Virtual reality - parallel life with their own currents

    Six months ago, I ended a contract in one exciting project. I miss him so much that I decided to "remember everything." The project is alive, well and is a web platform and SDK in order to quickly and painlessly create virtual reality for different requests. But that's not all, the company itself takes small orders and, using its own tools, creates virtual platforms for different needs.

    In the company, I held the position of QA Engineer. Do you know what it means to be a tester on such projects? First of all, it means doing a lot of exercise! Yes, yes, it's not for you to sit in a chair all day. Here you need to get on the plane, install a satellite receiver in the desert, and make an MRI and put out the fire. And in a circle many times. Because when you suddenly discovered that the sensors are not working on the plane, you reported this to the developers and went to the desert to mount the satellite, and there the wind unscheduledly dropped, and you hammer into this broken desert and go to the factory to extinguish the fire, you suddenly say “ we repaired the plane, check it, please, ”and are accepted to“ correct the wind in the desert ”. And so several times a day.

    So how does it feel to test virtual reality? Interesting. Tedious. Fun. Terribly tiring. Together.

    Virtuality flow

    For a start, let me tell you what is happening there, in a parallel world. At least within the same company.

    Firstly, virtual reality is a game world . These are computer games with the highest level of presence, a person is immersed in them with his head in the most direct sense: hears, sees, interacts with objects with his hands. Everything is so believable, the level of drive rolls over to the limit.

    In that company with my participation, we also made several games. One game, in fact, was a quest. Her goal is to please the guests of the customer. Yes, if you are a large company and you have a lot of money, virtual reality is a great tool for adding business pathos to your office: buy equipment, order the Virtual Reality game quest, your logos shine everywhere, and the atmosphere inspires the client to feel "on horseback" and want to return to you again. Not bad, right?

    Or, again, being a shrewd businessman, you create a presentation of your product or service sector in the form of a parallel world. Let's say you make equipment for oil producing / refining enterprises. A client comes to you, puts on a helmet, and now he is standing in such an enterprise in the middle of the desert, he can walk around, turn the valves, press on the sensors. We did something similar, the client was pleased. So, secondly, virtual reality is a spectacular business card.

    Thirdly, virtual reality is learning.And this, in my hopeful opinion, is the most promising direction of this industry. So, we did a project for one company that develops serious medical equipment. The project consisted of performing an MRI of a person. Step by step, starting with familiarization and filling out the necessary documents, shaving the hair on the patient’s body and ending with all the necessary protocols, the sequence of actions was worked out at various levels of complexity. The first level will give you all the guidelines for action, the second - selected tips, and on the third level you hope only for yourself.

    There was also a cool project for one leader in the field of logistics and express delivery. We made a game for them with elements of learning. Its goal is to quickly and compactly fold the boxes from the conveyor belt into huge boxes, which then, I assume, are taken by the aircraft. The boxes are all completely different sizes, so the task resembles the notorious Tetris, but at a new level. The game element is competitive here. The customer planned to install these virtual games in warehouses in different points of the geographic map so that employees could compete with each other. The program provided a scoreboard with a list of leaders and their location.

    There was the most for training projects: to work out the assemblies of various devices and devices or to work out the evacuation scenario; there, in the fictional world, it all grabs at a time.
    Talking about past work, I repeated the phrase parallel world many times. Let me now explain a little bit such an established association for me.

    Virtuality parallelism

    How is the moment of immersion in virtual reality? Today it is very affordable to try it; if you don’t have such a toy at home or in the office, they are found in entertainment centers, therefore, probably, many have already experienced it. And for those who so far bypassed this device, I will tell you how HTC Vive and Oculus Rift work. We used them.

    To immerse yourself in virtual reality, you wear a special helmet-glasses (the image is transmitted in a volumetric realistic form, depends on the skill of 3D Designers, of course), headphones, and one controller in each hand. On the controllers there are several buttons with which you operate for your actions. They are conveniently thought out, so you get used to them easily and quickly. Also, if, for example, the position of some part of your body is important for a game, a tracker device can be used to track it (this is how we fixed the tracker on the foot, making a rugby football game to track the kick of the ball). To work, you need to have a clean space of about 2 meters by 3 meters, in which there are no chairs and furniture to avoid bruises. Do not go beyond this space will help you two bases that you put on the edges, and they scan the position of your helmet. When you approach the boundary of the physical game zone, they will show the fencing grid. Teleport will help to mix over long distances. In the photo below, I'm on HTC Vive. In the photo above, I am the pink head in the foreground.

    So, you equip all of the above and go anywhere, into space, into the forest, into a city on the other side of the planet. Meanwhile, cars are buzzing outside your room, and your friends are drinking tea in the next room. Doesn't it look like paralleling ?!

    In my case, this parallelization was reduced to the fact that sitting in my room, wearing a helmet, I went to work in an office in London. It was there that the office where I worked for a year and a half was located. Together with English colleagues, we went to a single virtual reality room, tried different scenarios, joked, laughed. And then QA Lead and I sat on the floor and talked about working matters as if you would reach out and touch the interlocutor. In my opinion, a very cool version of the work for the remote.

    How to test virtual reality?

    About how to organize QA processes in general, I wrote in this article . Here I will describe in general terms how virtual reality testing is performed.

    For the most part, just like buying a new teapot in the store. You take a thing, look at it, touch it, think whether you like it or not; look at the coating, assess whether there are chips, dents; ponder whether it will not break after a couple of weeks of operation.

    Testing the project in virtual reality, we estimate:

    • Does every item look believable?
    • Are there any glare, flaws, gaps on the materials of the surfaces (the work of 3D designers)
    • do the sounds correspond to the events (first lightning, then thunder)
    • whether objects have the necessary physical qualities (the stone should not fall through the table and jump as the ball should not)
    • правильная игра теней
    • работает ли анимация (столб дыма, не должен быть статическим столбом)
    • читаемы ли все надписи
    • совпадают ли события со сценарием (самое главное!)
    • какие возможные чувства испытает заказчик (стремимся к вау-эффекту)

    Obviously, virtual reality testing is mostly manual. Whatever it is, it is a reality and it should be assessed with the senses. At the time of the deadline, it turns into red eyes, sweaty head from a heated helmet and a roar in the legs. That is what I had in mind when I said that such work is tedious and terribly tedious. But deadlines pass, and fun comes again.

    Summing up, I would say that working on such a project was the most memorable for me. And now I have a good idea of ​​how to make an MRI, how to assemble a satellite receiver, how to check gas leaks at an oil and gas plant and how to work in the sorting shop of a logistics company. The only pity is that I do not need it.

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