Virtual Reality is a technology that allows its users to simulate an environment that appears real while augmented reality represents a superposition of fictitious elements to a reality that still exists. These 2 technologies are perfectly in the era of time and the will to develop them does not cease growing as its possibilities are multiplied with the technical progress.
ndeed, we can find many uses for them, not only in the leisure aspect or video games but also professional uses, especially in several industrial sectors.
This VR technology offers engineers the possibility to manipulate products that have not even been manufactured, thanks to software. This allows them to anticipate possible errors and to fine-tune the product before it is manufactured and still at the design stage. Changes are effective in real time and industrial designers can collaborate with engineers simultaneously. In terms of AR, SolidWorks has created the Meta 2 headset that allows users to visualize designs in Augmented Reality.
The spatial aspect of VR technology is more about space exploration. Indeed, the AR HoloLens headset from Microsoft allows a virtual reconstruction of the surface of Mars. Elon Musk has announced that SpaceX’s first tourist trip will have a live VR broadcast.
The useful dimension of the technology to manufacturing or logistics will be used to superimpose instructions or holographic images and facilitate the use of heavy or complex machines. The company Inglobe Technologies applies this technology to engines. Or the American giant Nvidia which allows simulations for industry through its metaverse.
Thus, thanks to its immersive tool, decision making is greatly simplified. One can visit several sites virtually at the same time, manipulate an object, import several, validate placements, and so on. This is particularly the case with the tool developed by the French start-up Meshroom VR, which has all these qualities and already has an address book filled with prestigious customers such as L’Oréal, EDF, Michelin or Bosch, to name only the best known, as well as a major fundraising campaign that reflects the desire to develop this tool and the confidence placed in it.
Notably with these famous RealWear headsets, many uses of VR are expected in the aeronautics sector. Among them, digitized work instructions, line cleaning assistance, instant equipment checks and machine start-up instructions. So many uses that will allow to digitalize this sector as well as the defense one. RealWear headsets, which are less powerful than Microsoft’s HoloLens but also less expensive and less fragile, have been deployed on construction sites. They provide workers with real-time projection through an articulated arm. These headsets will be mainly used in sectors such as industry and energy for a wide range of applications.
Military and security:
These connected helmets have multiple uses, even for sectors such as the military and security, allowing for example to assess the danger of a water pollution before an intervention in Toulouse. But beware of the perverse effects of this technology in terms of piracy, as anything that is digitized inevitably becomes subject to cybersecurity but also to infringements of personal freedoms.
VR would allow to take decisions without necessarily being present on the sites, it is notably the case with oil wells. The company Mechdyne offers, thanks to its VR technology, a remote monitoring of its industrial clients’ drilling in gas or oil. It is also possible to remotely determine where to locate sites by testing wells beforehand to optimize costs and save considerable time.
Microsoft’s HoloLens holographic technology:
We already know the definition of a hologram which represents a projection in space in 3 dimensions and this is what Microsoft wants to put forward. This technology works thanks to a wireless AR headset equipped with sensors. However, the goal here is not immersion because it does not immerse its user in a space but rather allows to associate holographic data with physical data. In terms of industrial production, this should reduce downtime and therefore optimize working time but also improve skills and performance. Microsoft is even counting on quite impressive figures, estimating a 90% gain in efficiency and a 50% reduction in downtime in these industrial sectors. This technology will even allow to give detailed holographic instructions to its user.
We can see that many players are very active in the VR and AR market, which reflects a growing willingness to bet on it for all the reasons outlined. These players are developing this technology but each in their own way and this is what allows us to obtain today so much diversity in the offers available on the market, with all the various headsets with multiple applications.
This will allow the development of industrial sectors and the insertion of technology to facilitate the processes of design, manufacturing, and logistics of the latter without radically shaking their habits to avoid a period of adaptation too important.
The metaverse universe:
The most important project is the metaverse. A metaverse is a virtual online world that offers a true immersive experience and is considered by many as the future of the Internet. Many industrial applications are expected in the future. Indeed, by putting in contact engineers, developers, and creators simultaneously, the metaverse would allow to carry out virtual simulations before potentially exporting the tested technologies in the real world with the test realized beforehand. A consequent saving of time and money. This metaverse platform is called Omniverse and could allow to simulate machines showing once again the multiplying uses of VR or AR in the industry.
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