Patients and visitors navigating hospitals could use their phones or glasses to find their ways instead of relying on signs. “Digital twins” of real locations could be used to test disaster scenarios. People visiting a new city could have a personal navigation system that worked outside of the car, and hands-free. One day, autonomous vehicles could use cloud-based spatial computing models to find their ways without human drivers.
German company Visualix is one of the leading platforms for creating persistent maps and models of real spaces. The company has been around for a while now, but they recently released a new software developer’s kit.
Because ARPost hasn’t profiled Visualix before, we’ll start out with talking about them and what they do. Then we’ll get into the SDK.
Visualix specializes in localization and navigation using mapping and 3D construction. On the small scale, this can be used for indoor navigation to help people find their way from place-to-place within buildings. On a larger scale, it can be used to create maps of entire cities that are more detailed and more accurate than GPS.
These maps and models can be used on their own as AR applications. They can also be paired with computer vision technology for use in advanced applications like autonomous vehicles.
One of their great strengths is that they host their own persistent cloud, which allows two important features. The first of these is that multiple people can use the same dynamic experience at the same time. The second is that changes or additions made to the program remain available without the editor being online.
3D mapping like that required for Visualix has historically required expertise, time, and advanced technology. However, developers using Visualix can do these scans using smartphone cameras.
Visualix and Other Platforms for AR Applications
If you have an ear to the ground in this space (or regularly read ARPost) some of this might sound familiar to you. A similar scanning system is employed by the Display.land platform recently launched by Ubiquity 6. While that platform is great for creating and sharing AR experiences, it lacks many of the tools offered by Visualix for more practical AR applications.
With that, let’s get into what we know about the developers’ kit.
A Peak at the SDK
Visualix announced their third SDK on social media on March 13 with little fanfare. The quiet launch was partly due to empty halls in the Visualix building.
“On this special occasion, emotions are mixed,” Visualix co-founder and managing director Michael Bucko said on LinkedIn. “Hearts are filled with excitement, which is great (It’s been many, many months of work!), but we are also concerned about the global health situation. Last week Visualix implemented remote work for all of its employees.”
The post detailed use cases of the AR application as well as features of the most recent SDK.
“Now, any company building indoor or outdoor navigation systems can use Visualix as the backbone for highly reliable, multi-player, cloud-based (available on-premise as well) augmented reality,” Bucko said in the post.
The post also included a video showing some of the tools made available through the kit. Features shown include the ability to place AR routes that users can follow through their phone’s camera. From the front-end, users are able to switch between the camera feed display and a display that doesn’t use the camera but looks more like a car’s GPS navigator.
These features are in addition to existing features, including the ability to fix AR artefacts to real locations. These could be used in AR applications to display information on checkpoints or create walking tours of locations.
How to Get the SDK
The Visualix Platform is a unique and powerful tool for organizations that want to embrace navigation through AR applications. By putting scanning in the user’s hand, this kind of creation is easier and more available than ever before.
Developers already using Visualix can get their hands on the SDK by reaching out to the company directly. Those not yet using Visualix can request a demo from their website.