App democratizes augmented, mixed, and virtual reality in engineering and manufacturing

Jan. 10, 2018

Tamworth, Staffordshire, UK. Theorem Solutions announced it has officially launched a new app that is democratizing the use of augmented, mixed, and virtual reality in engineering and manufacturing. The Visualization Experience app forms part of Theorem’s Digital Realities product family and has been specifically developed for users to engage and interact with their engineering and manufacturing data.

Using augmented, mixed or virtual reality in engineering or manufacturing is still in its infancy, the company said, adding that while there are large automotive, aerospace, and defense companies already using virtual reality in Caves or Powerwalls, most organizations are just starting to figure out if, and why, they need the technology.

“Virtual Reality has already been used commercially for over 30 years, but in expensive Powerwalls and Caves, and is driven very much by niche suppliers in the engineering space. Therefore, even for companies with deep enough pockets, the availability and access to it is very limited,” observed Stuart Thurlby, Theorem’s CEO. “The use of the new wave of VR devices, along with new devices for augmented and mixed reality technology, is beginning to gain momentum in the commercial world.”

Consumer use is being driven by a very different requirement—it isn’t the engineering and manufacturing world, but the gaming and social media world. It is these industries which have driven the development of the new technologies. Although gaming itself has been around for 20 years or so, the VR/AR/MR devices are relatively new, very low cost, and widely available. The technology is merging these two worlds.

Engineering and manufacturing involve complex processes, the company said. While the technology and price points are compelling, how to use it and determining which processes to change takes time. This probably means that the market in engineering and manufacturing for this technology and its solutions won’t become mainstream and widely adopted for the next 12 to 18 months.

“Both Theorem, with our Visualization Experience, and the engineering and manufacturing organizations we are marketing it to, are ‘early adopters.’ We are trying to determine the best use cases for these new technologies and at the same time working out what the return on investment will be,” Stuart explained.

“Although there are companies who offer virtual, augmented or mixed reality solutions for use in engineering or manufacturing, Theorem are one of the first to offer a solution for all three technologies. Theorem’s Visualization Experience app is available for augmented, mixed, and virtual reality devices,” he continued. “Our solution means that the CAD and PLM data only needs to be prepared and optimized once, but can then be used on augmented, mixed, and virtual reality devices, allowing flexibility and freedom of choice.”

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