So much for "it's all just a gimmick"

INOSOFT has designed solutions to help companies benefit from Virtual Reality.

Immersion in Virtual Reality is a scenario that is usually associated only with the world of computer games. "Yet Virtual Reality and 'Augmented Reality' - i.e. the superimposition of digital objects on the real environment - have long been anything but mere gimmicks," says Thomas Winzer, a member of the management team at INOSOFT AG in Marburg. The company has been working with the two techniques for more than five years and has implemented numerous tasks.

In Augmented Reality (AR), for example, an object can be projected into real space – three-dimensionally. "Meaning I can move around this object," says Thomas Winzer.

"For AR glasses, for example, we once implemented a tool change on a machine," says Winzer. At the machine, the worker gets virtual step-by-step instructions projected onto his data glasses, which he can use to work on the machine - "the respective objects involved are marked and displayed to him on the machine."

We made "very good experiences with the VR glasses, for example in training situations: I build a completely artificial world and can present action steps, process steps and sequences there that users can experience and learn."

For example, he says, INOSOFT created a virtual training environment for a pharmaceutical company that was building a new manufacturing facility. "The plant has complex manufacturing steps - the idea was to train people in this area beforehand, so that the moment the plant is ready, people can start working immediately."

Because in the virtual world, users can also grasp things - using controllers that also detect hand and finger movements and derive them into movements in the virtual world. This is how doors are opened or objects are moved, for example. "We call this immersion, which means that you are almost physically immersed in the world," says Winzer.

How do companies benefit from this? "We've taken in VR what is already commonplace in the gaming world - that is, operating with multiple people in a virtual world - and applied it to the corporate world." INOSOFT has created a platform "that makes it possible to move together in the virtual world using multiple VR glasses, regardless of build or brand and regardless of location."

That way, people cannot only talk virtually, but - since there are objects in VR - they can also work on things together. "If there are parts there that you have to move or exploded views projected three-dimensionally into the room, you can walk together around this facility or these components and listen to the trainer's explanations." Bringing the relevant components into the virtual world is not that expensive for companies because "There are design drawings in CAD programs anyway - these can be converted quite easily for the virtual environments."

In terms of Augmented Reality, there is a platform "where it is very easy to establish a video connection over distance using smartphones or tablets, so that, for example, a manufacturer who has a problem with his plant at the customer's can send a link to the customer. The customer clicks on the link and a video image is set up. The expert can look at the situation on site and project information into the image at the customer's site to help solving the problem."

Winzer sees "a lot of potential in this topic because, for example, the learning effect when I see something spatially, three-dimensionally, is many times higher than when I only look at it on plans or in brochures."   Source reference: OP Marburg/Ostkreis from 04.01.2022

Marburg, 07. January 2022

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