5.) ESI Group
While not an AR-based company, what makes French company ESI Group interesting is that it is tackling the same issues many AR suppliers are looking at, but doing so with VR.
ESI Group's focus is on what the company calls, “immersive virtual engineering,” combining immersive VR with virtual prototyping. The latest version of their software IC.IDO (pronounced “I See, I Do”) adds support for head-mounted displays (HMDs) like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive as well as their respective handheld controllers, in addition to VR CAVEs, powerwalls, and desktop systems. The software allows engineers to create virtual simulations of devices, products, and environments and is targeted at process release engineers, manufacturing process engineers, assembly tooling program managers, and ergonomic engineers across a variety of manufacturing and assembly industries.
Using VR, engineers can explore scale models of their designs, interacting with them as they would the actual object, or they can adjust the scale for deeper inspection of specific components. Imagine, an automotive engineer being able to view a vehicle at scale in real time, but also expand the scale to get a detailed view of a specific part, like a spark plug. ESI Group's aim is to cut costs and improve efficiency by allowing engineers to verify product designs virtually before any physical object is produced or assembled.
Chris Wiltz is the Managing Editor of Design News.
[main image source: Vuzix]