Strat
01
Project Brief
Project timeline
Sep - Dec 2019
Project Type
Academic
Virtual Reality
Contributor
Designer
Jiacheng Yang
My Contribution
Visual System
Service Design
Interface Design
Interaction Design
3D Visualization
Productivity Centered Computing Platform.
Strat is a hardware and software system designed for productivity in a virtual workspace. It contains a portable VR headset, a foldable keyboard, a stylus and various modules including a power adapter, game controller and more.  Strat is for computer users who thrive with multi-screen setup, users who thrive with long focused working sessions, users who love remote working or travel a lot. It is designed for creatives, programmers, journalists, video editors, composers as early adopters. Strat is a new way of working that is immersive, powerful, portable, efficient and affordable.
02 Challenges
With mass market VR available, it is time to think how it will influence our productivity beyond gaming.
01
What will our future of productivity look like?
02
How to really* be more productive with virtual reality?
03
How to interact efficiently with the virtual workspace?
Play Overview Video
02-01
The state of productivity with Virtual Reality.
In the year of 2020, VR is starting to become a crucial creative tool for designers and artists creating 3D content. Tools like Medium and Quill allows creatives to create never seen work or work extremely fast. The gif on the right is my workflow from VR tool to PC tool for motion production. In my 200 hours of working with VR creative tools, I found it very frustrating to switch between VR and PC workflow. Can we create a system to fluently connect PC and VR?
02-02
What if...
What if you can bring the best of two worlds together? What if you can have the power and workflow oriented setup of a PC workstation, and the portability and immersive working environment of a standalone Headset? Will this make it a great machine not only for art related works but to improve productivity for all kinds of use cases?
2016
2019
2020
2023
Mass market VR enables productivity use cases.
Oculus Quest - $400
Pay $399 and have what cost $2400+ in 2016. First consumer ready 6DOF standalone VR HMD.
Vality - 200 grams
High FOV, 6DOF, light weight HMD, less than half the weight of Rift or Vive.
Strat - A system built for productivity
HMD are going to be more portable, more powerful and more affordable in 2023. People will start to use VR HMD as personal computers for productivity.
02-03
Productivity tools market landscape.
Strat is a new system that targets the spatial computing usage among professional users. 3D artists, concept designers and mechanical engineers who thrives with multi screen setups.
02-04
For professional creatives who wants...
More Space
Not be constrained by screen size, work with however big space. Set up different spaces for different workflow.
Focus
Free from the distractions around you. Find a place to concentrate on what matters to you by simply put on your headset.
Work Anywhere
Free from the heavy setups that are impossible to carry around. Take your work station anywhere you go.
Efficiency
Generally faster operations, more fluent interactions. Spend less time organizing, more time making.
ROI
Powerful and affordable. Not breaking the bank for wanting your home workstation anywhere you go.
Seamless VR&2D Workflow
Not having to constantly switch between normal PC mode and VR mode will significantly increase efficiency.
02 Challenges
If the day when we all wearing a HMD is coming, what then?
01
What will our future of productivity look like?
02
How to really* be more productive with virtual reality?
03
How to interact efficiently with the virtual workspace?
Headset
Design
Workstation power, as small as your takeout box.
Stylus and keyboard for every 2D and VR app.
Software Design
Infinite work space for all of your professional apps.
A new operating system built for productivity workflows.
02-05
A great virtual workstation with all your favorite PC Apps.
When you jump into your work space, Chrome, Slack, Photoshop, Cinema 4D and many more are all there. You can expect this system to work like a great PC with no compromises in an unlimited workspace.
02-06
A dynamic work space you can customize however you want.
Whether it is programming with vertical screen in minimal space, editing video in a dark room or modeling with real life size car in front of you. You can freely customize the space to your needs.
02-07
A compact system with everything you need to work your best anywhere.
Bring all the workflow with you in a compact hardware system built to be modular and ultra portable. With a stylus, keyboard and power adapter included, this would be the only thing you need to carry to produce professional work whenever wherever.
