Bringing plans to life

Nick Myall
Friday 15 Dec 2017

HoloMeeting is a holographic remote workspace solution that could have a significant impact on the way architects and engineers interact and collaborate internationally

Communicating and sharing complex architectural concepts between offices that are often in different countries is one of the biggest challenges facing our industry today.

Holomeeting augmented reality software goes a long way to eliminating this and other challenges created by operating in a variety of  locations and could significantly reduce costs such as foreign travel.  

The software was recently demonstrated at World Architecture News’ Brighton office in the UK where its ability to turn an entire room into a fuctioning workspace became clear. Multiple participants at various locations were able to share 3D Revit models of a planned project and literally walk around the building viewing walls, floors and ceilings from a variety of angles.

Behavioural features such as spatial sound, gaze tracking and positional sense all combined to create a fluid and realistic meeting experience. 

Shared workspace

The shared workspace is the hub of HoloMeeting and is designed to promote fluid collaboration. When each meeting participant puts on a HoloLens they see a holographic cube that is the touch point for all HoloMeeting activity.

Whatever each individual places in the cube becomes visible and manipulatable to everyone participating in the call. As soon as it is taken out, it is visible only to the individual who removed it,  this allows for complete control. An individual can take notes outside of the shared space, prepare a presentation or edit an image or 3D model and as soon as it is ready, can bring it into view for everyone to interact with.

The software creates an individual and collaborative workspace in one single application. Positional Sense Each individual in a holo meeting is represented by a holographic avatar. Their position is displayed relative to the shared workspace and as they move around, other members of the meeting will be constantly aware of their position Having positional sense of others provides a form of behavioural interaction which brings the HoloMeeting experience closer to the real thing, as if you were meeting them in person.

HoloMeeting allows users to move around content and engage with it as if it were a physical object. Pushing the boundaries of interpretation and interaction. This provides a new, fluid way for remote collaboration.

Gaze tracker

The gaze tracker is the green laser that tracks exactly where meeting participants are looking. This means that every user is aware of others’ direction of view and can act to account for it. For example, if a user says “hey, look at this!”, others in the meeting see where he/she is standing and also identify exactly where he/she is looking via the gaze tracker.

Spatial sound

Spatial sound is sound that adjusts for relative position. For example, if a user is standing to the relative right of a colleague and speaks, the colleague will hear the sound coming from their right. As users move around the shared workspace, the sound moves accordingly acting as another form of behavioural feedback.

In current conferencing methods, if two people talk at the same time, sound waves cancel out and their voices would blend into a blur of noise. With HoloMeeting, if two people talk, you can clearly hear both individuals. Once again, this replicates reality and brings the HoloMeeting experience as close to a physical interaction as possible.

3D content 

3D content conveys more information in a more immersive and engaging way that allows for more knowledge retention and improved understanding. Put simply, when 3D content is used, the quality of the output of the meeting is greater.

The brain is programmed to recognise visual patterns and prompts, so data visualisation has a new lease of life when it comes to interpretation. Users lose interest very quickly when it comes to screens and the limited adaptability of 2D information. Now 2D information can be manipulated and engaged with totally differently. Pieces can be pulled apart and put back together, the possibilities are limitless.

Architects using Holomeeting are only limited by the size of the room they are in as opposed to a screen.

This will improve engagement and vastly improves how we interpret information while eliminating the barriers that occur when offices are in multiple international locations.


Nick Myall

News editor

Key Facts:

United Kingdom

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