High-latency and low-throughput satellite communications are no longer the focus, instead, new large bandwidth and low-latency connectivity is here. This low-latency, high-throughput service from MEO is offering connectivity like never before, anywhere in the world. This new technology offers the military access to a variety of new solutions that could be deployed in-theater that wasn’t possible with other satellite options. To explore this, our friends at the Government Satellite Report sat down with Matt Ratcliffe, the Co-Founder and CPO of Masters of Pie, a company with an innovative AR/VR collaboration solution that could bring the military a new tactical edge with the help of satellites.
Government Satellite Report (GSR): Can you tell our readers a bit about Masters of Pie? How did the company get its start? How did it get its name? Is there any, actual pie involved?
Matt Ratcliffe: Masters of Pie is a software company which began life using gaming technologies for enterprise purposes. The name is actually randomly generated, but we have become quite fond of it. It represents our ability not to take ourselves too seriously and to have fun building new work tools of the future. However, we do love pie and often can be seen sharing pies at our exhibitions or even in the board room!
GSR: What do Masters of Pie’s solutions – including the Radical Platform – enable enterprises to do that they couldn’t before? How do they enable collaboration and problem solving?
Matt Ratcliffe: We began developing prototypes for immersive (VR/AR) collaboration over 3 years ago. We took these prototypes out to some of the leading aerospace and automotive customers in the world and witnessed a common problem in these organizations.
The first problem being silos of complex data (often 3D) that take a lot of time and effort to share across departments and disciplines. The other problem we observed was designers and nondesigners had to try and speak the same “language” and often resorted to PowerPoint as the lowest common denominator, which is poor when working with 3D “digital twins.”
By developing a collaboration platform like Radical that could take this heavy-duty data and share it live with anyone in the world in real-time, combined with an easier interface that immersive technology provides, we can see huge improvements across design, assembly and training in many different industries.
GSR: What could some of the military applications be for a solution like this? Could this be used in the field for service and maintenance of military vehicles/weapon systems?
Matt Ratcliffe: One of the popular use cases we are currently developing is the ability to combine a user in the field with a remote agent who has access to all the CAD and associated meta data back at H.Q.
In a military application, we could easily see an engineer on-site repairing a vehicle or piece of hardware, using holographic CAD to rapidly understand how to assemble/disassemble rather than trying to decipher a manual. They can then bring a relevant expert in real-time to provide even richer information and rapidly accelerate the process.
GSR: Could it play a role in telemedicine/telehealth and delivering medical treatment for deployed warfighters?
Matt Ratcliffe: Indeed, it could. Similar to the use case above, medical data could be shared in real-time with a remote expert who can walk the medic through complex treatments step-by-step.
GSR: What are the network/connectivity requirements for a solution like yours? Is a high-speed, high-throughput, low-latency connection necessary for an optimal experience?
Matt Ratcliffe: The technical challenges of immersive (VR/AR) collaboration are that the devices themselves need very high frame rates in order to provide realistic holograms or virtual environments.
If you combine this with very heavy data sets (sometimes in the gigabytes) then you will need hardware that can provide high bandwidth, high-throughput and low latency. We see this technology now in active development and being deployed, so we feel confident there will be an efficient backbone in place once immersive collaboration becomes utilized in the very near future.
GSR: In many of the places where the government and military operate, secure, high-bandwidth connections are often unavailable, insecure, compromised or otherwise denied. In those instances, could a high-throughput, low-latency satellite connection enable access to your solution?
Matt Ratcliffe: With Radical we spent a considerable amount of time building a solution that meets very high stringent security needs and as such we are currently testing our collaboration system with the military in the US.
Our most – in our opinion – useful technology is our streaming solution that shares pixels rather than 3D meshes. This combined with full end-to-end encryption we feel, will give the greatest level of security for valuable 3D and 2D data.
Streaming over immersive collaboration has similar high frame-rate requirements, and as such, will need modern communication back ends to facilitate it – such as low latency, high throughput satellite communications.
For additional information about the benefits of high-throughput, low-latency satellite connectivity for the military, click HERE. For additional information about Masters of Pie and their applications, click HERE.