02-08
A portable keyboard for every PC App and every shortcut.
A keyboard brings all the existing App you use on PC to VR. With hand tracking and 1-1 keyboard presence, using keyboard input in VR would be easier and more fluent.
02-09
A powerful stylus to command your cursor or sculpt a robot.
Use it to control cursor for 2D apps, or use it as a 3D controller to interact wit 3D contents. You can definitely use your input device of choice: mouse, full VR controllers if you want.
2016
2019
2020
2023
=
+
Why does it have to
be a stylus?
Drive cursor just like a mouse
2D cursor is the key to effectively navigate 2D interfaces. But mice are hard to hold in the air as a 3D controller.
Move in 3D like a VR controller
VR controllers like the Oculus touch is well optimized for VR apps, but it is not built to drive cursors fast.
Light Mouse & 3D controller
A stylus provides a familiar way to control cursor and it is easy to hold in the air for 3D control inside VR apps.
02-10
Modern VR HMD with inside-out tracking, high FOV, High resolution.
The headset has a light weight design with display specs that makes sense for a 2022 machine :) 5 cameras provide inside-out tracking, gesture tracking and object tracking. The light rim on the headset indicates "focus mode is on". When used in public, the light rim suggests: "leave me alone thank you"
02-11
Modular system with infinite expandability.
The whole system is designed with modularity in mind. Except the headset, all other parts can be changed to other modules such as midi controller, game pad, power supply and of course the original keyboard and sytlus unit.
02-11
Swap to a game controller module :)
If you are a gamer, take a game controller with you.
02 Challenges
Imagine you have infinite space, how would you work there?
01
What will our future of productivity look like?
02
How to really* be more productive with virtual reality?
03
How to interact efficiently with the virtual workspace?
02-12
Virtual docks and windows.
This, is me editing this video in VR :) with cursor and keyboard, you would have no problem using this machine like you work station.
02-13
Unscatter windows.
Push the stylus against the table surface, rapidly swipe and you shall have every window unscattered.
02-14
Effortlessly scale windows.
Rotate wrist while dragging a window to scale window proportionally.
02-14
Move windows around.
Move windows around with stylus with ease. Move windows to pre defined position or anywhere you want.
02-15
Custom stylus interaction.
With a virtual stylus tracked in VR. User can access shortcut via gestures to make things even faster.
02-16
Custom keyboard interaction.
With keyboard and hands tracked in VR, not only will the user strike keys precisely, user will have access surfaces for interaction.
02-17
Switch between spaces.
When you jump into your work space, Chrome, Slack, Photoshop, Cinema 4D and many more are all there. You can expect this system to work like a great PC with no compromises in an unlimited workspace.
03
Brand Design
Strat is for stratOSphere.
Strat is named after Stratosphere by my friend Qinyi. Stratosphere has a OS within and draws a beautiful picture of a place that is quite, peaceful, beautiful but crucial. The logo indicates the stratosphere as well as a head looking at a curved display from top down view.
04
Result
Making something that people would love.
After working on the project I was approached by HTC Vive's VR incubator and Venture Well capital. A Lot of folks in the working with VR would love to find this and buy it right away(due to me over-promising a bit on the bright future). I've had late heated discussions with VR users on Strat's feature set, and friend demoing me what they think would be best.
My friends really enjoyed this idea and want to make it happen as much as I do. This, made Strat my favorite design project as a student.
05
Process
Behind the scenes...
There are tons of research, prototype and iterations behind this project. My mentor Eli Guerron inspired me to work on productivity oriented problem and provided tremendous help during the development. If you are curious of more how this concept is created, shoot me a email or text me on LinkedIn.
06
Next Steps
Turn any keyboard to a virtual keyboard
After a business class at Art Center, me and my instructor found that for a student to start such a huge project, we might as well start from the most feasible but valid pain point: transform physical keyboard into VR without additional equipment...