Reality Bytes

If a picture says more than a thousand words, an interactive 3D VR/AR environment says more than a thousand pictures

Is this the real life? Well, look up to the skies and see. These days, almost any pocket-sized device can create a completely 3D virtual (VR) or augmented (AR) reality, dramatically improving the way technology is delivered. It’s all thanks to the gaming industry, which has delivered tons of tech innovations to the masses. It makes you want to rethink the IT user experience from the ground up, mashing up the real-world perspective of the consumer or worker with unique, digital “realities.” This blend of reality and fantasy has radical disruptive potential in areas such as healthcare, training, maintenance, defense, R&D, and collaboration. Buckle up: bits are about to get real.

WHAT

  • Once confined to high-end computing work in research and the military, advanced 3D, 360-degree, and simulated realities are now mainstream. This is thanks to high-res, head-mounted VR displays such as the Oculus Rift and notably Go, but also through low-cost “cardboard” VR headsets, any of which can be combined with motion-sensing and 3D scanning technologies.
  • Augmented reality (AR) technologies are also quickly evolving, adding digital layers to the world we perceive. This can be as easy as pointing a smartphone camera at a subject to seek out more information, or through the use of dedicated goggles, headsets, car screens, projection systems, remote cameras, and even contact lenses or holograms of the future

USE

  • Using a simple cardboard VR headset, potential buyers of a new car can fully configure and experience their future car from all angles.
  • A cloud-hosted “smart glass” solution was paired with voice control and integrated with SAP to support field staff in even the most complex maintenance activities.
  • Within the concept of Industry 4.0, in search of operational efficiencies, using immersive technologies is clearly a differentiator. Combined with the use of 3D CAD data, technologies provided by for example Diota (AR) and Open Cascade (3D management and visualization) allow end-to-end solutions for the “augmented worker” in the factory or in the field.

IMPACT

  • Being able to integrate tightly with the perceived reality of consumers and workers, creating unique and intimate user experiences
  • Advanced visualization of data, making insights more contextual, clear, and actionable
  • Breaking the barriers of time and location to facilitate previously unthinkable and safer ways of experiencing, designing, modelling, and collaborating
  • Improving the benefits for field workers in production, maintenance, training and collaboration: reduced time to search and locate information, faster education and training process due to reduced face-to-face time, reduced error and waste rates in production and maintenance activities, increased accuracy and traceability of operations

TECH

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