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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Virtual/Augmented Reality: Where Did It Come From and Where Is It Going?

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Blog 3-13-18 Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are not new topics, they have been around for decades just like 3D printing/additive manufacturing. Hardware and software advances in recent years are pushing AR/VR to the top of many technology trends lists.

VR has been available for several decades, and even in consumer markets for the past few years. VR technology is somewhat easier to implement as it projects a complete environment and does not need to significantly account for the physical environment. Where as, AR overlays data in the existing environment, in real time, requiring the AR application to recognize objects in order to maintain registration and ensure that the data matches the environment's context.

Modern smart phones and tablets, as well as commercially available headsets, have the computing performance necessary to support many of today's use cases, and software frameworks can support a range of devices from phones to head mounted displays to glasses.

Well defined use cases exist for both consumers and industrial users. For industrial users, they include design, visualization, service, and support. Upcoming releases of glasses that support AR will likely drive dramatic growth in use.

Recognizing the significance AR and VR, we are excited to share CIMdata's view on where we see AR and VR going at our upcoming PLM Market & Industry Forum. In that presentation we will describe how:

  • AR provides a way to present data in the context of the physical environment.
  • Advances in hardware and software are enabling AR to transform from a specialized, niche tool to one that supports many common industrial use cases.
  • Modern smart phones and tablets are capable of supporting many of today's use cases, and software frameworks can support a range of mobile devices from phones to glasses.
  • Big growth in usage won't begin until better AR glasses become available, current head mounted displays are useful, but limited.

Let me know what you think!


Learn more about this topic at CIMdata's up-coming PLM Market & Industry Forum.

Tom Gill

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