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3D¥VR Cloud system service

Price/Release schedule:TBA Simulation

Purpose of cloud type VR application
Advantage of cloud
In the standalone application, the minimumre equipment is a computer which allows the control of VR application. As real-time rendering of 3D movie and simulation calculation are performed with this computer, an advanced, high specification computer is highly recommended.
Should you want to execute driving simulation and walking simulation, a special simulator hardware is required and that may result in increased complexity of the system configuration.

The following list shows the items required when adopting the system.

  1. VR application cost
  2. Contents development cost by purpose of use
  3. Hardware cost including computer, monitor, steering, and chassis
  4. Settlement cost of hardwares and other equipments, delivery cost
  5. Maintenance cost, update cost

1-4 are initial costs, and 5 is running cost. The following items are considered as running costs,

  • System troubleshooting during operational period
  • Updating of outdated representations and featuress in VR

however, once the system is installed, the system will often be operated in the same condition. Therefore, the mounted application such as VR applications are different in most of cases, so that it is difficult to manage the condition of each system. Due to it, when the problems occurs, it might be required much working effort to recover the system. This type of the administrative problem will be charged by the customers who adopts the system.

In these cases, most of the problems can be solved by adopting cloud type of VR (SaaS). The following advantage can be enjoyed.

  • The expensive and high specification graphic board is required to display realistic VR movie. However, when you use SaaS, VR images are created on the server and the high specification computer is not required on the client's end. This helps in cost management.
  • When VR application on the server is updated, all terminals connected to the server are applied simultaneously. Therefore, management of individual computers is not necessary. This helps in work-time management.
  • When the trouble occurs in the computer of each system, troubleshooting is easy.
    When you use computer where VR application is not installed, the driving simulation can be performed anytime and anywhere.
  • The created contents are open to the public on the Web, and the driving simulation can be experienced by them. As a result, the feedback from both the related group as well as the mainstream public can be collected. This can be used for the explanation of various service, experience of the simulation, and advertisement.

When cloud type of VR is installed, it is advantageous to both developers and users. As the update and maintenance cost can be reduced, it provides high cost-advantage.

Figure1,2 Scheme of UC-win/Road, a3S, and client computers

Feature of cloud type VR application
VR has features to reproduce the realistic environment where driving, walking, interaction with environment, and communication with others can be performed. Anyone can use it as "Communication tool using VR" in a wide range of scenes.
This communication tool is a system which acquires information during simulation and provides for other users and related people who is working collaboratively in a project. (Text and diagram).
This time, the functions for consensus formation were developed and they can also be used for collaborative design, education, and training.

VR is an excellent communication tool which allows simple communication through the integration of a number of information. In addition, it helps individuals understand a variety of events easily through visualization by simulation.

One of the advantages of cloud is the use of the function of thin client software. Data management and system operation can be performed regardless of place and computer environments.
To provide additional value to VR application, simulation can be performed by integrating external analysis software.
In the case of a standalone system, analysis software is installed in each user's computer, and complex settings are required. In addition, users are required to possess the same system version in order to be consistent in the application management. The cloud system results in the reduction of user's operational cost and easy management and support of people who provide the service.

Other than operational advantages, it also encourages the development of online service of other applications by integrating VR applications with other applications.
It is expected that the service for adding the value in cloud is provided including the system which allows the evacuation training, training for evacuation guidance, evacuation experiments by many users by linking with application of evacuation analysis. Besides, it can be assumed that the visualization of control system of robot, machine and facility and the construction of cloud type control interface.

Improvement from previous version
The performance and functionality of UC-win/Road for SaaS are mainly developed.

The latency (time it takes until the user's operation reflects in the result of user's interface) of system is largely reduced. If latency is large, it may cause the user to feel uncomfortable and experience simulation sickness and this makes the operation difficult.

In the system configuration of UC-win/Road for SaaS, the calculation of the operation executed by users and creation of movie are performed in server side, and the results are transmitted to the computer as a movie. Latency by data communication between computer and server and latency by data process occur.

In this development, the data progress and the use of network protocol (TCP/IP) for information transmission. This allows the optimization of performance and burden in server side.

The frame rate and latency are measured in multiple resolutions, and Figure3 shows the measured result. The existing simulation functions of UC-win/Road can be used, and a new consensus formation support tool has been developed.

Frame rate* (frames/sec)  Latency(ms)
Screen resolution Previous version  New version   Improvement degree Previous version New version  Improvement degree(Average)
320~240 27 50 185% 500-1500   100-400 400%
640~480 15  35  233% 500-2000  100-400 500% 
800~600 9  28  311% 700-3000 200-600  287%
1280~720 4  20 500% 1000-4000  200-600 625%
1920~1080  0.5  14  2800% 2000-4000 500-1500  300%
Figure 3 Measured result of frame rate and latency
*Frame rate of VR drawing is calculated by the number of frames which are drawn in client PC per second. Frame rate can be defined by giving the screen resolution and the number of frames per second. 

System configuration
The system of UC-win/Road for SaaS consists of multiple modules.UC-win/Road application is activated in the server side, and the new client softwares are activated in the client side. Between application and client, there are modules for the preparation and communication of operational information, movie information, and other data.
The system which connects UC-win/Road with client computer is developed as independent system, and called as "a3s". For the details of a3s is described in the next article.

Available feature on client computer
Existing features
With the control function of view point, the move to the saved landscape view point, rotation of view point, and rectilinear movement are supported. Driving simulation on road and flight simulation on flight path can be performed. The predefined script and context can also be executed.

Driving simulation
As the latency is largely reduced by the improvement of system performance so that driving simulation can be performed.
For the general computer, the driving is operated with keyboard. In the future, the development of the linkage with each hardware is scheduled. Therefore, the purpose of driving is for the check and study of legibility and design of road sign and electric bulletin board while designing the road rather than for check of driving.

Figure 4 Driving simulation

Walking simulation
This function was released in UC-win/Road 5.0, it can be used for this version of UC-win/Road for SaaS. The walking simulation is generally performed by using both keyboard and mouse. However, in order for beginners to use this function with ease, it can also be performed solely by using the mouse. In addition, there is also a function to display the avatar where you are.

Figure 5 Walking simulation, display of avatar

Consensus formation support tool
In the comment function, you can post your opinion and engage in discussions like an internet forum.

Figure 6 Comment function

Client GUI
It is not the existing Adobe Flash Player, but a newly developed client software.It can be installed with a wide range of browser same as Adobe Flash Player. The latency that elapses before displaying the movie transmitted from server was largely reduced as compared with before.Moreover, all user interface was developed using OpenGL. 
Graphical user interface using OpenGL

Now, the scenario set in the data of UC-win/Road can be used. It supports for the interactive driving simulation, change of environment and surrounding traffic situation based on user operation.
In this development, the scenario feature of UC-win/Road has been mainly expanded. The event starts by clicking on the 3D model in virtual space like in reality.

Future development
Now, the scenario set in the data of UC-win/Road can be used. It supports for the interactive driving simulation, change of environment and surrounding traffic situation based on user operation.
In this development, the scenario feature of UC-win/Road has been mainly expanded. The event starts by clicking on the 3D model in virtual space like in reality.
(Up&Coming '11 Fresh Green Leaves Issue)