Enterprise Virtual Reality (VR) solution specialist WorldViz is working on a new communication platform, codenamed “Skofield”, that is said to operate much like a GoToMeeting for VR.
Currently in alpha, Skofield aims to bring VR to businesses looking for cost-effective and more immersive methods for communicating complex ideas to dispersed teams.
“Accurately conveying visual ideas to remote decision makers is still a huge challenge for companies,” said WorldViz CEO and co-founder, Andrew Beall. “We see it all the time – modern communication technologies such as telephony, video conference calls, and PowerPoint sharing simply can’t bring people together in a collaborative setting or enable decision makers to experience complex concepts, designs, and spaces first hand. Companies are spending a staggering $1.25 trillion globally on business travel to circumvent this limitation. We believe Skofield is the answer to that challenge.”
Skofield is designed to take advantage of VR’s ability to make someone feel “present” in a virtual location. This is particularly relevant for businesses engaged in the creation of highly complex products, such as aerospace, automotive, construction, architecture and more.
Skofield has two main elements to it: creation and experience. In the creation phase, presenters use Skofield’s Presentation Designer software to quickly put together a VR presentation by dragging and dropping elements into the WYSIWYG editor. The Presentation Designer will also allow the presenter to modify the presentation by setting proximity triggers, defining which objects have interactivity, and much more. In addition to creating virtual spaces and interactive objects, presenters can also insert PDFs and PPT slides, such as training manuals or product fact sheets, to support a presentation.
Once they’ve created a presentation, the presenter can then invite attendees to join a session immediately or at a later date via email or text. Attendees can then view, experience, and interact with the VR presentation or 3D designs. A set of tools will give attendees the ability to interact with the presentation in different ways, such as move around the virtual space, zoom in on or interact with objects, annotate on objects, measure distances, or even use a virtual laser pointer. Skofield also provides telephony for voice as well as gaze tracking, and can even record meetings for later reference.
Since Skofield is built on WorldViz’s device-agnostic development software, Vizard, it will support a number of different VR hardware configurations using Vizard’s built-in feature, VizConnect. Initially Oculus Rift and HTC Vive will be supported, as well as the current 3D displays, CAVE projection systems, input devices, and mobile devices WorldViz already supports. Other headsets will be added over time depending on demand.
Skofield will be available as a cloud-based (SaaS) solution, but can also be set up on a company’s existing servers for highly sensitive environments. Pricing for Skofield will be announced later.
Companies interested in becoming a beta tester can sign up at www.worldviz.com/skofield