Mimesys Connect is offering a fascinating experiment in VR collaboration through Apple’s ARKit. It’s access to VR without the need for a VR headset. Just using your iPhone or iPad, you can step into a collaborative virtual environment.
Here’s Mimesys’ short demo showing a collaboration between Dr. Anne-Laure Rousseau and CEO Rémi, who plays the role of a remote physician.
Mimesys refers to this as a Holographic Meeting Platform. Looking through your Apple device in AR, you see the person in VR and what they are doing. Your iPad appears in the virtual space, providing some degree of location awareness for the person you’re connecting to. On their blog Mimesys writes,
Even if the point of view of the iOS device running ARkit is limited, the ability to visualize the other person gives a feeling of presence and a different impression than a regular skype session since the person is firmly positioned in the world.
One of the big advantages of a mobile holographic session is to be able to visualize and comment a lot of visual content spatially , something that is difficult to do remotely, and even harder in mobility. Arkit also offers the ability to visualize 3D objects naturally from every angle, which makes the collaboration around them very natural.
The future is AR and VR Collaboration
This is the future of immersive communication and collaboration, but we’re not there here yet. In the video above, Mimesys pulls this off using a depth camera and their holographic platform. Depth cams are coming to market (see Intel’s RealSense Depth Camera D400 and the Zed model) but they’re not widely available. But it’s a world of difference from Social VR platforms like AltSpaceVR and Facebook Spaces which requires all participants to use a VR headset. For work and education environments, it’s where our “flat” web-conferencing platforms are headed.
Mimesys Connect is a fascinating development. And it shows the far-reaching impact that Apple’s ARKit will have. It will kick-start a revolution that goes far beyond popularizing augmented reality.
Emory Craig is a writer, speaker, and VR consultant with extensive experience in art, new media, and higher education. He speaks at global conferences on innovation, education, and ethical technology in the future. He has published widely and worked with the US Agency for International Development, the United Nations, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Living at the intersection of learning, games, and immersive storytelling, he is fascinated by AI-based avatars, digital twins, and the ethical implications of blurring the boundaries between the real and the virtual.