WorldViz to Launch Vizible — a New Virtual Reality Collaboration Space Software
Andrew Wheeler posted on September 24, 2017 | 2351 views

If your work requires a lot of teleconferencing and travel, you may still understand the value of face-to-face interactions versus conference calls. Think of the typical conference call—you wait for people to dial in, there are conversations going on, people are sometimes late calling in. Being heard in a group conference call with four or more people can be challenging, depending on how people define their own roles, and the roles of the rest of the attendees.

If you are working on a product design team, and you are creating 3D intellectual property using CAD software, the visual horsepower of your presentation counts as much as your ability to present information correctly and incisively.

At SIGGRAPH 2017 a few months ago, virtual reality (VR) had a big presence, and a product called Vizible was launched by WorldViz, a company that first caught my eye last year at Autodesk University.

What is Vizible?

Vizible is a VR collaboration platform that is targeting enterprise professionals in diverse global industries. The objective of the software from WorldViz is to create a virtual meeting space and collaboration platform that adopts the familiar usability of legacy productivity software like PowerPoint.

Creating a virtual space that is a simulacrum of conference rooms is meant to replace long Skype sessions or phone conference calls. Your participants will need to have HTC Vives and Oculus Rifts, making the conference call perhaps a bit more exciting (in anticipation of a novel immersive experience), but certainly more cumbersome in terms of preparation time and the need to have extra people around to hold tethered VR systems in check as Vizible participants will not be able to see how far they are straying from their given virtual perimeter.

Vizible isn’t out until next month and is pricey, but may be worth it to different enterprise professionals, architects, engineers and salespeople who would benefit from a fully immersive experience. (Image courtesy of WorldViz.)
Vizible isn’t out until next month and is pricey, but may be worth it to different enterprise professionals, architects, engineers and salespeople who would benefit from a fully immersive experience. (Image courtesy of WorldViz.)

If you are involved in sales, or need to present work to a geographically distributed team of decision-makers, and everyone has Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets, then you can have a fully virtual conference using Vizible.

OK, so, VR headsets are not even close to the level of ubiquity as major computing devices (workstations, laptops, mobile), but according to a 2016 report from SuperData Research, 6.3 million VR headsets were sold in 2016.

Cost and Availability

Vizible will be available next month starting at $250 per user per month. Ouch. You can apply to Vizible’s ongoing beta program to see if this might be a tool that could be used for a recurring situation where meetings that were conducted through traditional 2D methods of teleconferencing resulted in lost sales, or projects that weren’t fully understood by targeted individuals because they couldn’t immerse themselves in the project.

International businesses spend more than $1 trillion on travel expenses, which also contribute to our overall carbon footprint.

Does Vizible sound clunky and unnecessary to you?

Although you do need the right VR hardware, the software has a WYSIWYG editor—you can grab and drop 3D assets, and utilize animations, triggers and other presentation tools to create a fully immersive virtual presentation for clients and decision-makers.

A snapshot of thevirtual user interface showing a teleconferenced digital avatar thinking about a jet engine part. (Image courtesy of WorldViz.)
A snapshot of the virtual user interface showing a teleconferenced digital avatar thinking about a jet engine part. (Image courtesy of WorldViz.)


Bottom Line

At $250 per user per month, Vizible is targeted toward companies and enterprise professionals who have money to burn and an implicit need to make an immersive VR presentation to distributed groups in industries that cover disciplines like aerospace, medicine, architecture, engineering and construction.

The software isn’t out yet, and this is the first version, so we’ll have more on this story as it develops in October.


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