Case Studies

Data Collection in Real-World Home Environments

BACKGROUND

Our client, a prominent social network company, hired us to help collect ground truth data for their consumer AR/VR headsets from a diverse range of real-world home environments. We took this project head-on, knowing we would help evolve our client’s groundbreaking products.

CHALLENGE

The client needed data from home environments to evaluate their AR/VR products’ performance for launch readiness and for corner-case training (i.e., training data for hard-to-track environments). The client expected us to establish and expand our collection site to a variety of locations in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific – all places where they were launching these products.

INVOLVEMENT WITH THE CLIENT

We worked closely with the client’s team to develop data requirements, to refine procedures for collecting high-quality data using motion capture systems, to build tooling, to manage logistics of data and equipment, to secure IP, and to handle privacy and regulatory issues, such as trade and customs.

SOLUTION

We started with a proof-of-concept for data collection using homes in the San Francisco Bay Area. After we fleshed out the data requirements, we scaled up operations and proved the value of the data collected to client stakeholders. We collected data with the clients’ devices by using them in the way end-users would be expected to use them (i.e., playing games or watching media in different environments). We used tools that interface with the devices to record key device data metrics.

We dispatched three (3) traveling teams that would collect data in Airbnb locations in countries across the globe where the client’s products would launch. We collected ground truth data using motion capture systems that can easily be set up in homes, then shuttled captured data from the homes (Airbnb locations) to our client’s campus for processing using large RAID drives to protect against data loss. We also worked with our client’s internal security teams to book local security agents for secure transport and safeguarding of IP and equipment.

RESULTS

In our efforts to achieve the client’s data requirements, the project’s global scale grew to over 15 countries in 100 cities utilizing 1,250 rooms in 336 homes. To date, the data we collected has contributed to the launch of multiple VR headsets and dozens of software products. The data we continue to collect is integral in supporting product development (although operations are currently paused due to travel restrictions caused by COVID). The data enables our client to generate KPIs for their product teams, and they now have a clear path for developing future products that function in diverse home environments. This project should prove valuable to the client’s ability to innovate and push AR/VR boundaries further into the real world.

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