Campfire, which makes 3D collaboration tools for virtual reality, announced its platform for enterprises will debut on the Meta Quest 3.
Jay Wright, Campfire CEO, said in an interview with VentureBeat that the platform will be launching in the Meta Quest store on November 1. Meta formally announced the Meta Quest 3 VR headset for $500 today.
The new Campfire app utilizes full-color passthrough on the Meta Quest 3 to enhance remote collaboration and create a more natural experience for workflows across the physical product lifecycle.
Campfire aims to revolutionize collaboration by replacing traditional 2D documents and videos with interactive 3D scenes. Currently, technical documents and descriptions of physical products and processes can be time-consuming to prepare, difficult to understand, and challenging to collaborate on.
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“We think the Meta Quest 3 is a big deal,” said Wright. “We look at the last 50 years of computing bringing innovations that have blown us all away, whether it’s the PC, internet, or smartphone. But the one thing that has not changed is we all use these devices largely within rectangular apps on rectangular screens. And while they do all kinds of magical stuff, they do not do a great job of communicating 3D information in a way that as humans can understand well.”
In particular, the color passthrough video feature of the Meta Quest 3 is a big deal, making it much easier to blend industrial designs in 3D graphics with the machines that in the real world.
With the Campfire app, technical content creators can compose scenes from existing CAD and 3D files on their desktop and collaborate seamlessly using various devices such as Mac, PC, iPad, and now Meta Quest 3.
“Quest 3 brings a fundamentally new collaboration experience with full-color passthrough. Users feel connected to their environment, their content, and their team,” said Wright. “Whether you’re presenting concepts in a design review or explaining a complex assembly procedure, the Campfire experience on Quest 3 is the next best thing to interacting in-person with physical items themselves.”
Designed with enterprise users in mind, the Campfire app is user-friendly and easily accessible for first-time Quest users. To welcome new users, Campfire has introduced a virtual assistant named Spark, who provides an interactive tutorial blending humor and instructional guidance. Spark serves as an example of the potential for future AI-driven assistants capable of verbally answering questions while demonstrating physical actions spatially.
The cool thing about the Spark tutor is that it’s an AI character, programmed to help people figure out their way around the Campfire environment. The AI instruction can make things really clear for people.
Wright believes tha AI will go far beyond chatbots and will be useful for companies working with both employees and customers.
“Its ability to provide responses that are not just saying things but actually showing things,” Wright said. “We think we’re in a really unique position to deliver on this AI truly. And that’s because by just using Campfire, as we did, in that example, we’re generating the ideal training data for this kind of AI. We know where your head is moving, we know where hands are moving, we know what tools are being used. And we have really detailed semantic and geometric understanding of what you’re working with.”
How it works
Campfire’s mission is to make 3D communication more human for the purposes of building a better world, including building and maintaining physical appliances and gadgets and servicing them. If you’ve ever been frustrated with instructions for Lego models or IKEA furniture, you’re familiar with the problem, he said.
“It just happens on a much larger scale in the world of building stuff that happens the impact more than half our GDP,” Wright said. “As we look at today’s lifecycle for building physical products, it starts with developing original concepts, all the way through prototyping, manufacturing, launch and maintenance.”
These documents include tech presentations on paper, training materials for assembling things, and work instructions for things like manufacturing or maintenance.
“They also have in common that they are ridiculously tedious to prepare, hard to understand and frustrating to collaborate with,” Wright said. “At Campfire, we’re trying to deliver a new medium that replaces these old types of documents. “We need to replace that rectangular screen with a new model that allows 3d data to be shared with others in physical space.”
Wright showed me a demo working with another guy inside Campfire. Wright was on Campfire for Mac, while I was watching on a video, and another guy using a Quest 3 was showing off different documents. I could see his outline next to a machine that he was manipulating. You can join on a VR headset, Mac, PC or iPad, depending on what’s available for you. He showed how to replace a bad solenoid.
Earlier, Campfire stayed away from VR.
“We felt VR headsets had a lot of friction in getting started. And they were uncomfortable and isolating for a lot of people. We think that is all changed in a new way,” Wright said. “With Quest 3, because of its passthrough capability, this is fundamentally changing this headset from a VR device to an AR device. And in doing so overcomes the biggest challenges that we saw with VR in the past. It’s no longer isolating, it’s far more comfortable because you remain connected to your environment.”
The Spark tutor helps you figure out what to do, like pressing a button on your controller, and it shows you visually what you need to do.
Competition with Apple?
As for the competition between the Meta Quest 3 and the Apple Vision Pro (coming next year for $3,500), Wright believes that enterprises will favor the Meta Quest 3, as a lot of people have the authority to spend $500 on a device to try out with a team.
Wright said one customer is using Campfire with thousands of service technicians, with the goal of training to shorten the time of service calls. With something VR, a supervisor can use tools like a laser pointer in VR to direct people to the right spot that needs to happen in a sequence of things.
Campfire’s integration with Meta Quest represents the company’s commitment to making 3D communication more human through spatial computing and XR technologies. The Campfire app for Quest will be available in the Quest Store on November 1 for Quest 3, Quest Pro, and Quest 2.
The Campfire app for PC, Mac, and iPad is already available at campfire3d.com. Freemium subscriptions are offered with plans for enterprise deployment.
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