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Say hello to SynergyXR 1.9

With this newest update, we're taking things to the next level by introducing tools for faster, more intuitive interactions, as well as precision setup of virtual content.

SynergyXR 1.9 Release Highlights

Here’s what we’ve packed inside the latest version of SynergyXR

  • Users can now move, rotate, and scale with one or both hands
  • Easier alignment with new precision manipulation handles
  • Brand new drawing system supports 2D and 3D drawing
  • Capture and share high-resolution images from HoloLens

As a true do-it-yourself tool, ease of interaction with virtual content has always been of prime importance in SynergyXR. With this newest update, we take things to the next level by introducing tools for faster more intuitive interactions, as well as precision tools allowing for a more precise setup of virtual content. This allows users to design spaces much faster, as well as support use cases that need more accurate manipulation of 3D models

Better content interaction 

Users can now move, rotate, and scale content faster and more intuitive using one or both hands. This will help users to set up virtual Spaces for training, expos, and similar purposes much more efficiently. 

 

Easier alignment

In addition, if accuracy is of the essence, new precision manipulation handles make it much easier to align content. So, when using SynergyXR for analyzing optimal production line design, where a high level of precision is needed in the placement of 3D models, users can obtain a much higher level of accuracy. 

 

Interactive user interface 

Users can now also enjoy direct interaction with UI elements, allowing pressing of buttons directly with your hands, instead of interacting at a distance – the hands are even animated to show available interaction options. This makes for a much more intuitive and immersive experience.  

Draw in 2D and 3D 

We are happy to announce that the entire drawing system has been redone from the ground up, extending the functionality to support drawing in both 2D and 3D. The drawing system has received its own separate wrist menu, making it easier to extend the functionality further in the future – so keep your eyes peeled for upcoming extensions. 

In addition to the existing 2D drawing functionality, users can now draw freely in 3D space. This allows users to easily annotate in the air, pointing out points of interest: a dangerous part of a machine which needs attention can be marked in bright red; or the shortest path around an industrial facility can be marked with arrows – and many more use cases – only limited by your imagination. Drawing on 2D surfaces is now also supported for PC users. 

 

Faster remote support  

By popular demand, we have improved the remote support capabilities of SynergyXR significantly, by introducing a new quick screen capture functionality. Expert PC users can capture high-resolution images from HoloLens users and effortlessly place these in the current space. This allows the expert to quickly annotate the image to explain what the on-site HoloLens user must do to alleviate issues encountered. This makes in-situ troubleshooting more efficient, saving critical seconds of downtime.  

In addition, the UI of the HoloLens application has been aligned with the existing other applications in the SynergyXR offering. This makes moving from one platform to another effortlessly for the individual user, since all interactions are aligned across all platforms. 

Synergy 1.9 – technical release notes

Introducing the use of the “grip” button in VR 

  • To allow for richer object interaction, we introduce the use of the “grip” button in VR in addition to the existing “trigger button” 
  • When users wish to “grab” content and manipulate this, the “grip” button is used 
  • When users wish to interact with UI elements the “trigger button is used. This includes standard UI buttons, keyboard, content browser and the like, but also the rotation/scale/move handles attached to content 

Support for 2-hand interaction in VR and HoloLens – supporting interactions both direct and from afar 

  • When a user grabs content with one hand from afar, the content can freely be moved while maintaining its rotation 
  • When a user grabs content with two hands from afar, the content can be moved, rotated, and scaled freely 
  • When users grab content directly with one hand (move a hand into the content and activate the “grip” button), the content can be moved and rotated freely 
  • When users grab content directly with two hands (move both hands into the content and activate the “grip” buttons), the content can be moved, rotated, and scaled freely 

Improved positioning of spawned content 

  • When adding content to a Space, the initial placement is improved to ensure that large 3D models are not added on top of the user. 
  • When adding content, it is now spawned at the closest 15-degree y-axis rotation, making it easier to align the rotation of multiple pieces of content – see more below. 

Axis-aligned manipulation of content 

  • Users can scale content by interacting with the scale handle with the “trigger” button. A label shows the current scale, which will “soft-snap” to 100% scale 
  • Users can rotate content around a single axis by interacting with a rotation handle located on the edges of the content bounding box using the “trigger button”. A label will show the current rotation, which will “soft-snap” to 15 degree increments to make it easier to align content. 
  • Users can move content constrained to a single axis by interacting with a translate handle located on the faces of the content bounding box using the “trigger” button. A label with show how far the content has been moved, which will “soft-snap” to 25 cm increments. 

New wrist menu supporting direct interaction with UI buttons in VR and HoloLens 

  • The wrist menu is now triggered by looking at your palm instead of your wrist. This is done to improve the stability of the menu which could suffer from occlusions caused when reaching over to interact with buttons. 
  • Users can now activate UI buttons directly by interacting directly with them with either hand.  
  • The buttons have received a transparent volume to resemble a physical button better.
  • A small “click” is audible to better guide the user when the button press has been activated. 

Drawing system 

  • When activating the drawing tool from the wrist menu “tools” category, the wrist menu will transition to a brand-new drawing wrist menu. 
  • Users can grab the eraser tool directly from the menu by using the “grip” button. This can be used to erase individual line segments by activating the “trigger” button.  
  • Users can grab the pen tool directly from the menu by using the “grip” button. It is possible to change the pen color from the drawing wrist menu by tapping the desired color with the pen tool. While having the pen in the hand, users can draw on 2D content as well as freely in 3D – explained below. 
  • When within 1 meter of 2D content and pointing towards it, a line is drawn from the pen to the 2D surface showing the user where the drawing will start. Users can draw by activating the “trigger” button. Users can still draw on 2D surfaces by moving the pen directly onto the surface. 
  • If no 2D content is close by, users can draw freely in 3D space by activating the “trigger” button. 
  • The user can select to return to the main wrist menu, by pressing the “exit drawing” button. 
  • Drawing is supported in VR and on PC. On PC, it is only possible to draw on 2D content, though. 
  • Drawing support on HoloLens will come in a future update to SynergyXR. 
  • All drawings are of course synced across all platforms. 

Remote screenshot capture on HoloLens 

  • When streaming video from the HoloLens to a PC user, the PC user can select to go “full-screen”. This mode will scale the video stream to fill out the entire window, hiding the UI in the process. The PC user can go back to the normal mode by pressing the “Restore” button, revealing the UI. 
  • The PC user can also initiate a screenshot capture through the video streaming window. A high-resolution screenshot is captured from the HoloLens, and the PC user will see a preview of this.  
  • The following tags are automatically added to the image: #HoloLens, #Captured, user ID of HoloLens user, and user UI of the PC user. Additional tags can be added manually in the preview window. 
  • If the captured image is not to the PC user’s satisfaction, he/she can cancel the image and capture a new one. 
  • Once happy, the PC user can accept the image, which places it automatically in front of the HoloLens user. The PC user can now start drawing on the image to convey ideas and help troubleshoot issues the HoloLens user could be having. 

HoloLens UI rework 

  • The entire UI for the HoloLens has been reworked to align with the other platforms supported in SynergyXR. 
  • The color scheme and UI layout should be easily recognizable to users across all platforms. 
  • The wrist menu has also been introduced for HoloLens users, with support for direct interaction by pressing buttons. 

Other improvements 

  • Proper support for transparency in .PNG images 
  • VR users can now teleport backwards by tapping the thumbstick backwards.