During the summer I had the chance to visit the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart.
And specifically, to try out two technologies I had never experienced myself before.
First we had a tour through the original Porsche workshop, and built some components of the 356. Of course, that was using VR glasses. I could not find the maker of the set, glasses and controllers, but they looked a lot like HTC’s Vive.
Anyway, the VR experience is really immersive and you have to be careful not to try to run around with the headset on.
The motion control needs some adaptation period, but after the first tries, you usually get very comfortable grabbing a hammer and forming the body parts of the 356, or holding the spray gun to paint your very own Porsche in your favorite color.
Overall, a good experience, the only limitation I see would be how to interact with the real world, or rather how to avoid bumping into the objects around you. And of course, it is a fully immersive VR, so you cannot see your body inside, apart from your arms, as you handle the motion controllers.
I can see some uses where you could have enough empty space around you to walk around and see a future building before the furniture and all the fittings are in.
I was definitely more impressed by the Hololens, mostly because the mixed reality opens up a lot more usages.
In that case the point was to be able to see inside an hybrid Panamera, and understand all the components and moving parts involved with the hybrid technology.
I had seen a lot a demos using Hololens before, but I was really curious about the level of interaction, and the finesse of the controls using specific gestures.
I have to admit the design is slick and the experience, although a bit disturbing, is both impressive and immersive.
I say disturbing, as the fact that some of the real world in your vision is overlaid by a virtual object can feel a little strange at first. You quickly get used to it, but it might be an adoption issue when deploying this technology into a daily worker toolset.
Nevertheless, I was able to quickly navigate around the car, see the insides and get some information and advice. The controls are pretty obvious and do not get in the way. And you are able to avoid anyone (or any wall) getting in your way while you tour the car.
There are so many businesses and industries where this tech could be used :
- Any maintenance team for very specific hardware and high complexity tooling in the industry : airplane engines, industry automatons, remote stations where you could send any technicians that would be guided by a remote expert etc.
- Training for the same hardware, for your own maintenance team
- Anything involving 3D design : architecture, fitting and refitting of stores and offices, in store merchandising to ensure the right placement of all the items and furniture
- You could create guided tours, using augmented reality, to provide detailed information for the visitors
Argh, so many ideas!!!