Mixed reality enables immersive collaboration for remote teams


The drastic shift towards the increase in remote working triggered by the pandemic poses a real problem for industries carrying out complex projects that rely heavily on the use of 3D data, such as construction, engineering and other industries. of manufacturing.

Sharing this data via 2D screens does not allow them to be examined in the same detail, which can hamper communication and consultation and ultimately becomes the main source of delays in complex projects.

Virtual and Augmented Reality (XR) solutions offer a potential solution to this problem, as they allow teams to work directly with 3D data and collaborate more effectively. However, cutting-edge XR solutions can be difficult to use for all but the largest organizations. Without an internal development team and the significant investment that this represents, it remains a purely R&D concern rather than having a significant impact on the entire organization.

To democratize access to XR technology, a simpler and more manageable solution is needed. Fracture Reality’s JoinXR is a 3D collaboration platform that leverages Microsoft HoloLens and Azure Services to put critical 3D data at the center of meetings. It replaces video chat and screen sharing with realistic avatars and interactive holograms and can work directly with industrial CAD and BIM data, without the need for costly optimization or conversion.

JoinXR provides turnkey access to Azure services for enterprise 3D data, including Azure Remote Rendering. Running on its own, HoloLens encounters a bottleneck when displaying data at around 250,000 polygons. Beyond that, your experience will deteriorate considerably. Business 3D data typically starts with millions of polygons, so another approach is needed.

Remote rendering uses the computing power of Azure to render highly complex models of up to hundreds of millions of polygons in the cloud and deliver them in real time to your HoloLens device, allowing users to interact with their 3D content in the details they need. With JoinXR, organizations can start using this service in streamlined multi-user meetings without prior technical setup, with fast turnaround time.

This easy-to-use package streamlines the use of XR technology, saving organizations time and money in its implementation. And once in place, it can offer a range of benefits to meeting communication. By bringing everyone together in one 3D meeting space, the limitations of screen sharing no longer apply. The experience of being present in a mixed physical / virtual space allows you to maintain stronger bonds between remote teams around the world without the need for costly and environmentally damaging travel.

One of the areas where JoinXR can be particularly useful is product design or review. If an organization is carrying out a large and expensive construction project, it is crucial that those involved can monitor and approve its progress. Viewing project plans through Join XR allows meaningful discussions about a project’s progress, based on the very detailed data now presented to them. In addition, this data will always be taken from the most up-to-date project files, due to JoinXR’s ability to use the original CAD files.

Additionally, an XR presentation can be a persuasive and persuasive sales tool. JoinXR provides the ability to create a structured presentation, helping to capture and hold attention in a way that the free-form “sandbox” approach of many other 3D platforms cannot. The ability to examine a product in detail can also be very important in the sale of large, complex equipment such as engineering or factory machinery, for example, as the model can be dynamically explored from micro to macro detail and in a range of different contexts.

We have ambitious plans to expand the capabilities of the platform in the future. The deployment of 5G networks will go hand in hand with mobile computing solutions like JoinXR which enable real-time visualization previously only available on extremely high-end PC workstations.

We are also excited to be working with Microsoft in the development of Microsoft Mesh. JoinXR provides a glimpse into the future of Mesh, with a multiplatform remote presence, complex data visualization, and photorealistic avatars, and we look forward to expanding these capabilities as part of the Mesh ecosystem.

Rob Minson is CTO at Fracture Reality

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2021 issue of The Record. To receive future issues straight to your inbox, sign up for a free subscription.

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