One of the main reasons behind the success of virtual reality is its ability to gather multiple users within a virtual environment; something that is especially important during the current situation with the Coronavirus and accompanying social distancing requirements. vr-on GmbH recognized the need for businesses and teams to carry out multi-user collaboration long before this pandemic enveloped the world. Even when this virus is lifted off the face of the earth and we gradually return to our normal ways of working, there will remain a need for remote work. This might not only be due to teams spread worldwide and clients operating in different continents, because that has been the case since many decades now. A more probable driver is this tough time which has convinced most companies that work from home is not only a viable alternative but also more cost-effective, productive and profitable at times.
Focusing on these positives of remote multi-user scenarios, and hoping that we soon resort to virtual projects out of choice rather than out of necessity, we introduce to you our latest multi-user project in VR: the Unity Garage! In collaboration with Unity of course, this project is meant to aid automotive manufacturers as well as their clients in the conception phase of the vehicle. The car design process involves continuous prototyping, testing, iterations and reviews during the conception phase. Physical mock-ups require plenty of resources; from time to capital, a huge amount of financial reserves is compromised, raising the overall project cost as well as reducing company profits. Integrating VR with Computer-aided Design means that designers can create multiple, complex representations following innumerable virtual 3D experiments. They can also take real-time feedback from their counterparts in overseas divisions to produce the perfect, highest quality, error-free design, keeping in mind all acoustics and ergonomics requirements. Thus, VR facilitates information exchange among different departments and stakeholders through a collaborative multi-user platform, ensuring that the actual product succeeds based on cross-site contributions received for the digital mock-up.
Our Unity Garage allows users to take a virtual tour of the garage and explore its functionalities and workings. You can interact with the environment exactly as you would do while standing in a real, physical garage. As you enter the virtual space, you find a robot who talks to you. You may discuss what you would like to explore and he will cater to all your queries and problems. Going further, you see a car standing on a lifting ramp. There are multiple options available to you to change the specifics of the car and decide which outlook suits your needs best. Among the features you can explore and change are:
- The color of the car paint. You can alter this by throwing balls at it and leave it as it when you come across the one you want.
- The tires of the car. There is a large variety of tires suitable for different needs and wants and you can choose among these virtually. Before a tire is placed on the car, you need to use a balancing machine on it. As its name suggests, this machine allows you to balance the wheels before putting them on the car, thus giving you the feel of changing tires in real life.
- You can also check the functionality of the doors by opening and closing them to check, e.g. the angle at which they open, and whether you need any changes to make it more comfortable for you.
The best part, however, is being able to explore the garage and interact with the environment with multiple users in real-time. Therefore, you can join with your team members situated in other regions, from the comfort of your homes or offices, without having to incur huge travel and accommodation costs. You can then communicate directly with the automotive manufacturer to state your preferences and depict them visually by making changes to the car.
In case you are the automotive manufacturer, you can have your designers and engineers on board as well, while your client explores the garage. Together as a team, you learn the needs and wants of your client and can discuss any limitations or constraints on the spot. This would not only ensure high customer satisfaction by demonstrating to him/her exactly how the final product would look, but also help you avoid the hassle of creating physical prototypes that would eventually need numerous rounds of costly iterations anyway.
To conclude, virtual reality is driving the automotive industry forward and is likely to become a key factor for securing advantage against contenders in this competitive industry. In case you would like to reap benefits from this technology and our Unity Garage in your business