Could a virtual reality headset one day replace your office? Dallas-based commercial real estate giant CBRE Group doesn’t think so, but the firm is experimenting with ways the metaverse could help it bring employees together, oversee properties and work with clients.

Different people and companies have their own interpretations of what the term “metaverse” means and what technology in the space can do. CBRE looks at it in two ways, said Sandeep Davé, the firm’s chief digital and technology officer.

One is the use of virtual reality and augmented reality technology in the real world to help manage and operate buildings, which Davé describes as a part of the “industrial metaverse.” The term has been coined for the uses of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies to help workers in physical spaces.

The other is the more widespread idea of creating immersive virtual environments where people can interact with one another. CBRE is looking to potentially use these internally in various situations, such as during the onboarding process.

The company showed The Dallas Morning News what a virtual onboarding experience looks like at its new 131,000-square-foot Richardson office at Galatyn Commons, which houses its technology teams.

In addition to its virtual reality experiments, the Richardson office is a playground for a variety of new collaboration technologies for hybrid workers, such as cameras that follow speakers around conference rooms and whiteboards with real-time tracking for remote meeting participants.


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