Collaborative virtual reality environments improve communication and collaboration. Virtual reality can simplify and speed up working activities, which supports agile development and leads to faster development cycles. This was verified when studying department-to-department collaboration at KONE together with Tampere University.
In global companies, such as KONE, the need for remote, multi-location collaboration solutions is clear. When the COVID-19 pandemic boomed in 2020 and brought challenges to the classical ways of working, this became even more evident. Interactive VR is proven to speed up communication inside the company. The preliminary results also demonstrated the high value of the designed system for the employees and their desire to shift some of their operations into virtual reality.
COVE-VR virtual reality collaboration platform was co-developed in close academia–industry collaboration to correspond to users’ needs and to answer real industrial needs (blog post on collaboration process coming soon).
The designed system consisted of two virtual environments and employed seven virtual tools, created with the purpose of digital content production for technical documentation, like text and media files. Such a system design supports both individual and in-team working activities and allows agile product development and evaluation.
The system was iteratively tested via online surveys and user studies (asynchronous mode) with the KONE employees.
The development has not stopped: the virtual tools are being advanced, while new elements are being added to improve the workflows. Additionally, multi-user interactions have been implemented and tested (blog post coming soon).
Contacts & more information:
Dr. Markku Turunen, Professor of Interactive Technology
KONE Technology and Innovation
Dr. Sanni Siltanen, Expert in Innovative Maintenance Methods