Executive Briefings

Virtual Reality Comes to Factory Floor - Will Manufacturers Capitalize on It?

Will manufacturers embrace virtual reality to transform product development, testing, layout and assembly? It was hard to imagine just a few years ago that the advancements in hardware and software would allow for far greater use of virtual reality in manufacturing. Allowing designers, engineers and customers to see and evaluate a design in real time will shorten product design cycles. Being able to walk through assembly line layout will reduce setup time. And providing customers with a view of the product in use will decrease the time spent on redesign and marketing material development.

Virtual reality is an immersion into an environment that allows the user to see, hear and sometimes feel what is going on. The user can interact with that environment in many different ways. This requires the user to wear a helmet-type device that includes a face mask with a high-resolution stereoscopic display, headphones for sound, and a feedback device, usually worn on the hands. These devices provide the 3-D image and track eye and head movement. The 3-D images are created using multi-headed cameras or in 3-D animation or engineering modeling software.

When all of these are put together, the user can walk through an environment and experience the product, assembly line or factory layout. When the user moves his head, hands or body, the environment in the display device changes to reflect the new position.

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Virtual reality is an immersion into an environment that allows the user to see, hear and sometimes feel what is going on. The user can interact with that environment in many different ways. This requires the user to wear a helmet-type device that includes a face mask with a high-resolution stereoscopic display, headphones for sound, and a feedback device, usually worn on the hands. These devices provide the 3-D image and track eye and head movement. The 3-D images are created using multi-headed cameras or in 3-D animation or engineering modeling software.

When all of these are put together, the user can walk through an environment and experience the product, assembly line or factory layout. When the user moves his head, hands or body, the environment in the display device changes to reflect the new position.

Read Full Article