LANNER, the company behind WITNESS, the business process simulation software, has signed a formal software development partnership with Virtalis, Europe’s leading Virtual Reality (VR) Company.  Lanner will license Virtalis technology and the two companies will collaborate to develop enhanced 3D, 3D stereo-enabled and VR-enabled capabilities within WITNESS 13, scheduled for release later this year.

“VR is all about decision making and so are Lanner’s products”, explained Virtalis MD, David Cockburn-Price.  “Lanner is a pioneer who created the world’s first visual interactive simulation tool and we also have made many technological breakthroughs in advanced visualisation.  Ultimately, we both help our customers to communicate, to make better-informed business decisions and to improve business efficiency.  We plan to bring a new dimension to Lanner’s software that will tear down communication barriers within organisations.”

The Quick3D capability within WITNESS will be extended by Virtalis technology, offering users the option to visualise their models in enhanced 3D in a single click.  Users will also have the option to view their models in stereoscopic 3D, with Virtalis ActiveWorks display systems, to provide additional insights and understanding.  Virtalis has extensive 3D rendering expertise that can take pre-existing CAD and process models and 3D stereo-enable and VR-enable them at the press of a button.

The Visionary Render for WITNESS module allows users to connect and extend their WITNESS simulation workflow directly into a full VR suite, hosted by Virtalis’ Visionary Render software

Later in the year, Visionary Render for WITNESS will be launched, which will deploy all the most advanced VR techniques in Virtalis’ arsenal.  For Lanner customers to experience their virtual data in a truly immersive VR world, investment in high-end graphics cards and the computers capable of supporting them will be necessary.  However, the platforms from which Visionary Render for WITNESS can be experienced will be extremely diverse, encompassing desktops and tablets, Head Mounted Displays and wall projected and multiple surfaces projected VR. These solutions form part of the Virtalis ActiveWorks portfolio of display systems.

Ian Dabney, Lanner’s Head of Products, said: “To the professional operational analysts who form the majority of our user base, modelling capability and efficacy is key.  When you are spending hundreds of millions building a gas pipeline, constructing a hospital or planning the manufacturing facilities for a new model of car, the critical factor is whether the model accurately predicts future performance.  However, once the model has been verified and an optimal solution to the business problem found, then this has to be communicated to the stakeholders, which often requires presenting the results visually, so they can be more easily understood.  Whilst our users find it more productive to model many aspects of highly complex processes through logical expression and 2D representations, they value having a powerful, quick and efficient way to visually present their findings in 3D.”

“We approached Virtalis because we wanted to partner with a company that has both the technology and skills to equip WITNESS with powerful and flexible 3D and VR capabilities.  Later this year, our customers will be better able to articulate their thinking visually, allowing people from very diverse professional backgrounds to communicate complex ideas across shared, intuitive and collaborative virtual environments.”