The COVID- 19 pandemic has focused the Enterprise sector on the need for immersive collaboration. The widespread adoption of video conferencing tools is resolving the immediate need to bring people together however what manufacturing and engineering companies require are collaborative tools to bring both people and data together. Masters of Pie as a technology leader in building real-time immersive collaboration solutions is actively delivering the solution for building out the collaborative thread.
The first part of this series of blogs from Masters of Pie addressed the key requirements in building the foundations for effective real-time collaboration (integrate, create and collaborate) as detailed here. This second part in this series will highlight how the adoption of real-time immersive collaboration will be dramatically accelerated by the roll out of new technology enablers such as server-side rendering, virtual GPU, edge computing and 5G connectivity.
Immersive Technology Inhibitors
The adoption in the Enterprise sector of immersive collaboration technologies is currently inhibited by a number of challenges;
- AR and VR experiences are constrained by a combination of bandwidth and computing power resulting in either a distance limitation or tethered experience
- Headset form factors are heavy, cumbersome and not fit for manufacturing and factory applications
- The existing Enterprise IT may not support a high enough specification (personal computers GPU) to enable immersive experiences.
- Enterprise infrastructure often does not have the connectivity bandwidth and coverage to support low latency streaming and the ability to manage the 3D data sizes and complexity.
- The Enterprise 3D datasets are frequently not set up for collaboration, it may not be in easily accessible, easily shared locations, and the data is frequently tied to the associated authoring / editing tools.
- Conferencing tools today such as Zoom, Teams, Slack, etc. have limited to no support for complex 3D data sets. Collaborating in real time on 3D data is currently not being addressed by conventional conferencing services.
Embrace New Technology Enablers – “Go Mobile”
The adoption of virtual GPU and rendering in the cloud for remote streaming allows users to untether their immersive devices and go mobile. In this article, NVIDIA’s Senior Manager for Enterprise XR Greg Jones explores how NVIDIA Cloud XR will accelerate this digital transformation. The receiving application on the device itself may be lightweight and leverage the cloud (public or private) to do the heavy lifting to ‘drive’ the application. The Radical cloud configuration leverages the capabilities of the cloud and edge compute to render the images on the server-side and then stream the output to the mobile device (AR, VR, mobile and desktop).
This removes the need for any data to be present on the mobile or local device for both efficiency purposes (easy to send a simple browser link for collaboration) and security (no data footprint on the device).
The roll out of low latency 5G technology in combination with server side rendering will open up the potential to stream to immersive devices such as AR and VR. Radical is already able to stream the immersive experience to the browser for mobile and desktop consumption, as the frame rate requirements are lower and would be supported via 4G and current WiFi connectivity.
Enterprise Collaboration – More than just 3D data
Once you have access to your live 3D data flowing freely between users and delivered in real-time to a range of immersive devices, you have the fundamentals of true collaboration.
However, getting the most benefit from your digital twin means augmenting your 3D data sets using a whole host of other data types such as metadata, 2D images, real-time IIoT data pushed from the physical ‘twin’ and access to services now appearing from cloud providers to enhance cloud data storage.
This complex and evolving ecosystem offers untold benefits for Industry 4.0 but it requires seamless connectivity between disparate parts in order to fully realise its potential to revolutionise how we all work together.
This ‘Collaborative Thread’ is our vision for Radical.
Center of the Ecosystem
Radical delivers for cloud service providers the use cases that drive the business justification and access to large enterprise data sets.
As our customers create the first wave of commercial products powered by the Radical framework, Masters of Pie will continue to push toward our mission to develop Radical into a full collaborative thread technology which sits at the center of the Industry 4.0 ecosystem and beyond.
- Radical will continue to work with edge computing and communications providers to bring lightning fast 5G powered streaming to the factory floor, facilitating AR enabled assembly for manufacturing or remote maintenance for service engineers.
- As IIoT data streams from smart devices in the factory, Radical will be the connecting technology which overlays this data via AR glasses in the physical space (see Fig 1).
- As cloud service providers build out features such as Spatial Anchoring to support ever larger physical spaces, or natural language interfaces which leverage the power of the cloud for accuracy, Radical will utilise these new services within collaborative environments rich with real-time data (see Fig 2)
The Collaborative Thread
As the ecosystem continues to evolve, Radical connects the separate elements (eg. Cloud Services, IIoT, 5G, Edge Computing, Cloud Rendering and Streaming etc.) to become the essential layer which helps facilitate the shift towards industry 4.0.
Use cases which are currently underserved will now be addressed in a scalable fashion. In Part 3 of this blog series, Masters of Pie will detail the various use cases that the Radical framework will deliver to enable for Industry a step change in productivity gains and operational efficiencies and effectiveness.
The Future is Now
The doubts about whether immersive technology will add any real value for enterprise teams are now laid to rest. Radical is already in-market with our commercial partners, including some of the largest engineering companies in the world generating and delivering tangible benefits today.
The wheels are firmly in motion to bring about the age of spatial computing and enterprise teams are demanding that these technologies be supported within their daily workflows along with instant access to colleagues for more effective collaboration.
The data they rely on is growing in complexity and the technology landscape is shifting rapidly as new capabilities appear in areas such as hardware and cloud connectivity almost daily. With Radical as your framework technology, you can be sure that your software portfolios will evolve, continue to innovate and remain relevant for the future.