nvidia holodeck

VR Holodeck provides a virtual space for designers to create products in real time

Nvidia has announced a new VR-based platform called ‘Holodeck’ which allows designers and developers to inhabit the same virtual spaces in order to work on projects together.

Holodeck, which takes its name from the Star Trek TV and film franchise, is designed to emulate a realistic working environment replete with an accurate physics engine and simulated materials.

The new software was demonstrated at GTC 2017, Nvidia’s annual conference which is taking place in Munich this year. E&T is attending.

It showed a team working on a car design with engineers standing in a virtual room together, represented by avatars.

Holodeck is intended to work on powerful rigs so that the VR simulation doesn’t drop below the minimum 90 frames per second and 20 milliseconds of latency. This is generally considered the minimum required for a smooth viewing experience.

It should allow designers working in a wide array of industries, such as architecture or automotive, to collaborate while in different locales and without the expense associated with normal prototyping.

Nvidia said it might lower the requirements as time went on, but would be limiting the systems that it will run on for the time being.

Holodeck includes an emulated physics engine that makes use of Nvidia’s long-in-the-tooth expertise in video games.

The engine is supposedly so accurate that driverless car journeys have been replicated in order to help the machine-learning AI develop appropriate responses to certain scenarios, such as a child running in front of a vehicle, a circumstance which is clearly very difficult to simulate in the real world.

Holodeck has been announced alongside Nvidia’s Drive PX Pegasus software, a dedicated platform for automakers to bestow their vehicles with driverless abilities. 

“Nvidia Holodeck empowers designers to bring peers, partners and customers along the design journey to explore intricate, life-like 3D worlds together and ensure that the best ideas are discovered,” said Bob Pette, vice president of Professional Visualization at Nvidia.

“It’s an unparalleled environment for deploying and testing AI-based agents and will only get better as we add more AI capabilities.”

 “Virtual reality is one of the leading opportunities for design,” said Hao Ko, principal architect at Gensler. “This technology, such as Nvidia Holodeck, allows architects to explore their designs in photo-realistic fidelity and at life-like scale. Being able to ‘walk the halls’ of a building that is yet to be built brings new understanding to the design choices.”

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