Why we built the SuperViz SDK and API

Posted by | December 16, 2022

The SuperViz SDK is designed to be the easiest way to add immersive collaboration with video conferencing and avatars to any 3D web application with just a few lines of code.

It enables people to meet directly inside remote locations and 3D content. All via browser.

We sat down with SuperViz CEO and Cofounder, Russ Rive, and VP of Engineering Tommy Lindestrøm, for a series of conversations about the value of creating immersive experiences with a sense of presence and the benefits of building collaboration into web applications.

Here they share the backstory on the SuperViz SDK development: 

The SDK is fully customizable – companies can focus on building just the features they need, including:

  • Automatic multiplayer-enabled integration with avatars, pointers and controls
  • A full-function video conference layer for 16 people
  • Synchronized app properties in real time between meeting participants
  • Flexible avatar support for glb and GLTF models
  • Broadcast mode for up to 230 participants
  • Developer dashboard with detailed usage statistics and management

“When we first started the company a few years ago, there was an idea of creating something like an experience of teleportation with photo scans of a real-life location, or a designed virtual location, with the added ability to meet together remotely inside that digital space as if they were together,” says Rive.

The concept was to keep the advantages of meeting remotely, plus provide a sense of presence and enable each person to move around with an independent point of view. All with the ability to look and point and discuss as if they were really together in the space. 

The team realized early on that it needed to be something easy to access, easier than virtual reality at the time, so the tool was created to run in browsers and be accessible to everyone. The first approach was to create a space where people uploaded 360 photos and digital scans and had the capacity to activate embedded video conferencing meetings inside them, complete with avatars and freedom to move around the virtual space.

“The biggest request we got by far, though, was for us to make this work as an embedded feature inside customers’ platforms,” Rive shared. “It turns out the idea of immersive collaboration in 3D space is a very distributed problem.”

“And everyone’s process is a little bit different. Everyone’s got their tool, everyone’s got their scans… some people are already using a tool that has their workflow process built into it. And that’s when we started building integrations to support that.”

SuperViz’s approach with this was to start building for the most requested integrations… Matterport, BIM models, Sketchfab, 360 content. But that quickly became an endless list and a huge project for the team to maintain.

“So we started looking at how to enable other platforms and web applications that have 3D space data represented, to have these features inside of it, to make it really easy for other people to add this inside of their own product,” Rive says. 

That’s when the idea to create a SuperViz API and SDK came about, along with a much bigger mission – the concept that anyone out there that has a 3D application with a web viewer can turn it from single player into a collaborative, multiplayer experience with a sense of presence.

“Our next part of the goal then became, how can we make that so easy that someone within a week, one reasonably good developer could get the code, get it up, and have a proof of concept running in the application quickly.”

The integration can be up and running with just a few lines of code. It provides the simplest way to increase engagement by adding the capacity for real time face-to-face interaction inside digital spaces. 

Learn more at sdk.superviz.com/sdk

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