WorldViz Says Industry Use of VR “is set to grow exponentially over the coming years”

Last week Lenovo held an event where its technology from itself and partners were showcased, and the main virtual reality (VR) piece was from partners WorldViz. You may remember WorldViz from its efforts in creating a warehouse-scale VR solution, something that would undoubtedly benefit workplace VR.

VRFocus spoke to Ashley Keeler, the Head of EMEA Sales at WorldViz, to get an idea as to how far along VR is in terms of aiding the workplace. Something that courts scepticism from some camps. You can see the interview with Keeler below:

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VRFocus: What did you have showcased at the Lenovo event?
Ashley Keeler (AK): At last week’s Lenovo Innovation Roadshow in London and this week in Paris we were demonstrating multi-user virtual interaction in a VR environment.  Several people could be ‘co-present’ in the same virtual environment and see/help each other perform certain tasks.

During the evening event we enabled 3 people to collaborate in one virtual ‘garage’ environment with 2 users building a quadcopter or drone that, upon correct assembly, could be piloted by the user.  A third user was able to use a tracked Lenovo touchscreen laptop as a ‘window’ into the virtual environment allowing that person to walk around and view the virtual environment and see what the other 2 users were doing.

VRFocus: With the construction demo, what were you aiming to demonstrate?

AK: This demo was constructed as a bite-size example of how knowledge can be shared using VR as a communication tool.  In this situation the 3 users were all the same room however this does not need to be the case.  One user could be showing others how to repair or build something whilst being physically located in a different city, county or even country.
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VRFocus: Do you believe that VR is anywhere near the stage where people can use it in a work setting?

AK: Absolutely, VR is already prevalent in many industries that benefit from the ability to visualise 3D content in order to aid the design process or act as a catalyst to imparting knowledge.

A great example would be architects or building construction companies who are able to leverage the ability to ‘step into’ designs allowing them to showcase buildings or objects to their customer base during the design phase.  This allows users to get feedback or iterate on the design in real time.  Being able to see things at real-world scale, reveal building information, change the design or share a vision is a great method to fast-track this feedback process.

On top of design companies, we already see industrial use cases for training scenarios based around the operation of equipment that otherwise is difficult to access, expensive to potentially damage or physically dangerous to work with.These are just 2 of many existing VR use cases and this is set to grow exponentially over the coming years.
worldviz Collaboration @ Inition Open Day 2016
VRFocus: How did you come to create your own motion sensors?

AK: WorldViz was founded in 2002 and we released the first iteration of our optical tracking system, PPT, a year later.  Having laid the foundations for cognitive and perception research through VR during the 90s the WorldViz founders really understood the importance of accurate tracking systems and how latency can undermine the user experience.

Nowadays it’s not uncommon for me to encounter people who, when presented with some form of head mounted display, are concerned that wearing it will cause them to experience nausea.  This is only the case when the movements we make do not precisely match what we are seeing in the headset.  Unfortunately early VR systems and ‘laggy’ content have created some misconceptions about VR that we are able to overcome with a short Vizard demo.

We have continued to ensure that our own tracking systems are ideal for applications that require high accuracy and fast movement and our latest PPT tracking system now enables warehouse-scale tracking for any VR headset or projection system.

Our thanks to Ashley Keeler for her time. You can learn more about what’s going on in the ever changing world of VR and business, as well as the continuing development of the technology as a whole throughout the week on VRFocus.