Contributed by: Maia Mongado
Glue is a collaborative meeting app that supports model viewing together in a shared space. Users can visit different rooms, pull up and resize different models and look at them together while also having avatars. It also has a desktop version that integrates quite nicely with the VR version.
Glue, like many other modeling apps evaluated, has various different paid capabilities. It has a free version that you can use for an unlimited amount of time that allows for 10 meeting rooms, up to 10 users sharing a space, 30 minute sessions, and 2GB of Team File storage.
While they are not as well documented, they do have a series of videos that cover different capabilities.
Supported imports: FBX, OBJ, STL, GLTF 2 (.gltf or .glb), PLY, 3MF
VR Requirements and Setup
Glue is compatible with the following PC headsets:
HP Reverb & Reverb G2
HTC Vive and HTC Vive Pro
Oculus Rift and Rift S
All Windows Mixed Reality VR headsets
Accessibility: The estimated time for someone to get it up and running
Availability - Somewhere in between ShapesXR and Prospect - it requires a SteamVR download and therefore a PC-compatible headset. The free version is quite useful although has some time limits and people limits - this is primarily a paid app meant for businesses to conduct their operations virtually, so there is quite a large pay barrier.
Ease of use - There is a short opening video that you can watch to familiarize yourself with the controls that has been noted to be quite useful - however, not as useful as a DIY tutorial, a la ShapesXR for example. The controls were described as intuitive - the space is more detailed and fleshed out, which users noted could cause problems with dizziness, nausea.
Power: The engine's power - i.e. how much one can do with this
Low: The data visualization is done well, but there is quite a large lag with larger models and not much possibility of changing existing meshes other than resizing them.
Usage: Evaluation of software's use for the following purposes
Art / Game Design - Unlike ShapesXR, doesn’t have the ability to move through different work spaces, and doesn’t handle large meshes well - probably not best for art / game design.
Science - Not great at handling larger models and also doesn’t have an easy way to switch through work spaces, edit meshes, etc. The collaborative environment is well done but somewhat detailed - probably over complicated for something where data observation and visualization is the main focus.
Education - The set up process is complicated for the team leader but not so much for guests. In addition, this has detailed spaces and avatar representation, which really mimics a real life environment well. In addition, there is speech to text abilities, white boarding, and laser pointers that all lend themselves well to leader / follower / educational purposes.
Users noted that the avatar representation was extremely detailed, much more than your usual scientific app - much like Sims, users had the ability to change their facial features and clothes. While this was appreciated, users noted that in a more scientific environment this could be distracting to the main focus of the app.
There is spatial audio in the app, which is the primary mode of communication between avatars. There is the ability to point with laser pointers, as well as a white board capability. In addition, there is speech to text set up - users noted that this was especially useful since typing in VR is difficult, but written messages are useful for message persistence, etc. Users also noted that writing on the white board was also much better than the usual VR method of typing out messages.
Users were able to explore a model together and point out different parts, thanks to the leader / follower ability and the laser pointer ability. The shared workspace was very well fleshed out in terms of scenery, as well as the avatar representation of people. Users noted that this made it easier to know where to go when prompted by other people (i.e. “next to the windows”) and organize amongst themselves. However, it was also noted that this could be distracting from the purpose of data visualization (which makes sense, as this is primarily a virtual meetings + collaboration app) as well as disorienting at times.