A high-spirited and insightful conversation on collaborative technology took place amongst industry leaders as they ideated together on how to leverage immersive technology for design communication and collaboration in the post-COVID19 world. 

Joanna Popper (Global Head of Virtual Reality for Location-Based Entertainment, HP), Sanjay Puri (Principal Architect, Sanjay Puri Architects) and Alok Agarwal (CMO, Orient Bell) in conversation with Tithi Tewari (Co-creator, Trezi) discussed how immersive technology is enabling design communication and collaboration between architects and product manufacturers post-COVID19.

There were many useful insights on bridging seamless communication and collaboration between Architects & Product Manufacturers in the post-COVID19 world and several of these learnings were triggered by questions that the highly engaged audience asked our panelists: 

Some of these are reproduced here:

If you had to sum up one tangible, immediate benefit of adopting VR, especially in today’s context for Building Product Manufacturers, what would that be?

 VR drives business ROI to your teams.

I am an Architectural Student.  I recently did my 5th year thesis using VR. I noticed that I wasn’t wasting any raw materials such as paper and the thesis went very well. Do you think this is a start in the shift towards VR, especially in Education?

 This is ideally a student’s initiative to use new technology, as a foundation to enter the profession. With distance learning increasing, it is likely that universities too would look for collaborative technologies to use and train students in.

When is HP Reverb going to be available in the Indian Market?

The HP Virtual Reality G1 is already available in India. The HP Virtual Reality G2 is shipping this fall. Thanks for the interest!

Given the advances in VR hardware that HP is bringing, have you seen these kinds of headsets being used by architects and product manufacturers in emerging markets such as India? Or would they prefer to work on Trezi via the laptop only?

The experience in VR brings certain benefits that a desktop doesn’t. That said, the fact that Trezi has a desktop option is great as it makes the ability for groups to work together, even if they don’t have a VR headset yet

How do we see VR fit in the future of Education post-COVID-19? Do you think educational institutions are going digital?

We are seeing some schools use VR for education. For example, in medical schools, computer science, gaming, biology, etc, to learn collaboratively.

I am an architect and we have been used to architects asking for samples at the drop of a hat. Can we use Virtual Reality to handle this issue now?

Correct. Various building product manufacturers, including Orient Bell, are swiftly converting their product lines to 3D digital catalogs, compatible with VR software such as Trezi.

How many people can be inside VR at any given time?

It depends on the content experience. Some have no limit, some limit to a certain number.

How can VR help in the design aspect in the new normal post-Covid?

Almost by definition, VR helps in visualising, understanding, communicating and explaining design in the new normal. We encourage you to hear our earlier webinar on ‘Collaborative Technology: A Webinar on the Future of the Building Industry’, available here, where architects talk about using new technology post reopening of business.

What is HP doing to make VR affordable for everyone?

We are working to price the headset, workstations and backpacks at a price that drives ROI for business. As an example, the current HP Virtual Reality HMD was priced at half the price one of the leading other HMDs.

Can Trezi give a free student version ?

Trezi is working with students on a case-to-case basis to introduce and support them in the use of Trezi software. There is a free version of Trezi available to download from www.trezi.com which has a validity of 14 days.

What about harnessing the cloud for higher quality rendering on VR ?

Trezi does not use, nor does it plan to use the cloud for rendering in VR for user comfort reasons. Rendering in VR has to be done at a very high frame rate (90 times per second) to maintain what is known as motion to photon latency. Motion to photon latency is the time it takes to complete this process: the user wearing the VR headset to move their head, the resulting movement to be sent to the computer, the computer to render the image as per the head movement, and the rendered image to be sent to the VR HMD display. 

This whole process has to be done within 11 milliseconds for a single frame or the user will feel acute discomfort. When a person moves their head in real life, the eyes and the brain instantaneously process and perceive where the head is looking at, and we want to keep it the same way in VR. 

High motion to photon latency here would mean that the user moves their head but the image they are seeing isn’t right there and is updated with a delay. This is why all VR applications try to run at a high and sustained frame rate of 90 frames per second.

The reason why VR rendering cannot be done over the cloud is because of latency that exists while communicating with cloud servers. Even in the best possible scenarios (wired connections, close physical server location), the time taken to send the data required to render the frame to the cloud and get it back to display is more than 50 milliseconds, which is over four times over the acceptable limit for VR.

Trezi stores the data of your models on the cloud so that you can access them from anywhere, but is downloaded locally first before Trezi renders them so that we can ensure user comfort in VR. 

Missed the event? Watch it here:

Stay tuned for more updates from Trezi!

To experience a free 14-day trial using your own SteamVR-compatible Virtual Reality kit, please sign up here.

Or contact us to organize a demo at your office – our sales representative will set up an appointment at your convenience.

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