Date: 11/18/2019 – Author: Thomas Bott
Reading time: 4 minutes

Virtual and augmented reality in manufacturing

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are topics of growing importance in the technological world. These make applications possible that are difficult to display in the two-dimensionality of a simple display. In the professional environment they are used in everyday industry. VR and AR are already a great help when it comes to training and teaching employees, illustrating the otherwise dry theory and even allow certain work steps to be tried out.

AR functions in particular can be of great use in everyday working life. Designers can immediately project their ideas into a three-dimensional space, while engineers can more easily work within complex structures, beneficial for both research and development. Thanks to the fast synchronization of modern technology, it is even possible for several people to work simultaneously on a virtual project.

Apparently, this is already working satisfactorily in practice. As part of a study by the Capgemini Research Institute, more than 700 managers evaluated their experience with AR and VR applications: 82 percent reported that the technology met or even exceeded their expectations in corresponding projects. In the coming years, many more companies want to integrate the technology into their day-to-day work.

(© 2019 AUDI AG)

At the time of the survey in mid-2018, China was already far advanced. In 51 percent of the companies that use AR and VR applications, they were already firmly integrated into the processes. At the same time, the West was still experimenting with technology: In Germany, for example: 62 percent of AR technology and 77 percent of VR was still in the experimental phase of use.


AR and VR to boost vehicle sales

Technology not only helps in the production of goods, but also in the distribution. In retail, the display of products takes up a lot of space, which costs money. Each product should be available in various designs and colors for customers to look at and try out. However, this is particularly difficult when selling vehicles. The space is limited and the products are large. But because the purchase of a vehicle is more important and more expensive for the customer than that of a Bluetooth loudspeaker, dealers thus far have been indispensable.

Customers want to take a close look at the vehicles, look under the hood, sit in the interior, and take a test drive. Only then may they be willing to spend thousands or even tens of thousands. Thanks to VR, even compact salerooms can do this without having vehicles on site. In a country with such a market size as China, where more than 23 million cars found a new owner in 2018 alone, this type of presentation is particularly attractive, and the first companies are already experimenting with the technology.

(© 2019 AUDI AG)

Not only VR, but also AR can help in selling. If, for example, customers are able to move a camera over a point on or in the vehicle and receive further explanation of special functions, while a designer could visualize and explain the special form. On the exterior, different colors could even be placed over the vehicle or possible attachments could be displayed. The possibilities are great, as is the entertainment for customers.

But not only new vehicles can be viewed more easily via VR, used vehicles can also be viewed, and, in such cases, it is even more important to take a closer look. This is the only way to detect damage. Using VR, from a distance, it is also possible to take a close look at a vehicle from all sides. The App Uxin already offers such a service. Customers sit at home, in a café, or in the office and select their future car via their smartphone — quickly and easily.


VR will soon also be available while driving

holoride, a new startup from Germany, takes everyday commutes and turns them into hyper-immersive experiences with VR that can be added to a vehicle after purchase. Combining real-time car movements with VR, riders truly start to feel what they see. holoride technology uses navigational data of a travel route and time, and combines it with vehicle data, from steering to accelerating and stopping — syncing the cars movements with what the rider sees and feels for a hyper immersive experience.

(© 2019 AUDI AG)

Intended to provide entertainment and Elastic Content that adapts to a trip’s route and time, holoride was created for users of all ages with the future of autonomous vehicles in mind. With the world becoming more and more automated, holoride has partnered with numerous car companies and content creators to build upon this agnostic system — as it is an open source system made for all manufacturers and content creators.

By matching what you see and feel with no latency, holoride has been able to reduce symptoms of motion sickness — making time spent in transit time well spent, and adding thrill to every ride.