How close are we to turning Virtual Reality (VR) applications into everyday tools used on a large scale to learn, collaborate, play, or receive healthcare? According to the Justinmind team, this revolution could be imminent. The key? Killer apps that will drive massive adoption – and tools enabling us to involve a much broader range of professionals in the creative process that will deliver them. Justinmind could be a stepping stone in this process. The successful platform, which currently has 2 million users, offers user interface (UI) design tools for the creation of web and mobile app prototypes without any coding skills. Thanks to the EU-funded JUSTINMIND-XR (The First Code-Free Rapid Prototyping Platform for eXtended Reality (VR/AR/MR) and Spatial Computing) project, the team is now taking this idea one step further into the realm of Extended Reality (XR), which includes Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality technologies. “With Justinmind XR, users will be able to prototype software applications that can be visualised and experienced in an immersive environment,” explains Xavier Renom, Justinmind CEO and co-founder. While Augmented Reality (AR) adds digital elements to physical environments, VR creates a fully digital 360° experience. App development projects in both areas still face several hurdles: Lack of standardisation and high technical knowledge requirements often make it difficult to bring the right people on board.
The Justinmind team set out to resolve this issue by offering AR and VR design software accessible to anyone. “Our objective is to democratise the design of any type of computer application, making it easy to prototype and validate complex programmes. That is why our platform is completely code-free: you don't need to know any programming language to use it,” Renom says. To get started with Justinmind XR, users will need to download the programme. Building the prototype involving various profiles and teams can then easily be done online thanks to the tools’ remote collaboration features using cloud services. “You can look at Justinmind XR as a testing tool,” Renom adds. “Usually, the problem with testing is that it occurs when the app is already built: any design error discovered has huge budget implications. With our approach, you can test the project early, reducing the risk of costly rework and project failure.” The team has also taken the cost factor into account regarding the equipment required for experiencing the VR or AR simulations. While high-end devices are supported, smartphone-based headsets provide an affordable, fully functional alternative further lowering the threshold for large-scale adoption.
XR application areas span virtually all sectors of society, from education and public services to manufacturing and healthcare. As physical and virtual worlds are increasingly intertwined, Justinmind’s developers believe it is becoming increasingly important to create tools and processes for testing experiences spanning the physical and the digital world. To cater to this need, they have developed the concept of XRgonomics testing. “XRgonomics capture the physical and digital interaction together. For example, this makes sense for automotive applications or medical devices with a physical and a digital part.” Justinmind XR is scheduled to launch in October 2021 as an update of the existing Justinmind platform, just before the formal end of the JUSTINMIND-XR project at the end of October.
JUSTINMIND-XR, augmented reality, virtual reality, user interface, UI, design tool, VR design software, AR, extended reality, prototype