Seattle Public Library VR Case Study

How we improved ETH Zurich's Seattle Public Library VR research project.

Results

Services

Project Summary

Challenge

ETH Zurich Singapore needed critical improvements to a virtual model they were using in their research project, where they were examining navigation of the Seattle Public Library within VR.

Outcome

We accurately recreated equivalent real-world assets from on-site reference as well as remodelled and optimised existing assets to improve performance to industry standards.

Impact

We measurably improved the technical performance of their VR experience by up to 10x and provided a diegetic UI that impactfully improved the user experience in line with their goals.

Project Summary

In collaboration with researchers from ETH Zurich in Singapore, we contributed to their virtual reality research project which was a multi-task approach to solving two key problems: issues with users navigating the non-traditional layout of the building and performance issues with the VR experience they had created.

The solution for the user experience issue involved accurately reproducing the on-site signage to aid users in navigating the notoriously confusing layout of the Seattle Public Library. However, the challenge of our off-site remote working and our client’s inability to travel to the site meant using reference imagery and video from primary and secondary sources to recreate the signage, graphics and layouts as accurately as possible. This was key as the researchers required their simulation of the environment to be as close to a digital twin as possible to validate their findings.

For the optimisation of the virtual scene, we brought to the table not only our 3D development skills but also an insight into issues the team were facing which meant we could actively troubleshoot and produce solutions for them which could be implemented for positive impact across a range of metrics for performance in VR. We remodelled, organised and optimised their assets to conform with industry best practices which improved performance across the scene between 3 and 10 times the pre-optimised state.

This project called for our expertise in developing navigable immersive 3D virtual environments optimised for VR. The research project itself is still underway using the model we contributed to and the results are yet to be published. However, our insights delivered meaningful impact for this client on time and within their budget. The team at ETH Zurich Singapore greatly appreciated the value of our work. The success we achieved for them was measurable qualitatively in the improved user feedback and quantitatively in the improved performance metrics we delivered.

“Excellent in assisting us with the 3D model for our project. Great 3D skills (modelling, texturing, etc.) with different software packages, but also immediately understood the needs and requirements for the 3D model to run properly in a VR environment. Helped us to troubleshoot and optimize the 3D model for faster and smoother performance. Diligent, always communicated friendly, respected our deadlines, and even accommodated a few additional requests. I would not hesitate to work with them again.

Michael Roberto Joos

Project Leader of CIVAL

Future Cities Laboratory ETH Zurich