Last weekend the official opening of "WeLviv" project was held. (http://welviv.com/)25 September 2014
The Hologram Pyramid Project [Case Study]
Over the years, our efforts to expand our horizons and experiment with new software has enabled us to learn and grow, to provide our clients with our best solutions, and to access technology we have not used before. While actively seeking new opportunities, we came across one very interesting technology – 3D holographic projections.
Eager to explore holographic projections and their practical use, we wanted to create something meaningful for our employees, clients and visitors. Thus, the idea for creating Symphie, our 3D holographic projection and bringing her to life was born.
We decided that Symphie would be placed at the entrance of our office and greet everyone that enters or exits with a personalized message, triggered upon using the employee ID card on the turn wheel at the entrance.
The Birth of Symphie
After brainstorming how we would like Symphie to behave and look, we were ready to begin. We specified the software’s functionalities and laid out the design for the hologram pyramid. Next, we wrote the basic software architecture requirements, prepared a script for the content and created a concept for the pyramid construction.
Prototyping and Software Development
The project development began with parallel work on the two main components – Symphie’s “mind”, the software, and her “body”, the acrylic pyramid.
At this stage, we were developing the software according the architecture we laid out, producing the accompanying content and uploading it into the platform. Then came synchronizing it with our employee database, to be sure that each message would be personalized to the right person upon use of ID card at the turn wheel during entry and exit of the building.
Meanwhile, we had to give Symphie voice. We were producing, recording and uploading the content, consisting of different messages for different events – entering or leaving messages, holiday and birthday greetings, and other events, including, business trip, vacation, and sick leave. To ensure Symphie can “talk”, we chose powerful hardware that would be able to support her complex “mind”.
Working on creating Symphie’s body – the hologram pyramid construction–was the second challenge in this phase. After creating a 3D model of Symphie’s face to test the pyramid and going through a few unsuccessful attempts, we managed to build a construction that projects a high-quality image, and at the same time, fits the physical space available next to the turn wheel.
Testing, Scaling and Improving the Solution
The last part of the development was testing whether our efforts to create and make Symphie come alive were successful. We inspected and tested all features and functionalities of the pyramid – is it responding to the trigger on time, does it show a specific personalized message, is everything synced and running smoothly, is the image clear enough.
The processes of identifying and fixing system bugs and scaling the software to support adding more personalized messages for new employees and other occasions showed us that we need an admin program to manage the database separately from the 3D player.
Once we separated the two software components and eliminated major bugs, we decided to place Symphie at the dedicated spot and let her go live.
Bringing Symphie to Life
Creating Symphie, our hologram pyramid from scratch, was a very exciting project. It allowed our design team to explore new trending technologies, learn advanced 3D modeling techniques, and create happiness for everyone in the office. Even though our hologram pyramid uses only a pseudo-holographic projection, through trial-and-error we managed to learn a lot and came up with other new and unusual ways to further improve it.
From the beginning, Symphie was a huge hit among employees and visitors, and we all feel as if Symphie is part of the Symphony-family. People constantly approach us with questions and ideas on what to add next, how to use the pyramid or if they can participate in the further development of the project.
Inspired by the positive reactions, we are actively working on expanding the system with new features, improving the quality of the graphics and the construction as a whole. Additionally, we are exploring cool and exciting ways to enable interactive communication with Symphie, “teach” her to send personalized messages to all visitors, not only employees. We are also considering how to incorporate Symphie within different areas of our work. Use her for marketing purposes, or in presentations with clients.
We are proud of our achievement, but eager to keep working hard, improve and update our solution. If you want to meet Symphie, you are always welcome to visit our office and see how she fits in our unique culture.