Welcome to Vrok-it!

"Vrok" is a combination of Virtual Reality Online Collaboration and the verb to grok. Vrok-it allows multiple people to grok a 3D model in a way that simply wasn’t possible before.

Getting started

Click the QR code – or scan it from your phone – to launch a stereoscopic 3D viewer for Google Cardboard* connected to this session. The 3D models you load via this page – and operations you perform on them – will be visible to all connected viewers. You can upload your own models, but for best results keep these under 2MB in size.

Here's a video of Vrok-it in action showing both this master page and a connected client device:

Origins

Vrok-it was born in May 2015, when three software engineers from Autodesk entered a team in the VR Hackathon in San Francisco. The goal of the "VR Party" team was to enable a guide to assist someone immersed in virtual reality, essentially curating the VR experience. The guide would perform actions that the VR participant might otherwise find cumbersome, such as exploding a 3D model, zooming in on it, or cutting it with a section plane. Making VR more personal and social makes it an ideal tool for communicating design information, for architectural fly-throughs, site walk-throughs and model review.

The team soon realized it would be easy to allow the guide to curate the VR experience for multiple participants, much in the same way as proposed by Google Expeditions, announced just the week after at Google I/O 2015.

The team behind Vrok-it is (left to right) Lars Schneider, Kean Walmsley and Oleg Dedkow.

The project was well-received and was awarded the Hackathon prize for the "Best Web-based VR Project".

Over the following weeks the team implemented additional features, such as making it possible for people to create and manage simultaneous sessions. When launched "VR Party" became Vrok-it.

Technology

At its core, the project makes use of the Autodesk View & Data API, a web-based infrastructure for viewing 3D models, and leverages work previously published on Kean's blog. It has a Node.js back-end, with Socket.io handling the communication between presenter and participants. The site is hosted on Heroku and the complete source code for Vrok-it is available on GitHub.

* We recommend these excellent googles from GoggleTech.