When developing for the HoloLens, keeping a constant 60 fps (frames per second) while making things look beautiful is a challenge. Balancing the processing power to display complex models and keeping the frame rate where it needs is just a straight up painful process, but a solution seems to be on the horizon.
Trimble, who just released their pricey SketchUp Viewer app for the HoloLens back in November, has announced a partnership with Umbra, the creators of a software API designed to make 3D content available in real time on any hardware. This partnership will bring far more sophisticated building information models (BIM) and general 3D data visualization to mixed reality and specifically the HoloLens.
Umbra's software solution is designed to optimize 3D information and has been used in many popular video games such as Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Fallout 4, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
When working in conjunction with Trimble technologies for BIM and mixed reality, Umbra can preprocess 3D BIM models and produce optimized content that can enable Trimble clients to work with large amounts of 3D content on virtual and mixed-reality devices. 'Mixed reality enables professionals and their clients to interact with 3D models. Trimble customers are involved in some of the largest and most complex projects in the world and it's important to provide a solution which will support their needs,' said Aviad Almagor, director of Trimble's Mixed-Reality Program. 'The computing power needed to visualize large and highly detailed 3D models can outpace the capabilities of mobile and wearable devices, which lack the processing power of professional high-end desktop machines. By collaborating with Umbra, we can leverage technology proven in video gaming to improve the user experience and enable visualization of large and complex Architecture, Engineering and Construction 3D models.'
Trimble's Mixed-Reality Pilot Program allows companies in the architecture, engineering, construction, and operations (AECO) fields the chance to see how mixed reality can improve their workflow and environment. They then offer the experience and solutions to help those businesses implement that workflow.
For those of us fighting the daily struggle to make amazing HoloLens content, maybe this partnership will bring some new solutions to light for us all—and not cost an arm and a leg. The last Trimble release for HoloLens, $1,499.99 for a 3D model viewer, seems outrageously expensive. But hey, that is what competition is for, right?
Does Umbra seem like a robust answer for optimization? Is Simplygon as good of a solution? Tell me what you think in the comments.