Thanks to the expanding universe of augmented reality tools being made available, increasingly, anybody can liven up sleepy office meetings with immersive computing.
Now, a new 3D presentation-sharing service for the Magic Leap One has PowerPoint is in its crosshairs (someone had to do it), jockeying to be the next big thing for enterprise businesses.
The company is called Flow Immersive and its newly-launched Flow Editor app lets anybody make web-based interactive, 3D slide presentations, or "flows," on a computer and then view them on any device. A testing version of the Flow Editor gauged public's appetite for its 3D presentations earlier this year.
Aiming to maximize the app's reach, Flow Immersive's vice president of product & business development, Michael DiBenigno, told Next Reality that the presentations can be viewed on a wide range of devices, including phones, tablets, and computers.
But those who really want to enjoy the 3D aspect of the flows have to try it in virtual reality via VR headsets or in augmented reality via the Magic Leap One, the interaction we tested today. To launch the app, users navigate to the Flow Editor website in a phone browser or through Magic Leap's Helio web app, respectively.
Users select a flow and then click the "Enter XR" button to start the 3D immersive slideshow. Clicking "Next" will move users to a new part of the data visualization in AR, or to a new slide if on a handheld device or laptop browser, which DiBenigno calls the "scrolling story" effect. Picking out any of the data points on the graphs is one way to see more detail about that particular point in time.
Sending the flow to your colleague is as simple as using the Flow Editor publish function and sending the link, à la Google Docs. Users can also, alternatively, publish it on any website using a common iframe HTML tag.
The Flow Editor's current free version lets users save content publicly, but the company also plans to offer a paid option to save immersive experiences privately. That feature will also allow the startup to test the market for an enterprise version, which may offer additional services, such as web analytics.
The company has been developing enterprise-focused immersive presentations in VR for a few years, mostly offering custom experiences for big companies like IBM and others.
Although we don't have confirmed numbers, currently, the number of companies conducting meetings in AR seems to be small but growing. One existing AR app for meetings is Spatial, available for the Hololens. Although that app is fairly new, it seems to be enjoying a lot of interest due to its close connection to Microsoft. However, Spatial, which can also be accessed from PCs, also has a Magic Leap version in the works.
As for the Flow Editor, its cross-device accessibility ensures that the service will reach the widest possible number of enterprise and consumer users and, following its Magic Leap integration, DiBenigno also expects to integrate the Flow Editor into other AR headsets.
With every new AR meeting launch, we can only hope that, eventually, meetings become less like The Office and a lot more like Star Wars.