The application of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to the design process is a growing trend that is changing the terms of product development for the better. Not only are VR and AR changing the products that are created, but the way they are designed, developed, and manufactured. Namely, VR and AR are speeding up design processes, lowering development costs, and allowing for more in-depth product testing before production.
1. Agile design and expedited delivery.
Dispensing with traditional or even CAD-based prototypes in favor of VR and AR design platforms and interfaces take agile practices to a whole new level. The ability to iteratively test multiple variations of a product in a VR or AR environment instead of creating multiple physical prototypes translates to an expedited design process as well as a quicker turnaround on product development and delivery.
The teams at Pivot, for example, are using AR and other emergent technologies to enhance collaborative approaches to innovation and to accelerate product design and development. For example, Pivot’s AR-informed 3D-printed prototypes can undergo well over a dozen design iterations in the time required to produce a single prototype using traditional approaches.
2. Early insight and reduced investment costs.
One of the chief advantages of VR and AR is the ability to achieve detailed visualization at high fidelity early in the design process. This leads to dramatically reduced investment costs since little to no physical materials are required until the final stages of the design process when a physical prototype becomes necessary.
At Pivot, we use VR and AR applications to streamline design processes. Using mixed reality prototypes, our teams rely on flexible processes and situationally-specific best practices to test clients’ designs and derive valuable insights early on in the design process. This allows our teams to virtually visualize and explore a wide range of options to make strategic improvements at stages that represent the greatest cost-savings for our clients. Only as ideas are virtually refined and concepts are iteratively recalibrated toward a virtually-vetted working prototype does a client’s investment in physical prototyping even become a question.
3. Contextualized experimentation and superior performance.
While digital prototyping methods have been around for some time, they offer only 2D renderings of designs that are disconnected from the real-world contexts in which they will be used. Unless a design can be rendered and actively experimented with at scale, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for designers to reliably determine how a design will behave in the real world prior to constructing a physical prototype.
But VR and AR largely overcome this limitation by enabling designs to be dropped into the real world where designers can experiment with them at scale. For example, if a team at Pivot is working on designing a medical device using VR, they can manipulate the device and test the controls in much the same way that a cadet can pilot a plane in a flight simulator. The contextual experimentation with designs and the iterative improvement of them that VR and AR make possible lend themselves to next-level design and superior performance.
If you’re ready to see the difference that VR and AR application can make to your product development, Pivot is your single-source partner. At Pivot, we have a track record of over 40 years of expert experience in collaborating with businesses large and small to help them successfully launch new products. Contact us today and see what we can do for you.