IoT and Big Data are changing the way the world moves, and so do data visualization solutions keep evolving. With a plethora of IoT devices and lots of data revolving around, the important information needs to be analyzed. Only then, the opportunities can be identified, and the operational efficiencies and productivity can be improved.
Moving a step ahead in Data Visualization
Before the birth of IoT and high-tech data analytics, spreadsheet data could be simply exported to a chart. Now with the entry of Big Data, data scientists develop data models to extract insights from large datasets. When there are no data scientists in the company, the management uses third-party SaaS products to analyze the data.
But what if there was an option to interact with data, and literally walk around the data? What if you can control the visualization like a child’s play? Welcome to the future of Data Visualization with Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). The modern-day visualization can change the way we interact with data and how we interpret them.
Coming to the age of Big Data, 3D visualizations in mixed reality is the ideal tool. It helps the decision makers to understand data and glean the insights. These types of visualizations enable organizations to unlock the power of Big Data, especially in healthcare, agriculture, and governments.
AR/VR: A data visualization revolution
Data visualization with AR and VR is the next big step in getting quick insights easily. It provides the ability to create hyper visualizations and a 3D model of the massive amounts of data. The useful information and statistics can be easily viewed with ability to slice-and-dice data. This is a big advantage over the conventional visualizations on a 2D screen.
AR/VR adds beauty to the data visualization and user interface. It has the power to encompass millions of data points in a single 3D model. When each datapoint is given a mass and a velocity, the static model comes alive before the user. The entire picture becomes easier to interpret when an AR interface is used. User can become less dependent on static data model and start to engage with data to make complete sense. Adding to that, multi-player and collaborative visualizations would act as a game-changer and turbo charge decision making.
Upgrading to the next-gen data visualization
A major stumbling block in mixed reality is the limitation of a single player experience. And the introduction of social media puts forward the need for a collaborative experience. An immersive mixed reality experience provides freedom for multiple users to work on multiple visualizations simultaneously.
The collaborative 3D environment connects data with human pattern recognition to discover multidimensional relationships in data. It helps to uncover actionable knowledge that 2D visualizations cannot reveal.
Consider an example of info-rich 3D scatter plots versus the normal 2D scatter plots. In the case of 2D scatter plots, visualizing the multivariate data requires multiple scatter plots. This would overwhelm the viewer and obfuscate the data patterns. Whereas the case of 3D scatter plots enables combining multiple metrics into a single graphic.
Geospatial data can also be embedded in immersive 3D maps. Consider an example of a global company dealing with seismic activity records. These data can be projected onto a globe, with the ability to deep dive even till ground data. The visualizations can also be shared instantly across organizations. It also removes the traditional data silos and helps decision makers get the correct insights.
Visualizing data in different forms and collaborating in real-time
A collaborative form of immersive data visualization is now trending among the tech community. This data visualization method maps data out on a table in the form of a forest. Here users can hover over the forest, see any datum, and generate charts. Looking at each tree, the viewers can clearly see the recognizable data dimensions. They can even manipulate a combination of those dimensions, and visually recognize patterns. The people standing around the table can add new datasets, variables, and understand data completely through AR.
Similarly, a whole project and its functionality can be visualized on a single 3D visualization. Powerful AR data projections enable 3D data visualizations of the project and its components. For example, consider visualizing a building on a table with divisions such as HVAC, Water, Rainwater, Cameras, Security, Parking, Eco roof, etc. This visualization in the form of holograms can be accessed through mixed reality smartglasses. The building can literally be taken apart piece by piece to unlock data insights easily. The visualization also acts as a virtual meeting space where distributed teams can come together and work on the data projections as if they are all standing in one room.
A critical use of mixed reality data visualization is seen in the healthcare industry. Doctors use mixed reality smart glasses to assess patient information visually. The high-resolution imagery minimizes eye fatigue and enable faster decisions. It turns time-intensive work into an intuitive and collaborative experience. Since the devices are IoT-connected, the visualizations can be displayed to nearby devices in real-time.
Mixed reality data visualization for industrial purposes is still in the early stages. The major purposes of these kind of visualizations are dedicated to video games currently. But considering the data explosion, data visualization agencies can use the projection capability of AR for powerful data visualizations.
Imagine seeing an entire factory floor’s data functioning aided through the company’s IoT devices. This way the complete production chain would be under control, while monitoring the operational efficiencies in real-time.
The meeting of AR/VR with Big Data builds great opportunities in the creative space. Data visualization and visual communication started to gain recognition in the early 2000s. And now, the mixed reality innovation in the Data Visualization field is ready for some mind-blowing stuff.