In November 2017, Boris Müller approached Julian Braun and me to form a team of two for a project in cooperation with SAP and DFKI, the aim of which was to find novel approaches to visualise complex business databases.
We identified specific user scenarios, such as board of directors, financial controlling and operations management. Accordingly, we conducted expert interviews inside SAP to gain detailed insights of user needs.
With these insights, we started to define a set of 3D objects, physical attributes, and gesture-based interactions as our basic elements, and with them prototyped interactive 3D visualisations using ARKit and Houdini on a large test sample of anonymised actual business data, which helped to make the data objects realistic in their complexity.
Distinct units of data are represented as clearly recognisable data objects that can be distributed in physical space.
A data object represents a specific data structure like an account or a line item.
Attributes of the data are mapped to the physical properties of the data object.
Spatial arrangements can be used to sort and organise data objects. This system enables users to generate meaningful data constellations that create valuable and rewarding insights.
For the final product, we made an image film using the ARKit prototypes for instructing the actors.
In post production, we added high-quality rendered versions of the AR visualisations from Houdini.