Never Blind in VR

By David N.
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In this video, we share our findings in building real-time 3D experiences with consumer headsets so as to go beyond the FPS gaming usage for which they are designed. The issue is that such experiences tend to isolate the user from his own body, have him lose contact with other people in the room and with the real world.

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Analyzing the usage of large cubic immersive rooms (CAVEs) in industries such as Automotive or Aerospace, we propose an experience that brings some elements of reality to the eyes of the user of an Oculus Rift, allowing him to see his own body, perceive the real surrounding world and interact with it, as well as have social interactions with other people in the room.

To achieve these results we use a fixed Kinect for Windows that generate a 3D point cloud of the user’s body and of his surroundings. Although not very dense, the point cloud is surprisingly present to the user when seen from his eyes through the headset.

The three features presented in this video are known to bring the following benefits:

  1. Seeing one’s own body
    • Reinforces the presence of virtuality and eliminates the odd feeling of not actually being there
    • Enables to perceive virtuality at a proper scale
    • Gives visual feedback when interacting with real objects
  2. Perceiving the real world
    • Removes the feeling of blindness
    • Provides a safer experience: prevents from dangers like hitting something, or falling
    • Enables interaction with real objects in the world
  3. Having social interactions
    • Reduces the claustrophobic effect of wearing an occluding headset
    • Brings non-verbal communication
    • Maintains equity amongst people thanks to a symmetrical relation.

Never blind in VR - Findings

About the iV Lab: at the heart of the Passion for Innovation Institute, the iV Lab explores the usage of emerging UX technologies by building and sharing original prototypes; it connects Dassault Systèmes with scientific and technology players in the Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and other domains where the body is highly coupled with the virtual.

David Nahon David Nahon is iV Lab Director, Passion for Innovation Institute at Dassault Systèmes. You can connect with David on Twitter @iVEvangelist or through LinkedIn.

#DDay, Innovation Day

By Aurelien
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For the 70th Anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy, better known as D-Day, our Passion For Innovation Institute created a tribute to the engineers of the Normandy landings. To learn more about the back-story of this project, I sat down with Marie-Pierre Aulas, who worked on the D-Day project as the producer.

Q: How did you manage to find archived drawings for modeling the Normandy landings?

This was probably the most challenging part of the project! Let me share an anecdote; when we worked with the Royal Engineers Museum in London to pull from the archives of the Mulberry-B Harbour, we found that the index of the archive was lost! Until then, no one had tried to explore them since the end of WWII. Dealing with thousands of archive pieces without an index was extremely difficult, especially given the time constraints we had. So we chose to focus on the engineering details of the Mulberry-B, such as the anchors and mobile binding system of its floating roadway.

In other instances, we only had scans to work with, and some of them were of very bad quality and could barely be read at all.

Q: It seems that you worked with a lot of stakeholders!

As you can imagine, pieces of content found their way to many different places after WWII, ending up in the hands of museums as well as individuals and associations. So we worked with various museums, libraries and associations across the US, UK and France.  We actually found very valuable information from fan clubs thanks to very passionate people! Here are a couple examples:

We worked with the Challenge LCVP to model the Landing Craft, Vehicle & Personnel (LCVP):

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For the Waco CG-4A Glider, we worked with the Silent Wings Museum:

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And for modeling the Mulberry-B Harbour, we worked with the Royal Engineers Museum in London.

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Here is the complete list of museums and associations we worked with:

Q: What has been the impact of this project so far? What are the next steps?

The TV documentaries we contributed to were broadcast in the past weeks in the US (PBS: 5M audience), France (France3 TV channel: 3.1M audience, trending topic on Twitter)  and other countries. DVDs of these documentaries are also available, as well as a book in French, and an exhibition of 3D experiences in the Cité de la Mer museum in Cherbourg, France.

We’re also hosting an immersive virtual reality center on the Ouistreham beach with interactive 3D tables, a 3D cave, and Oculus Rift experiences.

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Beyond education for the general public, uncovering the archives and bringing them to life with virtual reality has helped with the awareness of the Normandy landings site; the Mulberry-B Harbour is now an official UNESCO World Heritage candidate.

You can see more of the recreations and the project on the Dassault Systemes’ D-Day site.