Imagine the ease of making design decisions if we could fully experience the final product before it even exists. This “experience” is an understanding stronger than what is seen in a product image; it’s believing what you see is actually there, seeing that product in its actual physical context, and then interacting with people and the product. Photorealistic image synthesis is part of the equation but not all of the answer.
Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and anything in-between has been a hyped tech dream for many years now. A dream that promises a future where digital information and artificial experiences are fully immersive - and always available. For designers, it offers complete trust in your design decision - since you, and even your customers, have already experienced the final form and function. Your business can bring all creative, manufacturing, and training in parallel with a digital twin defined on day one of a product launch.
The fundamental dream of all designers is to have one digital asset that contains all the product detail and information, in a visual, context-sensitive form, ready for deployment at any phase of development. That part of the dream is yet to come and while some of the promises have already been fulfilled, just beyond the horizon lies an amazing future. You’ll find the barriers are not in the actual dream or technology - but, almost too simply stated, in its usability. Lets see how close we really are.
VR is Here
Virtual Reality, from a technical perspective, has been with us for decades now. In 2012, Oculus re-ignited the whole field by demonstrating low-latency, (relatively) high resolution and wide field-of-view VR based on available technology. Headsets from many providers have steadily increased in quality ever since. Today, we have options from cheap, low-end headsets to expensive, high-end headsets with untethered headsets overcoming heat and battery limitations to increase performance.
In 2017, KeyShot provided immersive real-time VR viewing and the ability to render stereo 360 images and video for VR consumption. It was here that professionals saw more applications for VR and led to our first, stand-alone VR product.
In 2019, KeyVR was launched as a supplemental software product to KeyShot with an entirely new render engine that delivers final quality frames at the refresh rate of the headset while maintaining full interaction with your design and an experience made more realistic by our integrated physics engine.
AR is Almost Here (But Not Its Final Form)
Augmented Reality, the promise of photorealistic digital objects embedded into your reality - or digital information available right when and where you need it, is alluring. The dream, of course, has always been a technology more accessible than donning a pair of glasses. Are we there? Almost. Phones and tablets are ubiquitous and able to deliver basic augmented reality today. Through the camera and in some cases specialised sensors, basic shape and movement is recognized so the 3D object digitally rendered is projected at the right depth and angle to the field of view. We see it as a 3D viewing experience superimposed within our reality. It’s a world come alive.
While KeyShot and KeyVR development has focused on virtual reality, our export pipeline has long been used to bring KeyShot models into software for other augmented reality applications and these applications are driving development into features that expand the possibilities. However, there is one key aspect where we are focused that’s an imperative for achieving a more accessible technology.
Ease of Use
Too often, discussions about virtual reality or augmented reality are reduced to a discussion of hardware and capabilities. To a lesser extent software is discussed beyond the simple statement that ‘anything is possible’. At Luxion, we are focused on delivering easy and efficient workflows for our customers. We believe the process of bringing content into VR or AR should require minimal effort.
This will make-or-break a broad adoption of these technologies. An easily accessible experience to quickly and easily evaluate designs and make decisions is what is needed for these technologies to find their way into our daily work. With KeyShot, it’s very simple. 1) you set up a beautiful rendering in KeyShot to deliver concepts, evaluate material and finish, submit package design, or create product configurations and 2) that scene is used across any other medium, be it VR, AR, or Web. All the details of material, light, environment, and geometry is effortlessly translated for you.
Where We Are
KeyVR is here today, used across industries, and delivering on that promise. You simply click KeyVR and the KeyShot scene is experienced in VR. Every material, light, and texture is matched with utmost accuracy while material, and environment variations can be cycled through easier than turning a page in a book. Animations can be viewed and interactive realizations made with scale that puts the object in your hands, in front, or around you. And this is just the beginning.
Luxion has been an NVIDIA early access partner during the development of CloudXR. With the release of NVIDIA CloudXR, we are happy to state that CloudXR fully supports KeyVR. This allows you to run KeyVR on powerful server side GPUs and connect any client, be it workstation or PC thin client, with a VR HMD. It works across Wi-Fi or 5G and allows truly untethered virtual reality while providing the high-quality visualization found in KeyVR. There is no need to convert, export, or perform any data prep. Our philosophy of “Create Once, Use Anywhere” still holds. This is available today using the current version of KeyVR.
KeyVR used with NVIDIA CloudXR for immersive AR experiences.
What’s to Come
But, again, this is only the beginning. Our internal experiments evaluate the use cases for visualization across industries, some of which re-purpose Luxion render technology to provide more accessible virtual and augmented reality capabilities. What will this look like for creatives?
Imagine material quality for virtual and augmented reality that matches the product. Imagine connecting and collaborating together in these virtual environments as seamless as you would in person. And imagine your favorite products turned into immersive experiences with the tap of finger on your mobile device. This and more is coming. At the heart of it all is ease of use. And when Luxion delivers the visualization capabilities that will define or augment our realities in the future, you can trust it will be the most simple way to create any experience you can imagine.
Products can be visualized seamlessly in their environment with KeyVR on CloudXR.