Our small team was challenged with envisioning future of OneDrive & SharePoint in AR/VR Metaverse. We went broad to explore various scenarios and shortlisted on Democratizing Creation and Consumption of 3D spaces. The project concluded with running a Concept Validation Testing using a functional prototype, which resulted in funding of SharePoint Spaces.
Scenario key bets
- Anyone in an organization should be able to create, share and consume a 3D space.
- Creators will not require skills in Unity3D or WebVR to create beautiful 3D spaces.
- Leverage existing SharePoint framework to boost user familiarity and product development.
- True to 3D content. Richer with 2D content.
- Showcase static and well as dynamic user content.
SharePoint democratized creation of 2D sites within a company back in the early 2000’s. Now it’s time for 3D scenes! At the moment, around 80% of fortune 500 companies use SharePoint for their internal content management — content that is increasingly getting an extra dimension.
Overall flow can be categorized into Creation, Sharing and Consumption. The author creates a new scene by selecting an environment and style. And then adding 3D content while stitching together multiple rooms to create an immersive experience. When done, author securely shares the space within a company using SharePoint. Now anyone with proper access can experience the space on any device capable of WebVR without downloading any software.
I quickly hacked a 3D space builder within existing SharePoint Framework. The system enabled adding 3D objects, Images and Text to a room. The creator could add various types of rooms with different layouts. The creator could also Preview the space, which was build using A-Frame.
The idea was to give them enough flexibility to suit various use cases but also establish appropriate guard rails to guide them in the direction of creating beautiful spaces that too with ease.
We build a dynamic consumption experience using Unity3D which linked to the created space. The pavilion (as we refer it) comprised of interactive content ranging from Volumetric holograms, Data Visualizations, Bots, Document libraries, 360s, etc.
Concept Validation Testing
For the final leg, along with a Researcher I went to 3 major cites in USA to run CVT studies. The result of user studies validated some of our hypothesis and indicated an opportunity in the domain.