December 16th, 2021

A Collaborative Mixed Reality Visualization Framework for Immersive Analytics

Manager(s) Benedikt Hensen
Ralf Klamma
Funding RWTH Aachen University
Project Start June 01, 2020
Status Running
Research Field Advanced Community Information Systems (ACIS)

VIAProMa is an open-source visualization project management framework for immersive analytics. It is mainly employed in collaborative use cases in agile development settings for mixed reality. In this context, it visualizes data from common project management tools, e.g. on GitHub or Requirements Bazaar. Users are able to inspect the data of these tools in 3D visualizations in an augmented reality, as well as virtual reality, environment. Since VIAProMa is a spatial tool, it allows users to organize the data and the visualizations in the room and hence, the user can interact and work with them. The framework makes use of spatial memory techniques that allow users to remember the location associated with content which leads to a long-term memory effect. This increases the efficiency and creates a deeper immersion into the project’s organization and progress. As it provides a gamification concept, a long-term motivation can be achieved that encourages users to successully finish their projects.

Moreover, VIAProMa is a collaborative environment in which users are represented as customizable, modular avatars. That means, that remote developers can interact and communicate with each other in a shared environment and directly discuss the presented data in that common space. This collaboration also works across augmented and virtual realities, so developers using AR devices can interact with users that enter the shared environment using VR devices. On a technical level, VIAProMa targets multiple devices like the Microsoft HoloLens, HTC Vive, Android smartphones and tablets. It uses a session-based system with the Photon realtime engine and runs on the Unity 3D engine. This reference implementation of an organized shared environment with different means of synchronizing data and visualizing users as avatars is not only applied in VIAProMa but can act as a basis for further collaborative Mixed Reality settings.