Collaborative, Immersive Mind Mapping

Jerad Bitner
2 min readJun 20, 2020

— A case study —

The ViARSys team was contracted to create a prototype of an immersive mind map in virtual reality. What you are about to see is alpha-level software and many more improvements are on our roadmap. The desire was for the execution of workshops and EFQM analysis in Virtual Reality. In addition to interactive participation in the workshop within VR, there is also the possibility to participate via PC desktop client or via streaming.

Sample Mind Map using a portion of the Animal Kingdom classification system.

Services provided by ViARSys

  • Design
  • Development
  • Project Management

Designing a mind map

While traditional mind maps are something the client typically uses in a conference room setting, the challenge of doing this while remote was one problem to tackle. NeosVR was used to develop this application which has remote collaboration features already built-in.

The greater challenge then was to design a way to create mind maps in VR in a user-friendly manner that doesn’t rely on any knowledge of the NeosVR development tools. We accomplished this within Neos by designing an interface that allows the creation of new mind map nodes and the editing of their details with simple point and click operations.

Immersive navigation

Each node ends up being its own ‘space’ which you can enter and add data into, be it an image, a video, a 3D model, or text. This enhances the traditional mind map which is typically just an artifact that you look at on a screen, and allows the users to enter each node and experience what is inside while still keeping the overall connecting nodes of the mind map visible to navigate between each one.

Tagging and highlighting nodes

Each node has space for some extra metadata, or tags. Combined with an interface for inputting these tags, this functionality allows the highlighting of any nodes with a particular tag chosen by the user. This allows for quick and easy targeting of multiple related nodes on mind maps with large amounts of nodes.

Collaborating through Crisis

VR has given us the power to collaborate even though we are geographically distant, and in the midst of a pandemic. We are able to feel like we are in the same room with one another and through Neos, work together at the same time on a particular project, communicating just as if we were together physically.

Interested in more?

Email us at if you’d like to try out this application, or are interested in partnering with us to create similar immersive applications.