CONTACT ME:

Tel: 412-758-0526

Email: jimingli@andrew.cmu.edu

4500 Centre Avenue

1423, One on Centre

Pittsburgh, 15213

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KNOW CAP

Overview:

Know Cap is a mixed reality annotation tool designed for capturing expert knowledge in a manufacturing environment. Utilizing novel headset technology, users can author digital annotations (such as voice, drawing, or hand tracking) in order to show process, associated data, or in-context instructions. These annotations, which act as a virtual sticky note, can be transferred and stored on the physical object so that others and view and interact with this information with either a headset or tablet. 

Roles: 

Programmer, Mechanic Designer, UX designer, UX researcher

Other Teammates:  Ian Sterling (UX designer and Artist from ACCD)

Platform: HTC VIVE Engine: Unity 3D | Language: C# | Time: 11 Week

Project Requirement: 

Knowcap is a tool is designed for manufacturing, it is generalizable enough to be utilized by workers in other industries. Expert knowledge is an important form of data which could provide rich insights for future Autodesk applications. We envision a world where information and instructions are easily created by subject-matter experts for others to access, giving them a deeper understanding and awareness of certain workflows or processes. 

Development Process:

In 2019 Summer, I worked in Autodesk, Inc. at San Francisco as an XR developer intern. I worked in the IEX(Immersive and emerging experience) group of design future teams from Autodesk Research Office. I gain massive development experience as well as some other way more valuable lessons I learned.

In my spring semester at ETC, I was cooperating with other 5 talented, enthusiastic and creative teammates to create a cross-platform tutorial experience for a 3D metal printing machine. During the development process, I found my interest in developing XR applications for medical, construction and education purposes, and there are massive low-hanging fruit deserves more in-depth research. Therefore I started looking for summer intern positions in those areas. My first choice interns are those research assistants in XR research labs from companies like Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft, etc. 

Since I have used Maya and 3DMax to create 3D models for over 5 years, I regard Autodesk as an admirable company to create reliable products targeting industry customers. Therefore I searched for their XR developer position and found my current position developing XR/VR prototypes to explore boundaries in XR industrialized usage. 

I received my first Autodesk Interview at the beginning of April. My manager Hans Kellner showed great interest in my project experience as well as my BVW prototypes back in the immersive semester. After guiding him through my quick prototyping experience in multi-platforms, he carried out a couple of tech interviews targeting on my unity and XR development experience and my general coding skills. Luckily my last semester project brought me massive experience of developing a local back-end structure, which is frequently used in my summer intern project. Then I got my offer by the end of April and started my internship by the end of May.

At Autodesk, I and another experience design intern, Ian are accountable for building a VR prototype called Know-cap. Know-cap is a mixed reality annotation tool designed for capturing expert knowledge in a manufacturing environment. Utilizing novel headset technology, users can author digital annotations (such as voice, drawing, or hand tracking) in order to show process, associated data, or in-context instructions. These annotations, which act as a virtual sticky note, can be transferred and stored on the physical object so that others and view and interact with this information with either a headset or tablet.

Though this tool is designed for manufacturing, it is generalizable enough to be utilized by workers in other industries. Expert knowledge is an important form of data which could provide rich insights for future Autodesk applications. Our project targets in creating a world where information and instructions are easily created by subject-matter experts for others to access, giving them a deeper understanding and awareness of certain workflows or processes. 

During the project, I was not only accountable for developing the tool but also took part in the interview, brainstorm and design process. I found being involved in those process helped a developer to gain a more specific integral idea before developing, and giving the designer some advice from developing side can also help designers to build a more feasible and reasonable user flow. Besides, carrying out user-tests through the entire development process targeting on diverse audience also contributes to creating a simple, stable and comfortable user experience. After the development process, those data collected from massive user tests can be applied to further evaluation and research. Working in a data-driven company, I was instilled with the same idea every day: in a huge industrial system, the data obtained even every second is worthy of in-depth analysis. Only by obtaining a wide range of multi-dimensional data can we find key pain points in time, which is the most important session in the industrialized software development cycle.

Undoubtedly, the summer intern experience motivates me to uphold my career goal as an XR experience developer. From the interviews against engineers in similar positions, I found the projects at ETC are highly valued as proof of developing skillsets. Besides, the background knowledge in the computer graphics domain will also be crucial during tech interviews. I will keep in touch with teammates I met at Autodesk for further follow up advice. There are lots of CMU graduates as well as other immersive experience developers from other projects, their career experience overlaps with mine will definitely be valuable as a reference to make decisions. 

I feel my summer internship experience to be satisfying, fulfilling and precious. I gained not only professional development knowledge but also experience working in the industry, which are both helpful for my full-time job. I am communicating with my manager for a further cooperation chance, and I will be more willing to work in similar XR research groups after my graduation since I take XR experience researcher as my career goal.