IT Services in Calgary, Canada
VizworX thrives on using advanced technology to solve clients’ business challenges and transform their business. We collaborate with customers to deliver exciting software using an iterative approach called Agile. VizworX uses an Agile methodology for development, which means that companies are fully engaged in the software development and interface design processes to ensure the end goal is continuously evaluated.
Suncor, Worley, Husky, University of Calgary, IBM, Auroral Imaging Group, Energyphile,
Peter Tertzakian is a renowned energy pundit and bestselling author, who also happens to have a unique collection of energy objects and ephemera. So when he was developing Energyphile, his new project exploring the past, present and future of energy, he knew he needed an equally unique way to showcase his collection.
Peter recognized that social media connects people with people, allowing them to share their lives and moments. The Internet of Things connects devices with devices, allowing machines to share operational information. What about objects? How could things like art, photographs, museum pieces and even ideas or stories be similarly connected?
Any of the “museums” Peter saw online were simple linear catalogues that listed the records for each artifact. But Peter wanted a more dynamic user interface, one that would tell stories for each object in itself, and in turn show the thematic connections and relationships among all objects, ultimately telling an even bigger story. In short, he wanted a platform that would lead the user down a path of serendipitous discovery of our energy story. PhileSpace is this Internet of Objects and Stories.
VizworX worked closely with the Energyphile team to create PhileSpace, a uniquely visual platform for showcasing Peter’s collection. PhileSpace capitalizes on our natural curiosity and instinct for storytelling, inviting user-led exploration. Content is displayed in a dynamic, integrated interface highlighting the connections among the objects, while user interactions are intuitive, much like shuffling cards around on a table.
PhileSpace content includes short stories and vignettes, which are short “postcards” highlighting the objects in the collection. The vignettes are organized along two axes, by forces of change and a timeline. As well, the stories related to a vignette appear in the right sidebar. Users can engage with the content in several ways.
Canada’s Energy Regulator (CER) is a department of the Canadian government with a mandate to regulate pipelines, energy development and trade across Canada in pursuit of a sustainable energy future. Their decisions factor in economic, environmental and social considerations in all of our lives.
An additional directive from the government to be more transparent and accessible to external audiences (including regulators, investors, pipeline operators and the general public) led the CER to seek innovative ways to structure and share their data.
A successful initial pilot project convinced the CER that a series of custom data visualizations would help them deliver a highly functional, user-friendly solution.
The project was a multi-year endeavour that would see VizworX working closely with multiple stakeholders, from both the client and additional partners, to develop a set of data visualization suites using a large, complex dataset.
One of the most valuable skill sets VizworX brings to the table is formulating and implementing collaboration strategies. For this project, VizworX partnered closely with the NEB as well as a team from iLab, a division of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Calgary specializing in human-computer interaction and data visualization. Together, these groups made up “the team” that saw the project through from strategy to final implementation.
“We build collaboration into all our processes,” said VizworX CEO Jeff LaFrenz. “We use agile methodology and take a highly iterative approach where we make constant improvements based on
ongoing inputs and feedback from our partners.”
Taming the data
With all parties on side, the first task was to clean up the original data set, which included 300,000 rows of CSV data. This fell to the NEB part of the team who then handed it off to the iLab team members to design the visualizations.
Cenovus Energy Inc., an integrated oil and natural gas company focused on developing oil and natural gas assets in a safe, innovative, and efficient way, wanted a more sophisticated way to protect and monitor their properties. At the time, Cenovus implemented a security system at their entrance, which required employees to swipe their cards to enter buildings. However, the system was not optimal and security could still potentially be breached. Cenovus approached VizworX looking to develop a Face and Object Recognition Application to enhance entrance security while still being able to lower costs
VizworX proposed to create a real-time face recognition Windows Application using Microsoft Cognitive Services and integrate it with Exchange Server. This application used the camera to detect human faces entering into view and would extract and send photos to Microsoft’s Cognitive Services. The system would respond with the identity of users or record new users’ information. For this functionality, VizworX used a machine learning model that would help to recognize users’ identities, analyze face and object features. Face analysis can help detect facial features such as age, emotion as well as provide a general description. Once the system identifies users’ identities, this user could pass entrance security and enter offices. The application will interface with external services based on the identified user's input. This input will be primarily speech and allow the user to interact with the system and perform predefined tasks. This does not only utilize machine learning to allow authorized users to enter buildings but also helps reduce costs in card replacement and flaws in previous security systems.
