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Don’t make these 4 mistakes with your Mixed Reality project

  • Posted on February 14, 2018
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
mixed reality misstakes
You might think you can just start your Mixed Reality (MR) project or prototype like any other development project. However, there are crucial differences when it comes to the composition of your team and office space. Make sure you avoid the following four mistakes prior to launching your MR project. 

1. Make sure you have the right team
You might think that you have a great developer with lots of experience assigned on your MR project. And he or she is probably very good, but not necessarily the right person for the job. The ideal developer needs to be familiar with 3D techniques, such as game developers. You will also need a UI and/or UX designer. Traditionally a lot of designers know how to work in a 2D space. For MR, you need other skills sets, such as a 3D modeller and 3D UI designer. To make your team complete, you also need a sound engineer as MR almost always contains audio as part of the experience.

2. Test in different locations and spaces
Besides a talented team, you need access to different physical spaces for testing to develop your application that works in three dimensions. It's very similar to testing a 2D website in multiple resolutions and screen sizes. Test in spaces ranging from a small room to an auditorium to make sure the application functions properly in different-sized spaces.

If you are using the spatial understanding capability of the HoloLens, you also need to think about the physical properties of the objects you will encounter in these spaces. The HoloLens uses infrared to bounce off objects to create a 3D scan of the environment. Objects with reflective or transparent surfaces, such as glass, can influence the scans. Make sure to test in the type of environments that the users will encounter when using the application.

3. Beware of lighting conditions
Besides sizing, the user might also use the application and device in different types of environments. One thing to consider is that the HoloLens uses a projection technique to project the images into the eyes of the user. Seeing that this works similar to a projector, room lighting will have an influence on the experience of the user. Make sure that you test in different lighting conditions. You might, for example, test the application both in an enclosed basement and an atrium where there is a lot of sunlight pouring in.

4. Test how people move in a space
For a website, designers test the way visitors will view a website. With MR, you also need to test how your user group will move around in a space. How do they react to things that happen? Make sure that people can’t put themselves in physical danger or harm. The difference with normal applications is that digital content might feel more realistic to the user on a Mixed Reality device. So be careful with unexpected actions towards the user. Let objects move slowly towards users and think about the type of objects that you use in the application.

As I mentioned in a previous post, don’t start your MR project before making sure you have the right resources in place - invest in the right people and facilities. Give proper training to your employees when needed or hire a specialised company to augment the skills of your workforce. Contact me if you'd like to learn how Avanade Digital Studios can support the development of your next MR project. 

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