On Friday we had our first external visitors to the VR room at Autodesk Neuchatel. Jose and Erich came across from Amstein + Walthert, an engineering firm headquartered in Zurich. Jose had reached out to me – we’ve been in contact a few times, over the years – as he’d read about the VR room on this blog and was curious to try it out.
The room still isn’t 100% ready – we’re waiting for some furniture to show up – but it seemed a good opportunity to try out some of our VR demos on live volunteers.
Here’s the rundown of the demos that we walked through, showing a range of VR and AR projects:
- Google Earth VR
- I’m showing this a lot as an intro to VR: the UX is best-in-class and a great example of what’s possible.
- Autodesk LIVE
- We fired up Revit with one of A + W’s models which we then published to Stingray via the LIVE plugin.
- While this was processing we took a look at the enhanced Villa Martini sample model, which gives a great sense of both LIVE’s and Stingray’s VR capabilities.
- Once the processing was complete, we took a quick look at the generated results. (In this case we didn’t spend a huge amount of time on this: as an MEP model it didn’t include much in the way of architecture, and so there really wasn’t much of interest to see.)
- Autodesk VRED
- We then spent some time looking at a collaborative design review example (oriented towards automotive customers, by who doesn’t like cars? ;-) inside VRED.
- While focused on automotive, it gives a great sense of the possibilities afforded by collaborative VR.
- Autodesk Forge viewer
- We took a look at some of the early VR-related features in the Forge viewer.
- We used http://lmv.ninja for this… I’ll spend some time talking about how to try WebVR for yourself using this site in the coming days.
- We used a special WebVR-enabled build of Chromium to be able to connect the Forge viewer to the HTC Vive headset.
- We also took a look at Vrok-It, which is another example of how collaborative VR might be useful to people.
- For this we just used mobile phones to see it work via Google Cardboard.
- Microsoft HoloLens
- To wrap up we moved from VR to AR, looking at a couple of HoloLens demos.
- The first was – of course – the Dancing Robot. This is the main example I generally use to show collaborative hologram review and manipulation.
- The second was Cyrille Fauvel’s Forge content demo, where we see some content that was brought into HoloLens via the Forge Model Derivative API. It’s great because you get meta-data, something that’s invariably of interest to people wanting to use AR professionally.
There were other VR demos I could have shown, too – such as Autodesk ReMake – but I chose the above based on both the work A + W does and on Jose and Erich’s interests. It was really a fun afternoon: a big thanks to Jose and Erich for making the trip across and being my first test subjects!