Traditional ways of selling residential real estate has its challenges, particularly when you are selling homes that do not yet exist. Apart from building a spec home the developer does not have a way to allow the purchaser to experience what their potential new home will feel like. With residential homes being such an emotional and large purchase this is a barrier that prohibits prospective buyers from making a decision to move forward.
VizworX created a lifelike virtual reality (VR) experience for potential buyers to view all aspects of the soon to be available home. Alvaro was provided with a VR application that can be used in a headset for the most immersive experience. The virtual environment can also be viewed on a screen for broader audience. For an even broader use VizworX also provided a 360 video for use on web & mobile devices, to be used as follow-up sales and marketing collateral.
The application itself included various features. The prospect was able to see the unit with different lighting conditions, move through different areas of the home, and interact with elements of the home. VizworX included lifelike detail in the experience such as reflections on glasslike surfaces and shadows to give a realistic feeling of being in the home, all before ever hitting the construction phase of the project.
Design reviews often involve people in a boardroom looking at a 3D rendering of the design on a 2D screen. Teams review the proposed design looking for flaws but too often errors still make it into production. VizworX client, Worley, recognized that errors are less expensive to fix in the design phase than when they hit construction, so they sought a means to improve their design review process. The Worley team needed a way to inspect and identify problems & safety concerns on their upcoming projects during the design review phase. They were looking to minimize the number of design errors that make it to the construction phase by improving the design review process.Solution
Ensureworx Panoptica is a collaborative AR environment that allows multiple users to view, manipulate, and interact with a single model at the same time. By using the power of Panoptica, operators, safety inspectors, and other personnel are able to tour a to-scale 3D model together, therefore experiencing a realistic site visit prior to breaking ground in the construction phase. Panoptica allows for increased engagement and overall improvement of the design review process. Worley was provided with an augmented reality application which can be controlled using mobile devices as well as a desktop suite. Worley staff were able to engage with the 3D models using natural human interactions during an engineering design review meeting as if the models were physically present.Result
Using this tool, operators, trainers and safety inspectors were able to identify significantly more flaws and potential safety concerns with the design using this technology compared to viewing it on a 2D display. This led to hundreds of thousands of dollars of savings just in material costs as well as less time fixing errors. Visit Panoptica by Ensureworx Here: https://www.ensureworx.com/
Clients were limited to seeing the initial designs of the “Yorkville Corner” and “Spiral” art installations for Mattamy Homes on a 2D screen. Trying to visualize a 3D render or even a 3D model does not give you the true spatial sense of what you’re looking at. Visualizing the scale and actual experiential qualities of these installations was an issue Heavy Industries wanted to address, as the main idea is the experiential potential of their project. The experiential aspects that were lost through a simple render included the livable experience of how walking through the installation at night would feel and how light from the installation itself would be experienced. Clients also struggled to visualize the actual scale of the installations with renders alone.Solution
VizworX planned to develop a Virtual Reality application that allowed for clients to step into the world of VR with the Oculus Rift to simulate what it would actually be like to walk in and around these art installations. VR would allow people to visualize the scale and how it would look like in the surrounding environment. As a means of addressing these experiential issues, different controllers would be added to the program.Result
Our VR application provided the full experience by allowing people to virtually walk through the Mattamy Homes community and experience these art installations. The finalized application allowed for users to choose different viewing heights, seasons, weather conditions, and times of the day. These alterable settings allowed clients to see how the light of the installations would be perceived at different times of the day, and how shadows of the structures would be formed as the sun moved through the sky. It also allowed for people to realize the actual scale of the installation and the different ways they would be able to interact with it.Features
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Data visualization by VizworXChallenge
Morphometrix Imaging Technologies was looking for a way to have their clients utilize and understand the results from their tool which converts an equine ultrasound to a 3D object and provides additional analysis on the results. They needed to make it easy for technicians to use, keep track of information and review all the information given from their technical solution. From their existing software tool they wanted to productize it to make it marketable to veterinarians.Solution
VizworX built a robust website with complete functionality surrounding the product. The site itself accepts payment from users through Stripe and allows Veterinarians to select and crop the section of the ultrasound to review later. Users are also seamlessly able to view a 3D object of the resulting model as well as specific slices. Snapshots are also available so users can easily review exactly what they need.
By using the new tool, researchers experienced significant increases in efficiency when it comes to finding patterns in the data they’ve collected. As a result, they are able to focus their energy on interesting points of the aurora. Their research processes have not only become faster but also more targeted.
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VizworX created a data visualization which displays the globe and overlays a visual representation of the aurora generated from the sensor data.
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