My training in Morpheus XR was different from other experiences I’ve had on VR collaboration platforms. Sure, I’ve had plenty of presentations given to me on other platforms, but ultimately what many of them were missing were specific customer use cases showing what kinds of outcomes the platform can deliver. The workshop from Blue Sky Training, which was run by its CEO Chris Hawker, provided a welcome contrast. He clearly knew from the start what he was going to do with the space he had created with Morpheus XR; more than that, it was obvious that his company has a lot of experience in maximizing interpersonal connections within these virtual spaces. It was clear to me that he had a lot of experience doing these kinds of presentations in person and was able to easily translate that into an XR environment.

Human connections

I have long been hearing that personal connections in XR are one of the most powerful ways to build engagement—meaning that social experiences in XR are going to be what ultimately drives the industry towards mass adoption. I firmly believe this,and I believe it’s why my experience in Morpheus XR was powerful and engaging. I genuinely felt like I was able to connect with complete strangers on a personal level that I might not have been able to achieve in any other way, including even in person. There is something special about a medium where you are somewhat vulnerable, yet also not fully exposed because you are represented by an avatar; it enables you to connect with strangers in a way that you feel is meaningful and productive.

ANSHEL SAG

Avatars and Ready Player Me

Morpheus XR’s avatars are powered by Ready Player Me, a quick avatar creator. I was impressed by how the app generated a mostly accurate avatar of myself based on a single recent photo and made it usable within seconds. Even better, it gave me control over that avatar for other platforms of my choosing in the future. I will say that the lack of legs on the avatars in Morpheus XR was a little disappointing, but the experience was still very grounding. I believe that the company understands that lifelike avatars aren’t necessary and that there’s a certain “good enough” line that they need to cross—which Ready Player Me achieves for them.

Wrapping up

While I don’t think that Morpheus XR is going to completely change the XR collaboration space overnight, I do think that it is a very good indicator of where the industry is moving. The company is bringing together the best components available to developers today to enable meaningful interpersonal interactions between people who might otherwise be unable to meet in person—and it is doing it very effectively.

I do think that there are some limitations to what can be accomplished in Morpheus XR, but I believe that it could be very powerful for workshops and training that might otherwise only be done over video. I believe that Morpheus will continue to iterate its app and improve the capabilities and scope of its platform as it looks for ways to improve the enterprise collaboration space. Hopefully, we’ll see more competition in the space, driving even stronger innovation and better engagement. Morpheus is still a very young company and I expect to see it continue to grow as a platform, especially as the need to bring together geographically distributed teams continues to increase.

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Anshel Sag is Moor Insights & Strategy’s in-house millennial with over 15 years of experience in the IT industry. Anshel has had extensive experience working with consumers and enterprises while interfacing with both B2B and B2C relationships, gaining empathy and understanding of what users really want. Some of his earliest experience goes back as far as his childhood when he started PC gaming at the ripe of old age of 5 while building his first PC at 11 and learning his first programming languages at 13.

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Patrick founded the firm based on his real-world world technology experiences with the understanding of what he wasn’t getting from analysts and consultants. Ten years later, Patrick is ranked #1 among technology industry analysts in terms of “power” (ARInsights)  in “press citations” (Apollo Research). Moorhead is a contributor at Forbes and frequently appears on CNBC. He is a broad-based analyst covering a wide variety of topics including the cloud, enterprise SaaS, collaboration, client computing, and semiconductors. He has 30 years of experience including 15 years of executive experience at high tech companies (NCR, AT&T, Compaq, now HP, and AMD) leading strategy, product management, product marketing, and corporate marketing, including three industry board appointments.