How VR teleconferencing creates better products
September 18, 2018
In a previous article, we saw how VR teleconferencing can reduce the cost and number of design errors. In this article we will see how it also greatly improves communication between team members. Indeed, thanks to VR, information can be shared more naturally between design teams and non-technical teams. It allows you to involve all the stakeholders of the project such as your clients, suppliers, marketing, or sales teams. A better communication naturally leads to less design errors, allowing you to create products that better match the client’s expectations, on time and on budget.
Misunderstandings are a major source of project delays and budget overrun
A VR teleconferencing software greatly improves communication
Collaboration can become complex during a design review meeting. For an engineer, the goal of such a meeting is to present their design intents, but also get feedback and ask for validation of their leaders, stakeholders, clients, suppliers, marketing and sales teams. Discussions are often difficult because of the difference in technical expertise, jargon or linguistic and cultural differences
By way of example, picture yourself trying to imagine what an apartment looks like only on 2D plans. You can’t get a correct sense of scale and it is very hard to project yourself in living there. It then seems clear that all project members need to correctly understand any modification you plan to make.
The most likely outcome of such a design review meeting is that different trades won’t have the same understanding of the project. Also, participants who don’t fully understand the meeting will probably not say anything for fear of looking incompetent. Decisions would then be taken on flawed basis and the design review meeting would not be efficient.
Presenting a 3D model in VR would make it much easier to collaborate with leaders, stakeholders and clients. 3D is indeed a natural communication language overcoming linguistic barriers as well as technical jargon. For instance, instead of using the exact technical word and hoping everyone will be able to understand what you are talking about, it is much easier to simply show the part of interest directly on the prototype in VR.
A 3D model in VR is worth a thousand pictures
Viewing the source of an issue helps a lot when you need to discuss how you can solve it. If an image is worth a thousand words, a virtual prototype is worth a thousand images.
A VR collaboration software consequently simplifies the understanding of the product thanks to its advanced design review tools. For instance, you may need cutting planes to see through an object and better demonstrate an idea. You can also benefit from the capacity to do realtime modifications of the mockup and the possibility to naturally move a part to explain its movement or a possible solution. Similarly you can change the 3D model’s scale or orientation, but also its appearance (colors or textures) and instantly discuss the result with the other participants.
Finally, in a typical discussion, a lot of information is non-verbal communication which can be transcribed in virtual reality. Voice tone, hesitations, head and hand movements greatly improve the understanding of the participants emotions and intents.
A collaborative virtual workspace for remote meetings and VR teleconferencing
VR abolishes distances: work with anyone anywhere in the world!
VR gives you magical powers by creating a new reality around you. By using an Oculus Rift, an HTC Vive or any Windows Mixed Reality headset, you can easily connect with your partners and clients. You can collaborate with them in a virtual workplace as if they were in the same physical space. Think of it as an evolved alternative to classic videoconference and teleconference systems. You can now meet with them and discuss around the scale 1 virtual prototype more frequently. This means more fluid communication, less travel, less stress and more efficient meetings.
The ability to meet in a VR teleconferencing software results in less late design changes. You can then create a product that better matches the clients needs in real life constraints respecting budget and deadlines.
VR teleconferencing software are not the future: they are the present
The industry has been using VR and virtual prototypes for more than twenty years with a proven ROI. Those technologies are at the heart of the Industry 4.0. Your competitors are probably already using those digital twins right now, giving them an incredible boost in productivity and quality.
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