Leaders in Driving Change: How Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are Changing the Industry

Nov 16, 2016

Virtual reality – a current buzzword in the media. Thanks to powerful modern technology, applications in which the viewer has the feeling of being in the middle of a 3D world are becoming increasingly feasible. In the digital gaming world, whether computer games or mobile phones, VR glasses are among the latest trends. Due to these developments, new perspectives are also open to the economy and technology.

Often, two abbreviations are used for the topic “virtual reality”: VR and AR. The biggest difference for the user with VR, virtual reality, is that a complete environment is simulated in which one acts. With AR, augmented reality, additional information and 3D data are faded into reality. However, the real room in which the viewer is located is visible in all details and with all objects through conventional camera technology and live display.

In order to take advantage of this virtual progress from the industry and to be able to use it effectively, the company IPO.Plan from Leonberg develops useful solutions in the field of 3D planning of factories and productions. For several years now, the company has been established in the automotive industry and in medium-sized businesses and continually impresses with its planning know-how as well as its software tools.

Especially in this area it is absolutely necessary that 3D factory planning is possible and practical. Virtual reality sets new standards in this field and enables effective conflict detection in advance.

Well-known manufacturers of VR glasses have also recognized the potential of 3D planning and have been working with the Swabian company for some time. The company Oculus VR, which belongs to the social network giant Facebook, provided several types of the 3D glasses Oculus Rift for IPO.Plan. The company’s own planning software IPO.Log is already connected to the data glasses, making the planning and its 3D simulation a realistic experience for the user.

IPO.Plan also cooperates with the Japanese company HTC in the implementation of AR in planning and receives continuously enhanced versions of the HTC Vive data glasses. The advantage of the HTC Vive is on the one hand an outstanding resolution and on the other hand the possibility to interact with hand controllers in three-dimensional spaces. Objects can be gripped and moved with normal hand movements. In the same way, the user can interact in a selected area, so that the virtual world merges with the real movements and thus becomes a new dimension of planning.

In the future, in the field of workplace design, especially in assembly and production, some of IPO.Plan will be more visible and better experienced. This development will lead to an enormous progress in planning work through faster changes, sustainable resource conservation and a more effective way of working. For years, workstations have been modelled, tested and rebuilt with the help of elaborate cardboard shafts in order to create the optimum workstation in lengthy processes. By building digital assembly stations, changes can be tested and evaluated directly in the 3D model with just one click. The 1:1 illustration allows the realistic environments to be displayed and thus allows more accurate and better planning. This model of the workplace can be easily embedded into the 3D model of the digital twin of the factory.