In December 2022, the VR Inspiration Day event series launched and hosted its inaugural session in Manchester, UK. The focus of the events are to inspire, educate and provide invaluable insight into what needs to be considered before starting or developing a VR project further. This includes sharing possible use cases, how to get stakeholder buy-in, the possible ROI that can be achieved and the range of different hardware technology solutions available.
During this first event, attendees from a range of industries, including Aerospace, Defence, Nuclear and Construction, came together keen to learn more about the benefits of VR adoption and how others have embarked on their journey. The format consisted of a mix of presentation and demonstration sessions, with opportunities for networking with fellow industry peers and open discussions about challenges, lessons learned and successful outcomes.
One of the main highlights of the day was a session by Rob Forrest from BAE Systems Air, who presented their VR Adoption Journey.
He spoke about the drivers for change that led to BAE Systems choosing to use VR for their factory layout and product visualisations, enabling them to carry out iterative reviews, design and refine product and logistics workflows, analyse human factor considerations, identify potential risks and be able to ‘walk the line’ virtually.
He also addressed some of the challenges they overcame along the way and how they plan to expand the use of immersive technologies in the future.
Attendees then engaged in demonstrations of the range of hardware solutions, trying out Virtalis software on an ActiveWall, ActiveMove portable VR system and a range of HMD’s to interact with a variety of use case-based scenes.
The ActiveWall is a Powerwall that is great for group reviews, as a team can be gathered around the screen and review the same piece of data. The attendees were shown an entire factory layout that demonstrated the different capabilities that VR can offer when it comes to working with large models. The scene included a combination of different data types such as CAD, PDF, video and point cloud being used to show how a complete representation of a model can be displayed within VR.
The ActiveMove is a transportable system, working in a similar way to a Powerwall, but more suited to smaller group collaboration. During this session, tools such as clash detection, dynamic sectioning and animations were demonstrated as part of a design review.
A range of HMD’s were also available for attendees to try, including the HTC Vive Focus 3, Pico 4 and Meta Quest Pro. HMD’s are a good option for individual review as well as part of larger remote collaboration sessions due to their portable nature. Visitors could try one or all of them and experience a training program set up for wind turbine manufacturing, fully immersing themselves in the scene and using hand controllers to interact with the data.
The day also included a presentation from Virtalis Business Development Director John Maxfield, who took a look at how and why VR is becoming more popular within the engineering and manufacturing sector. He highlighted the typical use cases that have been identified, such as design reviews, training, factory layout planning, digital twins and some of the ROI statistics companies are already reporting on as a result. He also spoke about how Virtalis work with existing and prospective customers to enable them to reach their VR potential.
There was a discussion session with Nick Thomas, Virtalis Customer Success Lead, who spoke about what really goes into planning a VR project. He covered the back-end factors to think about that could be potential barriers, and how getting the technology and jumping straight in is not the answer. Visitors were then able to share their experiences so far in implementing VR within their business.
In 2023 there will be a series of VR Inspiration Days that will take place across the UK, so keep an eye out on the Events section of Virtalis.com and on the Virtalis LinkedIn page for information and updates.