Augmented and Virtual Reality for Data Visualization & Research Applications

Augmented and Virtual Reality for Data Visualization & Research Applications

Recent developments in AR & VR hardware have resulted in a range of nascent commercial products, e.g. the Microsoft Hololens and DAQRI smart helmet (augmented reality), Occulus Rift and HTC Vive (virtual reality).  Laboratory use is an obvious application of current tether-free AR technology, which could enable new experimental methodologies as well as offer basic procedural, efficiency, training and health and safety benefits.  VR technology, which typically requires tethering to a high-performance PC, provides a complementary platform, more suited to fully immersive computational uses such as multi-dimensional data visualization and big data applications.

Early work with the Hololens, investigating 3D visualization and basic lab usage, has already begun in the group; this project would further work to explore and develop these capabilities.

Augmented Reality with Hololens: Experiential Architectures Embedded in the Real World

Augmented Reality with Hololens: Experiential Architectures Embedded in the Real World

We’ve just finished a manuscript summarising our early work with the Hololens, including data visualization and interdisciplinary work.  This is a little different in flavour to our usual work, but will provide a solid foundation for more advanced work with the Hololens, including lab uses and more advanced data visualization.

Augmented Reality with Hololens: Experiential Architectures Embedded in the Real World

Paul Hockett & Tim Ingleby

Early hands-on experiences with the Microsoft Hololens augmented/mixed reality device are reported and discussed, with a general aim of exploring basic 3D visualization. A range of usage cases are tested, including data visualization and immersive data spaces, in-situ visualization of 3D models and full scale architectural form visualization. Ultimately, the Hololens is found to provide a remarkable tool for moving from traditional visualization of 3D objects on a 2D screen, to fully experiential 3D visualizations embedded in the real world.

The manuscript is currently available on Authorea, and the arxiv.

Hololens week 3: Large scale and in-situ visualization

Hololens week 3: Large scale and in-situ visualization

The hololens (microsoft.com/microsoft-hololens/) is here! Welcome to week 3* of the future, with augmented/mixed reality.

This week, some large scale basic 3D visualization as we begin to explore the power of the Hololens…

 

* Original video, July 2016; not uploaded until Sept. 2016 due to embargo on the cabin design.

A full manuscript on this work is now available.

Hololens week 4:  Basic laser lab use

Hololens week 4: Basic laser lab use

The hololens is here! Welcome to week 4 of the future, with augmented/mixed reality.

This week, a bit of basic use in the laser lab, using Hololens for a remote desktop feed and rapid reference data snapshots. These are the first steps towards a more sophisticated and interactive use in the lab, which could bring together data from multiple discrete instruments around the lab, and present them to the user in either a spatially fixed form (as in the video), or a HUD which tracks and is always visible as the user moves around.

Some additional notes & links:

Hololens week 2: Basic data visualization and immersion

Hololens week 2: Basic data visualization and immersion

The hololens is here! Welcome to week 2 of the future, with augmented/mixed reality.

This week, a bit of basic 3D data visualization as we begin to explore the power of the Hololens…

Some additional notes:

Hololens is here!

Hololens is here!

The hololens is here! Welcome to week 1 of the future, with augmented/mixed reality. Ultimately there are going to be some amazing scientific uses for this new tool – e.g. basic HUD in the lab, multi-dimensional data visualization, 3D design with real-world interaction and interactive collaboration etc. etc. – but first, we need to learn the tool, understand it, and develop methods.

Here’s a very brief demo of the spatial mapping capabilities of the Hololens (development edition), in a relatively cluttered environment, visualized using the LSrD application. It’s impressive, and was even better in real life!