Posted on June 17th, 2014 by Jean-Marc Le Roux
Have you seen the original Iron Man movie? It was released in 2008 and it featured an awesome 3D holographic experience where Tony Stark – our beloved iron-made superhero incarnated by Robert Downey Jr – designs its famous armor suit. This kind of holographic displays have then been re-used in both Iron Man 2 and 3. But get ready, because what was just science fiction 6 years ago is now science
Using the free and open source Minko engine for 3D rendering with an holographic style and a Leap Motion as a complete hand tracking system (palm + each finger position/orientation), we were able to mimic Tony’s famous toy. The only thing we missed was an actual holographic display. So we used an Oculus Rift to create an awesome virtual reality experience where users think they are actually facing the hologram in a virtual room.
This is not just a stunt.
It’s actually a lot more than that! This demo was made to showcase Minko Enterprise, our 3D cloud collaboration platform. It features instantaneous 3D models sharing and collaboration services such as rich 3D annotations (text, photos, videos…) and real-time remote interactions/demonstrations. It’s like a mix between Skype and Dropbox for 3D models! And what you see in this video is our 3D collaboration platform in action on a Windows PC, but it also works on Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and even HTML5!
Big industrial companies in various fields such as aeronautics, energy and luxury have already started testing/acquiring our 3D collaboration platform. This is not just for developers: this is basically for everyone, out of the box. It’s a game changer because everyone in a company can now use 3D models just like any other documents for training, documentation, technical support, project management, marketing and so much more!
Natural gestures and interactions will soon be part of this platform. Far from a publicity stunt, it’s meant to be part of an enterprise-class product that will revolutionize industries.
It’s virtual reality as a media.
In our quest to make 3D models available to the masses, we wanted more than just a visualizer. We want everyone to be able to use 3D models as a media. To maximize accessibility, we decided we could go one step further and replace the mouse/screen with the Leap/Oculus combo to ease up the manipulation of 3D models by non-technicians. And it just works: even 12 years old kids can now use 3D models!
Our goal is to make virtual reality a mass media that anyone can use. Minko Enterprise is our first step in this direction.
This project was partly financed by the state of Île de France, France. It’s the proof that the French government and especially the state of Île de France understand that innovative software is the key to the factory of the future. So thank you:
- Cap Digital, the Île de France digital & innovation cluster, especially the Futur en Seine team;
- The state of Île de France, especially Gregory Boulay and William Beuve-Mery;
- The whole Aerys team of engineers and artists who made this a reality!
Want to test drive it?