Who will win the Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality Device Race?

Our recently launched Visualization Experience app for use on Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality devices (forming part of their Digital Realities product family) has been specifically designed and developed from the ground up to be device agnostic. Whether it is a holographic display, tablet, or a VR device, the same application will run on any.

When considering Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality, all three technologies have their unique features and benefits.

The type of ‘reality’ (i.e. Virtual, Augmented or Mixed) ultimately dictates the types of devices that will be available to you. These technologies and devices have not been developed with Engineering and Manufacturing in mind and the underlying software is not based upon CAD or PLM technologies.

Nobody really knows who is going to win the device race. Which are the best devices? Which are the devices that over time will win out? It’s too early to know and it will be a few years before it settles down. We don’t believe that there will be a single winner. In addition, the different technologies deliver different experiences which means that there is not a ‘one size fits all’.

The graphics and the devices are coming from a very different group of companies. They are coming from the gaming and social media industries, from Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Sony, and Samsung etc.

“What we’ve seen in the past 12 months is that new devices are appearing all the time, and we know that before this year is out, there will be additional devices on the market,” observes Stuart Thurlby, CEO of Theorem, “These new devices are significantly cheaper than VR Caves and Power walls, and this low price point is democratising the technologies and making them accessible to a larger audience.”

In addition, for our Visualization Experience, the data you prepare is created once and it can be used on any of the devices. It doesn’t need to be created specifically for Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality or Mixed Reality.

“One of the things that Theorem recognise is that each device has different capabilities and capacities, and so some devices require the data to be optimised more than others.” Stuart explains “We have ensured that data and device neutrality is there, which will protect your initial investments even as the technologies and devices develop and change.”

To learn more, watch this short overview video http://www.theorem.com/Digital-Realities/Digital-Realities.htm

Defining the technology: What’s the difference between using Augmented, Mixed or Virtual Reality devices to visualize CAD and PLM data?

With the release of our Multi-Device Visualization Experience for Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality devices, it is important to understand how we define these new technologies in order to know which device or devices could best suit your requirements.

Defining the technologies may not be as straightforward as you would think. Although there is a common train of thought as to what constitutes these new technologies, people have different interpretations of the technology, and use different terminology.

We take the following stance when defining Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality technologies.

Augmented Reality is the ability to see digital data, but to visualize it inside of the ‘real’ world using a tablet, smartphone or head mounted display. It is not immersive like VR, you are in the real world and can see everything around you, but with digital content overlaid. The digital data is effectively floating in the environment that you’re physically residing in.

AR is an overlay of digital content on the real world. Using a tablet or smartphone, the camera shows the real world, as it normally would, and then using a marker as a point of focus, the digital content appears on the screen, on top of the real world, creating a Digital Twin. The digital data can be text, 3D graphics, sound and video, in any combination.

Mixed Reality in many ways is very similar to Augmented Reality, in that it’s a headset where you are seeing the digital data in your existing environment. It combines the real world and digital text, 3D graphics, sound and video. Like Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality enables you to see your physical environment and digital content at the same time.

The difference comes down to the type of data you’re displaying, and in the case of Mixed Reality, we define that as holographic data.

With MR headsets, the digital content appears in front of you and, using hand gestures and voice control, the headset allows you to manipulate and interact with the data as if it were a real object, you walk around it and look inside. The digital objects appear to be there as if they are the actual physical objects.

Virtual Reality is pretty well understood and has been around a long time. It’s a fully immersive environment, where everything you see – the scene and any other information- is digital. You cannot see or interact with the real world at all.

Virtual Reality is a 100% virtual, immersive and digital experience. VR headsets cover the user’s field of vision, effectively cutting off the real world around them and making them feel as though they are actually inside the scene being displayed.

For more information visit http://www.theorem.com/Digital-Realities

What are Digital Realities?

Digital Realities is the brand name for our newest suite of products developed for visualizing and leveraging CAD and PLM data assets in the latest low-cost Augmented, Mixed and Virtual Reality devices.

These innovative technologies are helping to democratize access to visualization data, enabling engineers to take advantage of what was once the preserve of the specialist.

We provide a Visualization Experience for all three technologies – it is data and device agnostic, so you only need to prepare your data once, but then you can use it across devices. Whether it’s Augmented, Mixed or Virtual Reality you want to use your CAD or PLM assets in, we provide that experience.

“Theorem have been helping major engineering and manufacturing users leverage the value of their CAD and PLM assets for over 25 years”, explains Stuart Thurlby, our CEO. “In 2015 we decided to look at these new low cost devices and we soon realized that the technology was really about democratising the visualization of engineering and manufacturing data. Visualization is something we’ve been involved in since the 1990’s with our work around Virtual Reality data.”

“It was the logical move forward for us from a technology perspective because we have a long and deep understanding of the market, and a proven track record of working with Engineering and Manufacturing data using our core robust technologies”, Stuart continues.  “We are in a good position to create the ultimate interactive user experiences utilising existing CAD and PLM data assets from CATIA 3DEXPERIENCE, CATIA V5, CREO, Inventor, JT, NX, SolidWorks and STEP formats”.

Our products deliver experiences to these new devices, which enable CAD and PLM assets to be visualized in new ways. They allow that data to be combined with data from other systems; such as CRM, ERP, MES and legacy systems to add further value. The combined data can then be visualized and manipulated in the Visualization Experience App.

Out of the box, Digital Realities can be used to address a wide range of use cases in Engineering and Manufacturing. It delivers product and process improvements, reducing cost and accelerating time to market.

In addition, the Visualization Experience can be built upon to create your specific experience for any use case including Design, Manufacturing Build, Inspection, Service, Training, Sales and Marketing.

To learn more, watch our short introductory video- http://www.theorem.com/Digital-Realities/Digital-Realities.htm