June 10, 2020 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US has announced that it intends to award a sole source fixed-price purchase order to Georgia State University, in order to offer more robust and realistic VR training solutions on laboratory safety, quality, and preparedness topics.
The CDC’s main objective is to improve laboratory safety training by being able to better evaluate user progress, responses, and evaluations. The CDC states that the project will be able to immerse users in environments that include 3D characters created from images of real people. These characters will be able to train laboratorians to identify user-based issues and problems, thereby training them to prevent costly and dangerous lapses in protocols, procedures, and activities.
3D volumetric video capability is a necessary component of the CDC’s requirement, which requires a HOLOSYS system for creation and/or development. By using this system, the CDC states that it will be able to investigate the creation and use of volumetric video capture within VR training courses.
Georgia State University (GSU) has been selected as the sole source candidate, as it has a HOLOSYS system that has the capability to record live footage that will be converted into 3D volumetric objects. These objects will then be imported into augmented and virtual reality training products.
GSU rents out its facility, technology, and operators in order to accomplish this volumetric capture, and in fact runs the hardware and software, processes the video and 3D models, and delivers a complete packaged-up file that can be inserted into the CDC’s Unity-based training programs. GSU also assists with room calibration, recording, and post-recording cleanup and processing of files in order to provide the CDC with the necessary completed 3D files.
According to the CDC, there are only eight HOLOSYS systems in the world, which were created by French technology company 4DViews. 4DViews provides one such volumetric capture system at its main office in Grenoble, France, which took more than ten years to develop. There are three HOLOSYS systems that are partners to 4Dviews that are located in the United States, and are situated in California, New York and Georgia. The one at GSU’s Creative Media Industries Institute (CMII), is the largest of the three systems stateside and features 32 cameras in a 30-by-30-foot space that reaches 16 feet high.
The CDC states that part of the justification behind why GSU has been selected as a sole source provider is due to the fact that Georgia State’s system is physically the closest to the CDC, which is located in Atlanta, Georgia. Since HOLOSYS systems are not portable, and objects that are being scanned need to be moved from their location to the HOLOSYS, this makes GSU’s system more convenient to access for multiple on-site visits, which will be more cost effective and efficient.
That being said, interested persons or businesses are still able to identify their interest and capability to respond to the requirement or submit proposals. The notice of intent published by the CDC is not a request for competitive quotations; however, all quotations/responses received before June 12, 2020 will be considered by the government. Any information that the CDC receives will normally be considered solely for the purpose of determining whether the organization will go through a competitive procurement process instead.
For more information on how to submit information to the CDC for a volumetric capture system, please email contact Auganix. The deadline for submissions is 5:00pm EDT on June 12.
Video credit: 4DViews / YouTube