CES 2020 Interview: Collaborating in a Mixed Reality World With Spatial
The was a lot going at CES 2020 this month when it came to virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) technologies, with Spatial‘s collaboration tool of particular note. Designed for headsets like Microsoft’s HoloLens or Magic Leap 1, VRFocus had a chance to sit down with CEO and co-founder Anand Agarawala to learn about the company’s plans and where it’s headed.
Founded in 2016, Spatial emerged from stealth in 2018, revealing its plans for an AR tool which could help colleagues collaborate in a digital space, all in real-time. Spatial can turn any area into an augmented workspace, where users can pin sticky notes, images or videos to a wall for anyone in the group to see; 3D models can be imported, scaled and manipulated, while devices like a phone or PC can be integrated. This means you don’t actually need a headset to join if one isn’t readily available.
One of Spatial’s most unique features is its ability to create a digital avatar of a user from a 2D photograph. As all users need a digital representation of themselves for remote colleagues to see and interact with, the company has tried to ensure a lifelike reproduction for a more natural working environment.
In the future Spatial aims to add further avatar features when headsets allow, such as facial tracking of lips and eyebrows – eye and hand tracking are already available. The software also supports VR headsets like Oculus Quest and integrates with Microsoft Teams.
While available on the HoloLens store and Magic Leap World, Spatial has yet to officially launch. That will take place later this year, so for now, interested users have to download the software then contact Spatial at firstname.lastname@example.org to create an account. Once officially available this process will no longer be required with both free and premium paid versions available to businesses.
Check out the full interview with Agarawala below and for further updates from the team keep reading VRFocus. Of for more CES 2020 coverage why not take a look at VRFocus‘ interview with HaptX or our chat with Teslasuit about its new glove.