On the occasion of the 21st edition of Laval Virtual, the international virtual and augmented reality market show (VR / AR) taking place from March 20 to 24, 2019, Gfi Informatique announces the creation of the UMI3D Consortium. This initiative aims to accelerate the adoption and development of UMI3D (Unified Model for Interaction in 3D Environment) by attracting the attention of the international community. Industry, retail, training, smart city, building construction, start-ups, etc., there are many stakeholders potentially concerned by this 3D environment sharing technology developed within Gfi’s Innovation Department and the University of Strasbourg. Exchange protocol, UMI3D answers the problem of being able to share a 3D medium between several heterogeneous terminals. “UMI3D is a two-way network protocol in which we standardize the data exchanged. Thus, whatever the device used, we interact in the same way with the 3D media “, explains Julien Casarin, head of the project initiated 4 years ago and whose research led to a thesis and a scientific publication awarded last November at the CSCW18 conference in New York. Specifically, with UMI3D, Hololens, Oculus Rift, Vive headsets, smartphones, tablets and PCs can communicate together in the same virtualized environment. It is hardly possible today that each 3D scene must be developed specifically for the system that executes it.
Join the first founding members
With Laval Virtual and its 20,000 expected visitors, Gfi hopes to quickly attract the future founding members of the consortium, in the month following the show, hopes Julien Casarin. They will join today a historic core composed of the University of Strasbourg; the start-up SL Process and its Lynx helmet, incubated at Fablab Gfi; Silkke, who has developed a booth to create realistic 3D avatars; Immersive Learning Lab, a technology-monitored entity for AR / VR training, and Immersion, European heavyweight of mixed reality business solutions and simulators for the industrial sector. Once formed, the new consortium will organize into working groups to establish the UMI3D specification roadmap and its implementations, still under Open Source license. Early work should focus on haptic integration, avatars genericity and cloud deployment. For its part, Gfi will benefit from its privileged knowledge of UMI3D as a creator of technology to position itself as the reference integrator for manufacturers. “We have a real desire to be the most relevant player on a 3D communication standard that must be adopted by many players,” concludes Julien Casarin.