A few years ago, I did an analysis of some of the most used VR applications for 3D modeling. I contributed my findings to Brown CS's VR wiki with my main takeaways summed up in the table below. At the time, I wanted to explore new ways to collaborate on scientic visualizations in VR settings.
A few years later, I found Bezel, a browser-based collaborative tool for 3D design and XR prototyping. With a suite of innovative new features, I couldn't help but imagine all the crazy new ways Bezel could build on its platform to change the standard for designing in XR.
With recent releases in the field of generative AI, such as OpenAI's Point-E system for generating 3D point clouds from text prompts, it is becoming increasingly vital to discover the implications of these systems for the future of 3D and how they can facilitate workflows when designing for mixed reality.
I mocked up a possible interface for generating 3D meshes with generative models on the cloud. Democratizing this technology for designers by integrating it in an accessible browser-based tool like Bezel will be critical in maximizing how AI assisted 3D design can affect industry standards.
Not everyone has an HMD, but almost everyone has a smartphone. Viewing and editing 3D files on a mobile device is not only a good way of testing XR prototypes, but also allows anyone to contribute to the 3D design process from anywhere.
There are three primary interaction types on mobile: interacting in the editor, interacting in AR mode with touchscreen controls, and interacting with 3D scenes with hand tracking.
Though mobile unlocks 3D collaboration for a wider audience, I also considered 3D modeling and collaboration in VR as an expansion of Bezel, as I noted that the currently available VR applications for 3D modeling leave much to be desired.
By allowing users to view each other's cursors and edits in VR, along with any collaborators on mobile or desktop, mixed reality design takes on a whole new meaning.
The future of XR lie in AR. Virtual elements overlaid over the real world will help humans achieve electronic tasks without disrupting their daily lives. To design for AR, designs have to be viewed and tested in AR. Color passthrough for HMDs, as well as full AR glasses, are the future of AR prototyping.
Toggling into full color passthrough is a feature that will set the next big XR design platforms out from the rest. And for a true hands-free experience, pairing hand tracking with voice commands opens the doors for the most naturalistic design opportunities we've ever seen.