July 25, 2022
The first step to using AR/VR/MR (XR) in your business is 3D content creation. It’s also one of the biggest pain points, particularly the time and cost of capturing real-world environments and objects for immersive experiences. This was the subject of a recent webinar featuring Doug Stephen of TeamworkAR, Kevin Jordan of Matterport, and Eric Abbruzzese of ABI Research. Here are three takeaways from their discussion:
There is a clear need to simplify 3D content creation for enterprise XR applications.
As viewers were joining the webinar and settling in, a poll was launched to determine the biggest barrier to scaling extended reality (XR) in enterprise. Above is a live screenshot as the results were still coming in, with “Content Design/Expertise” emerging as the clear leader followed by “Time to Value.” The responses paint a picture: Organizations in every vertical have a need for fast and affordable 3D content creation, in particular the development of high-quality digital twins and other interactive 3D models to populate XR applications.
Driving this need are increasing digitization efforts in response to remote/hybrid work, highly sophisticated machines, and a tight labor market. 3D content development is becoming a key business capability, an essential skill set for quickly and cost-effectively creating and deploying custom immersive experiences.
6-7 months development time is a lifetime when business processes change every 6-7 weeks.
Custom 3D training content is typically built from scratch—an expensive and time-consuming endeavor requiring specialized expertise and technology. We’re talking 2+ months of development time for a virtual scene with interactive mixed reality elements. This isn’t sustainable given the rate at which equipment and processes change today. (An entire factory layout can change in two months!)
Big Tech and startups alike have been working on fast and easy 3D content development. CGS and Matterport are the first, however, to combine mobile 3D scanning (object capture) with immersive scene creation (Matterport’s scanning technology) and an all-in-one enterprise XR authoring platform (TeamworkAR) to reduce the time and technical expertise needed to create and deploy immersive training experiences. Their joint solution makes it possible to digitally capture a real-world object using just a smartphone, animate that 3D model for learning (add interactivity), and integrate it into a photorealistic virtual environment in under a week.
Multiple users, reporting, and reusable 3D assets take immersive training to the next level.
The joint solution demoed in the webinar stood out to me in three ways: 1) It supports multiple users, 2) it has analytics, and 3) the 3D content can be repurposed for other applications. In a video played during the webinar, the exact same immersive scene (same 3D asset, same interactivity) experienced in VR was “dropped into” an online video conference. The four participants were able to simultaneously view the training environment in their browsers, taking turns practicing the task using clicks instead of hand gestures to interact with the virtual machine.
A browser-based experience allows you to extend the reach of your 3D training content and even repurpose it for remote support, design reviews, etc. Multiuser mode allows employees to learn from one another and instructors to remotely oversee a greater number of trainees. Moreover, every action is tracked, creating a performance scorecard for each user. Nuanced feedback around things like attention and ‘time on machine’ can even shed light on personnel management, machine design, and other aspects of the business.