Back in 2013, I had my first experience with virtual reality (VR), which started me down the deep rabbit hole of exploring the vast and still growing world of social meetings and gaming in the virtual world.

Around the same time, I got my hands on my first augmented reality (AR) device, Google Glass. That experience wasn’t as compelling at the time, but years later, in 2017, I shifted a significant amount of my focus from VR to AR, which has grown into a separate and equally powerful immersive computing platform.

Together, these two cutting edge technologies have gradually worked to extend the spread location-less virtual interaction into a new realm. But there’s a tool in this space that’s even more accessible that I’ve been using along along — video conferencing.

Throughout the years, starting around 2007, I’ve functioned on and off as full-time remote worker for the likes of Wired, PCMag, and Mashable. Whether it was from a Tokyo rooftop bar lounge, a beach-side picnic table in Venice, California, a fashionable cafe in Paris, or from my apartment in New York City, I’ve worked from pretty much everywhere, armed with a laptop, a webcam, the right software, and a location-agnostic view of the world.

vuzix blade
zoom conference
What Zoom virtual meetings look like

Now, as the most of world has undergone a major shift in how it works and socializes in the last few months, it has become clear that a lot more people are joining me and other remote workers around the planet who were previously outliers. The once mysterious and hard to grasp (literally and figuratively) remote worker is now being framed as a pioneer of tech’s next great frontier — working and meeting without the constraints of physical proximity.

The once mysterious and hard to grasp remote worker is now being framed as a pioneer of tech’s next great frontier — working and meeting without the constraints of physical proximity.

From my perspective, today’s video conferencing apps and hardware tools represent the foundation layer of this new location-free productivity and collaboration stack. Next up on that stack is VR, which will serve some better than others. And at the top of the stack, the ideal, is AR, or more specifically, AR smartglasses, which will make remote work, virtual meetings, distance learning, and immersive entertainment feel like an organic extension of your everyday life.

AR smartglasses on HBO’s Westworld Season 3

For a relatively conservative take on how this near-future AR tech will change everything, you need look no further than the latest season of HBO’s Westworld, which features one of the most realistic takes on AR smartglasses we’ve seen from Hollywood.

Nevertheless, while we keep one eye on the future, many of you could use a resource that will help you become a remote work and interaction master ‘today,’ as well as in the future. That’s what Astralform is for. If you’re new to remote work and virtual meetings, your clever brain and internet instincts have served you well, because you’ve found the right place.

Cover image via The Matrix Reloaded/Warner Bros.