Lay the Foundations – Building the Collaborative Thread

Lay the Foundations – Building the Collaborative Thread

The current pandemic is accelerating the adoption of immersive collaboration solutions for industry to bring geographically dispersed teams together. The largest engineering firms in the world will now have to accelerate plans to adopt these solutions. The Masters of Pie modular software framework, called Radical, integrates directly into existing platforms to enable seamless and secure sharing in real-time of complex 2D and 3D data across AR, VR, desktop and mobile devices.

by Karl Maddix – CEO & Founder at Masters of Pie

The key to enabling true real time collaboration is to start with the data source and ensure that this single point of ‘truth’ is the same for everybody when working together, no matter where they are located or what device they wish to use. This way, everyone in the team is working off the most correct and up-to-date information available at all times.

Integration is Key – Real-Time Data

Whether it is a CAD package, PLM software, MRI scanner, robotic simulation software or a laser scanning system, many industries are becoming increasingly dependent upon spatial data types and ‘digital twins’.

These complex data formats are usually incompatible or just too cumbersome to use ‘as is’ in existing collaboration platforms such as Zoom, Webex, Skype, Google Hangouts or Slack, all built primarily for 2D data formats such as video, text or images. Moreover, the legacy software generating the data itself is unlikely to have any in-built real-time collaboration functionality forcing the Enterprise users to resort to one of two methods:

  • Manually export the data, followed by a painful and time-consuming reformatting process, and then manually import the newly crunched data into some type of 3rd party standalone collaboration package (this may be VR or non-VR enabled)
  • Simply ignore the spatial nature of the data entirely and instead screengrab or render out 2D ‘flat’ images of the original 3D data, for use in a basic PowerPoint presentation or similar tools.

Neither of these methods provide the ability for teams to efficiently collaborate using a live data ‘truth’ (i.e. the original data itself instead of a reformatted, already out of date interpretation of it) and so both methods only compound the root collaboration problem instead of helping to solve it.

Radical is integrated directly into the host software, ‘grabbing’ the original data at source, before efficiently pushing it into a real time environment which users may access using their choice of device (VR, AR, desktop, browser or mobile) for instant and intuitive collaboration. End-to-end encryption ensures that even the most sensitive data may be confidently shared across remote locations. One-click, secure collaboration using live real time data.

Bi-directional Connection

A deep integration into the host package provides not only a live connection to the data but also a bi-directional connection, meaning that users in the Radical environment are still connected to the host software package running in the background. All of the underlying metadata from the host package is available to the immersive experience making for a richer and more meaningful interaction and collaborative session.

This approach to addressing the market provides Radical with distinct and powerful advantages over standalone applications. Radical is able to leverage this bi-directional pipe to gain access to the core features of the host package. This capability allows users to perform accurate measurement in VR using vertex or spline snapping to the original B-Rep held in the CAD package, OR requesting a re-simulation of a robot arm in the immersive environment, all changes being implemented in real-time. The bi-directional nature of this pipe allows annotations, snap shots, action lists or spatial coordinate changes to be saved back into the host package.

The bi-directional connection means that Radical is able to leverage the power of the host application to provide users with a feature-rich space in which to securely collaborate.

Flexible Toolkit

Alongside the collaborative framework sits the Radical toolkit, a module to allow complete customisation of the look & feel of a product built using the Radical framework. Our customers are able to tweak the sample tools or create entirely new tools for use in VR, AR or touchscreen environments with the UI being completely re-skinnable to resemble the host application.

Radical ‘extends’ the legacy software into the immersive space for a seamless end-user experience with no friction.

Truly Modular and Extensible – Future Proof

The core architecture of Radical is designed to offer our customers the flexibility to create multiple different types of products to service multiple use cases, thereby giving them the confidence that by adopting the Radical framework technology, they will be able to keep up with the pace of change in such a rapidly evolving technology landscape.

As new use cases present themselves during the shift to Industry 4.0, Radical’s modularity means that customers will be able to seamlessly add new use case support by selecting the relevant features and functionality (AR, VR, and Streaming) to deliver new innovative products to promptly serve the market.
Want to keep your proprietary renderer but use Radical’s powerful collaboration framework? No problem, it’s modular! Want to build your own bespoke tools into the Radical environment? Sure, it’s extensible! The API is easy to use and so the creation and enabling of new products and features rapidly is not a problem.

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About Masters of Pie

Masters of Pie is a London based scale-up software company delivering immersive (VR & AR) collaboration solutions targeting initially the engineering and manufacturing industry. Masters of Pie recently completed a funding round including investment and industry validation of the approach to the Enterprise market from both Williams Advanced Engineering and Bosch Ventures. The investment will accelerate plans to scale the business by expanding the adoption of the Radical software framework into new verticals such as the Defence, Energy and Healthcare sectors.