The MRC Studio engages with existing businesses, start-up ventures, and not-for-profit organizations to address practical business problems. The business solutions that are created in an engagement with the MRC Studio address core business needs, including performance optimization, safety engineering, testing, education, and in the entertainment industry. The MRC Studio also provides consultation, advisory and support services to organizations beginning to consider how Mixed Reality can fit into their business.

Projects typically involve one or more subject matter experts from the partner company and Durham College (DC) researcher(s), who supervise two to four student research assistants. The company provides domain and business requirements and additional technical resources to the project team. Project length is typically 16 to 36 weeks, though projects can run significantly longer, including multi-year projects. DC has access to a number of funders who can contribute to project costs for eligible companies.

A selection of recently completed projects

Hey Taylor is an AR company focused on providing low cost, affordable, immersive shopping experiences for businesses to help consumers with a "Try before you Buy" experience. Hey Taylor developed an application that has embedded AR and AI-related solutions into online footwear stores’ customer experience. DC developed a solution for Hey Taylor that can use harvested foot and shoe images to create a Computer Vision pipeline to accurately detect foot and shoe dimensions. The proposed pipeline uses these dimensions to create shoe and shoe size recommendations. This process is meant to not only improve the shopping experiences for customers, but save time and money for merchants and help them reduce returns. Online shoppers can be confident in purchasing a shoe from an online store knowing that it will not only look good but also fit their feet as they expect long before they click buy.

In collaboration with Analog Motion, the DC team has been working towards developing and perfecting an innovative product that will provide portable full range motion detection for mobile VR and AR applications. The product promises to provide a fully immersive experience that is highly accessible to consumers through its low cost and simplicity of design. With DC, the company has developed the next iteration of a prototype with proven capabilities in VR, AR, and Motion Control. This product aims to serve a potentially massive untapped market within a greatly profitable industry, essentially bringing the immersive experience found on expensive VR systems to the cheap and accessible platform of mobile and smartphone VR/AR.

DC has developed custom headwall generator application for SMP Canada with embedded AR. This feature will provide their clients with the ability to customize headwalls independently and will equip their sales representatives with this tool to generate more sales. SMP Canada is a medical equipment manufacturer specializing in medical architectural solutions, with its key product being headwall systems.

DC and the City of Oshawa collaborated on a pilot project with the aim of a long term partnership to research, design and create an AR platform for Oshawa Valley Botanical Garden (OVBG). The outcome of this pilot project has enabled OBVG visitors to use technology as a navigation guide between landmarks, experiencing different parts of history in the park and the beauty of trees and peonies. Focusing on specific landmarks in the park, students researched the technology required and built assets in order to create an awesome experience for the public.

A selection of projects in progress

The workflows and capacity in pre-visualization and contextual learning is being developed for a user-driven demonstration artifact involving the exploration of an anatomical model in VR. The interaction model using haptic technology will also be developed for the gestural human interface standards to interact with virtual objects. These models will be able to build the basic 1:1 Room Scale VR template.

A prototype template of virtual training is in development using VR, motion capture, and integrated IOT devices. This real time training and simulation template networks two to three users into the same session, either to work collaboratively, or as an actor in the scenario. The project develops complex rig using BVH broadcast data from Captury / Neuron with VR Glove gestural or haptic interaction. It builds the advance 1:1 Room Scale VR Template with room mapping considerations.

A demonstration artifact capturing the performance of choreographed dancers is being developed to provide the facilities and field unit templates for the entertainment and performance sectors. It standardizes the complex character rig on top of Captury data, integrating hand control rigs and facial capture systems. It will set practical motion boundary limits on the mocap stage and standardize the tracking of DSLR and webcams for virtual production and 3D composition. The data capture system at the real-time engine level is being developed. Additionally, it will enhance the pipeline for character generation that utilizes quick transfer of rig standards to capture the acting performance of characters in the game or television.