NVIDIA ‘Holodeck’ Collaborative VR Design Tool Opens Applications for Early Access

News Bits


At today’s GTC Europe conference in Munich, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang announced an Early Access program for Holodeck, their photorealistic, collaborative VR viewer. Described as the “design lab of the future”, Nvidia Holodeck aims to provide a highly immersive platform for industrial design and development.

Update (10/10/2017): Initially revealed as ‘Project Holodeck’ at GTC San Jose in May, a virtual Koenigsegg Regera vehicle was observed and discussed by multiple viewers, including the founder of the company Christian von Koenigsegg, in a real-time, collaborative VR environment.

Today, a similar demonstration took place at the GTC Europe keynote in Munich, this time involving a virtual McLaren 720S. Multiple collaborators from different locations joined in the same virtual space, represented as humanoid avatars. Huang drew attention to four pillars of the platform – photorealistic models, physics and haptics simulation, team collaboration, and GPU-accelerated AI. Nvidia Holodeck is already being used to train robots as part of the Nvidia Isaac Lab.

Holodeck Early Access applications are now open, with initial support for importing models from 3dsMax and Maya. The plugin architecture means that Nvidia Holodeck should eventually integrate with most industry standard CAD formats/workflows.

For further information, visit Nvidia’s Holodeck web page.

Original article (5/24/17): At this month’s GPU Technology Conference 2017, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang opened with a live demonstration of ‘Project Holodeck’, a VR collaboration tool with rich visuals, partnering with Swedish car manufacturer Koenigsegg to show off a detailed CAD model of one of their vehicles. Early access to the tool will be available this September.

On stage at the event’s keynote, Huang presented Nvidia’s interpretation of a ‘holodeck’, with its three pillars of: photorealistic models, interactive physics, and collaboration. Christian von Koenigsegg, founder of Swedish high-performance car manufacturer Koenigsegg, was speaking live from a VR headset in Sweden, and gave a virtual tour of his Regera hypercar, along with a few of his employees. You can see a video of Project Holodeck in action heading this article.

While the avatars were styled as humanoid robots, the movement was based on the VR headset and controller tracking data, and as he described the car in his typically eloquent fashion, Christian’s distinctive mannerisms were easily recognisable.

The interior of the car was also shown briefly, and one operator placed their virtual hands realistically on the steering wheel, and another ran their fingers down the dashboard, showing accurate real-time physics at work, with no unnatural clipping.

Afterwards, some deliberate clipping was shown as the car model was cut away, revealing a highly-detailed chassis under the skin, thanks to the real CAD data supplied by Koenigsegg. Finally, the car was ‘exploded’ into thousands of component parts, all rendered remarkably high quality.

Nvidia says that Project Holodeck “makes it easy to import and beautifully render enormous models without geometric simplification. In the case of the Koenigsegg car, the model was a jaw-dropping 50 million polygons. This means creators can skip the time spent simplifying their models for VR, and spend more time exploring them at full fidelity.”

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. See here for more information.

The trial version of Microsoft’s Monster Truck Madness probably had something to do with it. And certainly the original Super Mario Kart and Gran Turismo. A car nut from an early age, Dominic was always drawn to racing games above all other genres. Now a seasoned driving simulation enthusiast, and former editor of Sim Racer magazine, Dominic has followed virtual reality developments with keen interest, as cockpit-based simulation is a perfect match for the technology. Conditions could hardly be more ideal, a scientist once said. Writing about simulators lead him to Road to VR, whose broad coverage of the industry revealed the bigger picture and limitless potential of the medium. Passionate about technology and a lifelong PC gamer, Dominic suffers from the ‘tweak for days’ PC gaming condition, where he plays the same section over and over at every possible combination of visual settings to find the right balance between fidelity and performance. Based within The Fens of Lincolnshire (it’s very flat), Dominic can sometimes be found marvelling at the real world’s ‘draw distance’, wishing virtual technologies would catch up.
  • impressive for 50 million polys, interactive smooth animation and multi-user too. Will follow this one.

  • Lucidfeuer

    Nice concept, but it’s Nvidia so it doesn’t “exist”. Also curious about how Source 2 is going to turn-out, but given it comes from one of the worst digital companies, Valve, I wouldn’t really count on it either.

    • J.C.

      Well, considering Source 2 is still what the most impressive VR experience STILL available was built in, I’d hope it’s actually pretty damn decent. WHEN we’ll see it will likely be in one or all three VR games Valve is making, which means “probably not before gen 2 headsets”.

      If the knuckles controllers come out prior to new headsets, I’d bet on Valve launching one of those games with them, possibly as a pack-in freebie.

      As for this Nvidia program…ehh. Looks like something that’ll be fun to fiddle with for 10 minutes, then I’ll forget it exists.

      • Lucidfeuer

        What’s most impressive about the Source 2 engine, is that 3D interactive assembly objects thing they’re showing in the video above, that’s why I’m waiting to see to. As for games…I think I’d better never see a Half-Life 3, but a Portal 3 would be amazing though.

        Nvidia, well that’s what I call “vaporworks”, almost unusable tools that are implemented nowhere.

        • Konstantin Udovickij

          Apparently NVTT, GameWorks, PhysX are “vaporworks”. Internet experts, such experts :)

          • Lucidfeuer

            Oh yeah all those softwares, games and actual products using GameWorks beside a few using “Hairworks” as a gimmick and Physx that has basically become a meta-joke with games like Gang-beast so much it’s crap. Oh yeah I like using Flex on 3DSMax and C4D so much, and those waveworks and turf effects on UE4 wow! Nope, these are shit unpractical tools. Except that NVTT I don’t know much about it, is it good?

          • Konstantin Udovickij

            You rant for the sake of ranting, arent you. Lets be honest, I will ask to provide one concrete example about whats bad with physx code, and you will shit your pants. The fact that you do not know what NVTT is signifies that you are not a developer, at least not a seasoned one. Hence, I dont see the point of continuing this discussion with a dilletante.

          • Lucidfeuer

            Any game with physx ever, but in my initial post I was talking about Flex. You probably don’t know what it is and what are it’s supposed implementations. And no, I know what NVTT is, I’m asking you to show me one instance of game/3D designer using them.

          • Konstantin Udovickij

            “Any game with physx ever” is not an acceptable answer. Give me examples of what is wrong with the middleware code. You cannot distinguish middleware from final software.

            NVTT is used by: Wargaming (all games), Epic (ue4), Witcher 3, Borderlands, Call of Duty. Those are just examples that I know (from some of the engines I worked on personally).

            NVTT is a programmer tool, not a designer tool.

      • Adrian Meredith

        which one was that? i think robot repair might have been source, the rest of the lab was unity

        • J.C.

          Robot Repair is Source 2. The rest is absolutely Unity.