Immersive Virtual Reality (VR) systems such as the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive provide a sense of “presence” that is not available in traditional voice or video based communication methods. Without the sense of “presence” in the environment, a designer’s interpretation of the environment or design in question may be ill informed or skewed, based on the communication medium. The authors of this paper present a method to dynamically recreate a real-world environment in a virtual environment and provide an interface for physically-present individuals and geographically dispersed team members to collaborate. The method allows multiple remote users to naturally and immersively view a realistic representation of a dynamic real-world location in real time. This process incorporates consumer RGB-D sensors and VR systems into a distributed, multi-user virtual environment that has the ability to render large visual data in real-time. A case study using commodity RGB-D sensors, computing hardware, and standard TCP internet connections is presented to demonstrate the viability of the proposed method.

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