Loci for AR and VR

Loci works for AR and VR

Loci currently is provided as two variants, Loci AR Mind Map in Augmented Reality on the HoloLens, and Loci Memory Palace in Virtual Reality on the PC.  Both have a free seven day trial period and can import mind maps.

Loci uses three core concepts; mind maps let you break a problem down into component parts, enabling you to do analysis, mixed reality interaction with mind maps to visualize in 3D how they are related, and method of loci persistent placement of mind map nodes to improve your recall of the mind map, even when you are not using the Loci software.  In this way you can break a problem down, understand it, and remember it later when you need to use that information for decisions.

Get Loci for PC/MR on Windows Store

Loci Memory Palace puts you in an 3D Memory Palace where you can make mind maps using the Windows Mixed Reality headset, and handheld controllers. You can use the controllers to move, scale or rotate nodes or designate them for voice commands, or to select a place to move to.

Get Loci for HoloLens on Windows Store

Loci AR Mind Map helps you put nodes and links in your own real settings using the HoloLens, such as your home, where you can place your notes and ideas with real items to help you remember and think about them.  You can use one or two hand gestures with your own hands to move, scale or rotate nodes.

You could load your mind map to work on at home with your HoloLens, and remember it best that way, and while on the road, work with it in VR on the mixed reality headset and have it available to review or update with your insights.

Both versions of Loci support gaze and voice interaction combined, so that the use of hands or controllers is not required at all times.

Both versions of Loci share the same mind map graph format, *.loci, and both have initial import capability for MindManager, Freemind, and GraphML.  This allows you to bring in your previous mind maps, as well as mind maps from other people.

Import to Loci

Get Loci for PC/MR on Windows Store

This post describes file import capabilities for Loci Memory Palace available for Windows Mixed Reality headsets.  Here we provide an overview of the formats, our import of the format, and usage in Loci.

Loci Memory Palace currently imports three file types; MindManager, Freemind / Freeplane, and GraphML.

Loci has its own file format based on JSON, which has the file extension *.loci.  It supports concepts of graph, node and edges for general graphs.  Our initial import capability imports nodes, implicit MindMap relations (links), explicit relations, colors, urls, notes, and titles, and 2D positions where possible.

The Loci voice command to import is to say “Load Graph” which will use the system file browser to find files with extensions Loci can import.  Once imported, you may wish to use “Graph Reset” followed by “Graph Layout” to use our force directed layout in 3D.

The MindManager format has the extension *.mmap and is actually zipped (compressed) xml based text.  It is generally a strict mind map format and not a full graph format, in that it expects one or more central nodes.  MindManager is a capable 2D mind mapping tool for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android that has scheduling capabilities, and different 2D views.

The Freemind and associated Freeplane format has the extension *.mm and is an unzipped xml format file.  Like MindManager, it expects central nodes, with implicit links (edges) to nodes nested within it.    Freemind and Freeplane are  java based open source 2D mind mapping tools available for Windows, Mac and Linux, and are widely used as an intermediate mind map format for exchange between systems.  We tested our import using Freeplane, which is a fork and likely superset of the Freemind app and format.

The GraphML format has the extension *.graphml and is xml based.  It primarily uses the abstraction of nodes and edges (links).  It allows for a wide variety of graphs, a superset of mind maps.  This includes freestanding nodes, graphs with cycles, and bi-directional graphs.  And of course it allows for typed edges (links, relations) between nodes, while in Mind Map applications such relations are an exception.   The variety of GraphML we have tested on has been produced by yEd, a free 2D java based graph editor available for Windows, Mac and Linux with nice automated layout capabilities.

Loci Features Explained

This post describes important features of Loci, and compares Loci features with related work by others to give you a better idea of what Loci does.

First, Loci supports mind map interaction on graphs.  So it is easy to add a node to the graph in augmented reality, but it does not have to have a central node.

In Loci, nodes have locations.   If you place a node somewhere in your room, it will show up there next time you view that graph.  This is not the same for the other mind map applications, they will load the same mind map, but it is not anchored to a place in the real world.