Hybrid Design Tools in a Social Virtual Reality Using Networked Oculus Rift: A Feasibility Study in Remote Real-Time Interaction

Robert E. Wendrich, Kris-Howard Chambers, Wadee Al-Halabi, Eric J. Seibel, Olaf Grevenstuk, David Ullman, Hunter G. Hoffman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Hybrid Design Tool Environments (HDTE) allow designers and engineers to use real tangible tools and physical objects and/or artifacts to make and create real-time virtual representations and presentations on-the-fly. Manipulations of the real tangible objects (e.g., real wire mesh, clay, sketches, etc.) are translated into 2-D and/or 3-D digital CAD software and/or virtual instances. The HDTE is equipped with a Loosely Fitted Design Synthesizer (NXt-LFDS) to support this multi-user interaction and design processing. The current study explores for the first time, the feasibility of using a NXt-LFDS in a networked immersive multi-participant social virtual reality environment (VRE). Using Oculus Rift goggles and PC computers at each location linked via Skype, team members physically located in several countries had the illusion of being co-located in a single virtual world, where they used rawshaping technologies (RST) to design a woman’s purse in 3-D virtual representations. Hence, the possibility to print the purse out on the spot (i.e. anywhere within the networked loop) with a 2-D or 3D printer. Immersive affordable Virtual Reality (VR) technology (and 3-D AM) are in the process of becoming commercially available and widely used by mainstream consumers, a major development that could transform the collaborative design process. The results of the current feasibility study suggests that designing products may become considerably more individualized within collaborative multi-user settings and less inhibited during in the coming ‘Diamond Age’ [1] of VR, collaborative networks and with profound implications for the design (e.g. fashion) and engineering industry. This paper presents the proposed system architecture, a collaborative use-case scenario, and preliminary results of the interaction, coordination, cooperation, and communication with immersive VR.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
Place of PublicationCharlotte, NC, USA
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers
ISBN (Print)978-0-7918-5008-4
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2016
Event36th Computers and Information in Engineering Conference 2016 - Charlotte, United States
Duration: 21 Aug 201624 Aug 2016
Conference number: 36


Conference36th Computers and Information in Engineering Conference 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • METIS-320530
  • IR-103245


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