Data Visualization in Virtual Reality and the Workspace of the Future
DataView VR is leveraging Virtual Reality and AI to build the Workspace of the Future
DataView VR is developing The Workspace of the Future, harnessing the combined power of Virtual Reality (VR), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Augmented Reality (AR) in order to enhance data analysis, presentation, collaboration, and general daily work-flow [i].
The Workspace of the Future will be revolutionary in a number of ways, including:
1) Removing physical display limitations
2) Providing easy-to-use Multi-Dimensional Visualization and AI-enhanced data analysis tools
3) Eliminating physical and geographic barriers to collaboration and presentation
4) Redefining user interface and desktop personalization
The Workspace of the Future will not be constrained by physical limitations.
“Real-world” workspace displays are constrained by physical and cost limitations. VR effectively removes these limits. The field of view of a typical PC screen is 25 degrees, whereas VR offers 110 (similar to human bi-focal field of view), and VR headset resolution has now evolved to the point where virtual monitors provide a comfortable work environment [ii]. Thus, instead of one or two monitors, a user can utilize 6, 12, 20… as many as they’d like, of any size, in any place.
In DataView’s virtual workspace, the user creates and saves multiple versions of their desktop (‘Data Rooms’) to toggle between over the course of a day based on situation/topic/project/client, etc. Additionally, the user’s desktop now becomes fully mobile. Instead of squinting at a smartphone, a user can access their full virtual workspace at home, on a train, on a business trip… The user gains the power of teleportation.
DataView also leverages Augmented Reality. For now, AR’s 40-degree field of view imposes limits (compared to VR at 110), but the technology is useful for presentations, particularly with multi-person audiences [iii].
The Workspace of the Future will eliminate geographic barriers. VR has the ability to make location effectively irrelevant. People enjoy meeting in person; they spend trillions of dollars each year to do so (between travel, time, and physical office space). DataView allows people to interact face-to-face virtually, from any location.
The Workspace of the Future will allow easy, intuitive data analysis. Data availability is exploding, and advanced analysis will increasingly be an essential part of “knowledge” jobs. However, current statistical tools are more difficult to use than they need to be. The DataView workspace democratizes the process of data analysis, allowing users to create comparative charts, predictive models, and advanced statistics with intuitive ease via drag and drop functionality.
The Workspace of the Future will facilitate visualization across multiple dimensions. Life is simply not two-dimensional (and many times not even three or four dimensional). Any given phenomenon is driven by a number of underlying factors that are interacting in a complex way. Comparing two variables is easy: one chart will do. However, adding variables exponentially increases complexity. For example, comparing six variables requires 71 displays: 15 charts to see two-variable relationships and 56 regression equations and charts to describe multi-variable interactions.
DataView’s multi-dimensional visualizations can greatly simplify the process of sifting through these complex relationships, providing the content of dozens of 2D charts and equations within one immersive display. Importantly, multi-dimensionality also allows a user to actually see multiple variable relationships. Beyond saving time, a multi-dimensionality allows users to scrutinize the output of their predictive models in a way that 2D charting doesn’t allow. A regression model is an equation on a page; it’s hard to have confidence in what a model is saying without actually seeing the multi-variable relationships it describes.
The Workspace of the Future will be enhanced by AI. For the foreseeable future, AI will not be an entity as much as a set of tools that enhance day-to-day human productivity. DataView uses AI to automate initial data analysis. For a given variable, DataView AI shows the user which factors best explain it, and provides optimal prediction models. This output can then be refined based on human experience and logic, but AI enhances the speed and effectiveness of the overall process.
The Workspace of the Future will redefine the process of user input. Navigation of this new workspace will not be limited to a clunky mouse and keyboard interface. In fact, VR offers a rare opportunity to entirely redefine the process of user input. People will interact with their virtual workspace as they interact with the real world: with hand motion (and, over time, with eye-tracking and speech recognition). The workspace envisioned by Spielberg’s Minority Report can now be realized, although it is important to build a bridge between the new and the old. DataView gives users the ability to see and use their keyboard and mouse in the virtual workspace.
DataView VR is leveraging multiple elements: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, AI, advanced statistical tools, multi-dimensional visualization, cutting edge UI, and remote connectivity in order to realize this vision of the Workspace of the Future. DataView will be available for commercial use in December this year. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a demo.
 VR technology, in particular, has now evolved to a place where it is relative cost-effective and easy to use. Enterprises can install a top of the line VR-capable computer with a plug and play VR headset (no external sensors required) for roughly $1,800, and this cost will come down further with the launch of non-PC based VR solutions.
 VR resolution has doubled in the last two years.
 VR and AR technologies will inevitably merge, and as AR field of view expands DataView’s virtual workspace will increasingly become a VR and AR based environment.