A 3-minute Lenovo
But not any ordinary pub. A virtual pub. The landlord is David Sime, CTO and co-director of Riiot (Realities in Internet of Things) Digital.
Founded in 2020, Riiot who are digital transformation consultants specialise in creating augmented and virtual reality-based training, education and data resources. David brings clients like data scientists to his VR pub to show what Riiot can do. They collect massive amounts of data using IoT sensors, and present it visually within a virtual environment. Powering David’s pub is his Lenovo ThinkStation P620 workstation.
“Clients need to be impressed,” says David. “If they don’t say ‘This is amazing!’ during the meeting, we’re not going to get the gig. Now with the ThinkStation P620, they usually do.”
It’s not just pubs that David can build. He’s also created boardrooms in the middle of deserts and helped companies hold virtual site visits without the need for anyone to travel.
On site, Riiot protects employees working in hazardous environments or helps them learn on the job with a suite of augmented reality solutions.
As you can imagine, making this magic happen requires a serious amount of power. 5G and Low Earth Orbit Satellites provide low-latency connectivity between the IoT sensors and the VR devices, and David’s ThinkStation P620 takes care of everything else.
“We’re using the ThinkStation P620 to make mixed reality more affordable for our clients. It takes care of all the processing power, and streams the output to more lightweight mobile devices using high-speed, low latency connections. So end users only need lightweight glasses for VR, and their own phone or tablet to experience immersive AR content.”
David Sime, CTO and co-director, Riiot Digital
Though the company is still in its infancy, Riiot’s client list reads like a who’s who from the worlds of oil, gas, energy and construction. “These companies are responsible for the safety of their employees,” explains David. “They’re working on oil refineries and in factories and power stations. If we get something wrong, people die.”
Thankfully, David knows he can rely on his workstation. Using virtual reality, employees can tour facilities as if they’re in a first-person computer game instead. Potential hazards can be identified using IoT sensors and pre-emptively rectified by an untrained on-site employee and a remote expert using augmented reality.
David has to make sure these heavy-duty big data and mixed reality applications have all the power they need. And ensure that none of the hardware crashes at a critical moment. Despite the huge computing and graphical processing demands of these workflows, the ThinkStation P620 has yet to skip a beat.
“I’ve run programs on the ThinkStation P620 that have brought other machines instantly to a halt,” says David. “It’s never had to use more than 20% of its processing capacity for anything!”
Most of David’s other most exciting projects are going to be powered by the ThinkStation P620. One is Holoxica’s Holoviewer. It’s an app that turns data into 3D visualisations, without the need for any headsets or goggles.
Instead, Holoviewer uses Looking Glass Light Field 3D displays. When put together, these displays can project 3D holograms and animations. Think the famous recording of Princess Leia in Star Wars but in colour and HD. Rather than sending a distress signal to a Jedi Knight though, Looking Glass displays and Holoviewer are used for medical education, anatomy visualisation, surgical training to make accurate medical diagnoses , inspect buildings, digital twins etc.
Other machines have struggled to run Holoviewer smoothly. But as you’ll see in the above video, not the P620.
“Soon we’re going to be doing a live transatlantic stream using Looking Glass,” David tells us. Holoxica already developed 3D Telepresence running on the Looking Glass displays. “Impressing a client with a volumetric recording (that’s filming something from all angles to you and us) means it has to be flawless. Thousands of screens all working in unison. It takes an immense amount of processing power, and it’s all done from a single P620 workstation.
David’s ThinkStation P620 has 128GB of RAM, a Threadripper CPU and a NVIDIA P6000 graphics card. “It makes my gamer friends go green with envy,” he chuckles.
This cutting-edge hardware has powered VR classroom and workplace simulations that have been snapped up by leading UK universities and the Foreign Office. David’s VR platforms are also enabling older people to share walking 3D experiences with friends and family.
His ThinkStation P620 is helping to coordinate green energy projects which use drones and AI to work out the best place to install solar panels. It’s also going to help workers in the fossil fuel industry retrain in renewables. And it’s going to help rapidly solve skills shortages in industries like welding.
“We’ve created AR solutions to help these workers develop muscle memory as they learn, by merging the physical and digital world. We even work with a Teslasuit’s full body haptic suit, capable of replicating sensations from rain drops, machine vibration and impacts to even generating g-force, having Lenovo help power technology like this for our Industry partners is a match made in heaven.”
Here’s David trying out the Teslasuit himself with the help of his ThinkStation P620. It’s clear to see this is one of his favourite projects to date!
We ask David if there’s anything he doesn’t like about his ThinkStation P620. “Not really,” he muses, scratching his chin. “Though sometimes I lay awake at night wondering if it’s plotting to take over the world.” Clearly David’s been watching too many Matrix and Terminator films. The P620 doesn’t have the power to do that. Yet. Watch this space.
“I challenged my 100,000 LinkedIn followers to send me something that can break this machine. Something it can’t handle. I know a lot of people in the graphics industry, and so far, not one of them has managed it. Or even come close. The ThinkStation P620 hasn’t even broke a sweat yet.”
David Sime, CTO and co-director, Riiot Digital
David’s rundown of the
Lenovo ThinkStation P620 in 30 seconds
It runs silently. And it’s reassuringly heavy. You just know this is a workstation packing a punch.
I’ve seen clock speeds of 4.2ghz for both CPU and GPU rendering. Which is great because I don’t need to pre-test software. I just know it’ll work.
I can create complex visualisations of environments, and use AI and big data to predict how those environments are about to change. It all happens quickly, as the ThinkStation P620 can switch between workflows without breaking stride.
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