Working Apart, Together: How VR & 3D Scanning Are Shifting The Nature Of Remote Work

March 31, 2020

As the world’s workforce shifts to telecommuting, more companies are focused on improving the modern remote work experience. Connectivity issues and interrupting toddlers aren’t the only problems employees encounter when working from home. The need to truly collaborate on big projects simply doesn’t go away when your team is dispersed.



There are still huge upsides to working remotely, including higher employee satisfaction, reduced operating costs, and the chance to hire the best candidates no matter where they are. To ensure our workforce retains their productivity and job satisfaction, forward-thinking solutions are needed to solve remote work’s greatest challenge: Giving workers the power to work together remotely.


Contemporary tools like Slack, Asana, and Microsoft Teams all work to help bring employees closer together no matter where they are, easily exchanging messages and files to spur new ideas. Yet there’s a growing need to do more with less - that is, to truly share ideas in an environment that not only replicates the value of interacting in person, but augments it further in beneficial ways.


This is where virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) can truly shine. Coupled with 3D printing technology, these components of the modern dispersed workforce will come into their own and expand the way we do business across sectors. Here’s how.


VR In Practice


It’s time for your weekly team meeting, and you’re working from home. You and your coworkers log on to the VR team channel, built with a framework like Aframe, to have the meeting virtually in real-time.


The head of your product development department is excited to show you the latest prototype. Formerly, you may have viewed the prototype as a CAD file or photograph; however, now that your team has implemented VR, your options are far less limited.


Using Scandy Pro, the head of product development scans the prototype and creates a 3D model to share within VR chat. Now everyone (or rather, everyone’s avatar) has the chance to interact with the original 3D model file and the 3D scan of the prototype part, giving their thoughts and opinions on a prototype they can fully appreciate in this new virtual setting. What’s more, anyone on the engineering team with a 3D printer can then take this original design file and try printing with different materials or settings to iterate it quickly. Taking 3D scans of the physical outputs and uploading to the VR space would allow the entire remote team to evaluate every option in VR. True remote collaboration on digital AND physical output! 


By leveraging the VR & 3D scanning tools available, your company gets better feedback in less time than ever before, and at a lower cost. By the time you log out of VR chat with a friendly wave goodbye, you’re ready and able to do your job with better information - fully aware that you can hop onto a VR call with clients, coworkers, and supervisors whenever more information is needed.


It’s not a far-off prospect. In fact, this is exactly what the latter half of 2020 could look like, particularly as remote work defines not our future, but our collective present.


The Future We All Live In


VR experiences like the example mentioned above are already widely available, with products like Glitch using the Aframe VR framework to create interactive virtual environments in a variety of use cases. Bringing 3D versions of physical objects into these environments only requires Scandy Pro, which uses a standard iPhone to scan, refine, and upload said objects into VR.


The upshot to these technological innovations is essentially this: We are living in the future VR we were promised. As the products continue to evolve, more advanced use cases will crop up, providing new opportunities for the companies eager to invest in their digital transformation. However, now is the time to start using what’s already been made available.


Building a remote-ready workforce means doing whatever you can to enhance the productivity and comfort of your hard-working staff. By making these opportunities a priority, companies around the world can remain connected and engaged with all the latest internal and external developments - no matter where we may be physically. In virtual reality, coupled with 3D scanning, what we see on our screens and headsets is increasingly what we create for real world use.


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