Use of virtual reality (VR) in industrial design and engineering is growing rapidly. Aerospace, automotive, and consumer goods are just a few of the industries leveraging VR technology.
The shift to VR for professional use is significant, if only because this technology had fallen out of favor for some years. A steady progression driven by the the gaming industry has seen computer graphics hardware and software performance increase to the point that VR and visualization has become a vital tool for a number of sectors.
But not all VR experiences are created equally, and the right fit for one industry isn’t necessarily right for another. Choosing the right VR experience for your organization can be the difference between a transformative tool and an expensive waste of technology. Let’s look at a few factors that will help you determine the right immersive VR experience for your organization.
Is your focus on engineering, design, or both?
Different industries use VR for different purposes. Understanding how and why your organization will use VR technology is critical to its successful implementation. Let’s look at a couple of examples.
Automotive engineering and design teams use virtual reality to identify problems such as interferences, body gap inconsistencies, and interior ergonomics validation. The ability for teams to come together and view specific areas of the vehicle in real-time provides for efficient collaboration.
These teams commonly use cave automatic virtual environments (CAVEs). CAVEs are multi-sided, virtual reality environments where single or multiple users are immersed in a real-time, rendered 3D environment. In the automotive design and engineering worlds, CAVEs can help streamline go-to-market capabilities for companies looking to perfect their product before incurring the costs of tooling and prototypes.
Unlike the automotive industry, the Aerospace industry’s use of VR focuses on the engineering process. All major aerospace companies use some form of a PowerWall in their engineering cycles. Many combine those PowerWalls with head-mounted displays (HMDs), which can help simulate walking around the outside or inside an aircraft model.
What level of quality do you need?
Once you’ve decided among CAVE and PowerWall options, you need to ensure your new system meets all of your viewing requirements. That could mean adding tools and capabilities to the existing system.
For example, you might add a sophisticated optical tracking system if you want users to interact with a full-scale model with precision. HMDs might also be necessary based on the functional and performance requirements determined with your integrator.
It’s critical to work closely with your AV integration partner to understand the unique requirements of your industry and applications. At IGI we understand that every organization’s needs are different and there’s no one-size-fits-all VR application. Download our latest eBook, See Beyond, to learn how the VR market got to where it is today and how major organizations across a wide variety of industries are using VR to enhance engineering, design, and training processes.