VirtualVanity – A Light for Better Video Conferencing Experiences
Product Furniture and Lighting
VirtualVanity – is a light developed for better video conferencing experiences. It helps participants see and be seen. It can be used to augment existing lighting or operate on its own. It’s 3D printed from recycled materials on-demand to minimise its impact on the planet and is tailored to avoid waste
Since COVID-19, video conferencing has become a big part of our everyday activities in business and home environments. Changes in work habits mean more face-to-face interactions occur online but the impressions left are often poor and un-business-like.
Our team was asked to design an integrated lighting solution that could be applied to office conference ( huddle ) spaces. The spaces were of various capacities, and have varying screen sizes and seating layouts within them.
The lighting solution had to be modular, easy to install, and make all participants look good on camera, yet be comfortable for those within the rooms: minimal glare.
To determine the appropriate type, form and location of lighting we modelled the various spaces and calculated scenarios to assess all light needs and options.
We conducted tests to create from a single light source a three-point lighting setup that provides a key light, a fill light, and a backlight to create depth and minimise contrast. This was achieved with a directional light source housed in a linear enclosure that uses various reflector shapes to direct and diffuse light to achieve the aims.
We also examined materials and construction to reduce waste, use recycled materials, and avoided glues or adhesives.
The completed solution reduces the number of lights required to light a conference space and this reduces installation costs, energy and material consumption. The unit can be easily installed in new and existing installations.
The light reveals the room occupants to online viewers better than other systems and is comfortable for room occupants; this improves the user and viewer experiences.
The actual light is manufactured using 3D printing which avoids offcuts and waste, and is made to order so stock is not held, stored or made redundant. For longer lengths, it can be fabricated in recycled aluminium with printed ends
The system comprises a linear 3D-printed base unit that is wall mounted horizontally above VC screens. They are printed in white for one or two-person huddle spaces and a highly reflective aluminium face can be added to improve light throw for larger spaces.
Where colours other than white are required the base can be printed in other colours but must be fitted with a diffuse or reflective face to achieve the desired light effects.
The height of the lighting unit varies with the size of the conference room size and layout. The mounting height of the unit on the wall is also dependant room features and size.
Shadow line fixing slots are provided along the top and bottom of the main channel to obscure the view of any fixings, this allows the fixings can be at any point along the unit to suit the variable locations of wall structure elements.
The units can be printed with trims for abutting or holding plasterboard sheets, or pinboards.