HoloMeeting Feature Update: Infinite Mode
November 20, 2018
It is hard avoiding explaining the latest feature of HoloMeeting - 'infinite mode' with the introduction 'To infinity and...' so it is probably best to simply dive in and explain the feature and how it helps to further expand the Mixed Reality space and communication/collaboration potential of HoloMeeting.
When we began to devise HoloMeeting as a new way to communicate and collaborate through Mixed Reality, we needed to explore the idea of space as a concept. While we have updated our application immensely to include support for non-MR devices such as desktop and Surface Pro tablets, initially the app was HoloLens only.
This meant that we were required to think fundamentally about usability and how users would really function within the application and how they would react to and communicate with each other.
The idea of the shared workspace was one of the fundamental features of the application in its early stages. This space, or box as it has come to be known was a way of shaping the conversation physically. It gave users a clear focal point from which to base their conversations.
Over the numerous iterations of the application the shared space has evolved from a static space to a moveable one, to a growing one - becoming the Mixed Reality workspace that we envisaged initially.
In fact, for newcomers to the application, the box was a great way to get them to understand, on a conceptual level how the app and therefore how Mixed Reality could work. It was a meeting table, and the place where things happened.
Of course this was not entirely true.
A defined use of space
It was not true because we always took advantage of the space outside the space, even at an early stage. When users went into their OneDrive folders for instance, to pull out documents and share them with collaborators they were freely able to do so in the space outside the shared space meaning that presentations could be prepared in advance outside the space or that users did not place items within the shared space that were not necessary.
In short, everything within the space could be seen by all and everything outside the space could only be seen by the 'owner' of the content.
Maximising the space available - Infinite Mode
With Infinite Mode enabled, users can now select to remove the idea of the shared space box altogether. This has the advantage of maximising a user's space infinitely meaning that larger objects such as vehicles or buildings can be better seen and engaged with and presentations can be fluid and use a wider range of space to deliver them.
Both modes can easily be toggled on or off from the settings menu with Infinite mode now set as the default mode. Users can easily identify the centre-point of the meeting space however as there will be a persistent 'infinity cube' marking a point in space for clarification and for navigation (this is also where the shared space will appear should the original 'box mode' be selected).
This mode is suited for both beginners and advanced HoloMeeting users although the 'box mode' can still be used to demonstrate conceptually the idea as well as to frame objects if required.
We look forward to hearing feedback about the mode as more of our clients try it.