Experiencing Virtual and Mixed Reality

For decades now AVEVA’s been at the forefront of visualising the digital asset.

Posted: October 23, 2017

Engineer, Procure, Construct

Experiencing Virtual and Mixed Reality

We’ve improved the quality of 3D graphics and the ways we interact with 3D from keyboard through mouse commands to intuitive touch gestures. But that glass monitor pane has kept us from truly experiencing 3D in a natural, human way… until today.

Two exciting devices are set to revolutionise the human experience with the digital asset model.

The Oculus Rift and Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality (VR) immerses the user completely in the digital 3D model whereas Augmented Reality (AR) overlays digital information over a view of the real world.

Wearing an Oculus Rift VR helmet, the user can gaze around into the virtual world and navigate easily using a gamepad. The consumerisation of VR gaming technology has made the hardware affordable. 

AVEVA is removing the boundaries for VR by adapting its industry leading ENGAGE 3D graphics technology at allow plant, building and marine CAD models to be experienced in VR in their entirety, without compromising detail or image quality.

The Mixed Reality world of the HoloLens 

The HoloLens device from Microsoft goes beyond the 2D overlays of Augmented Reality and into the world of Mixed Reality (MR). Mixed Reality uses a holographic processor to project 3D virtual models into the physical space the user occupies. 

The technology fixes the holograms in space allowing the user to freely move around them viewing the contents from any perspective.

AVEVA HoloDemo

Now, wouldn’t it be amazing if you could walk inside a virtual model of a plant? Well, today you can do just that with your Microsoft HoloLens and the AVEVA HoloDemo app.

The app opens with a hologram of a simple A0 drawing of a plant. The drawing is remarkably clear and legible. A simple voice command or air tap causes the drawing to tilt from vertical to horizontal and a finely detailed 1/8th scale model of the plant pushes upwards through the drawing. 

The bright objects display their tag ID under the gaze of the viewer. Further voice commands make it possible to highlight different components of the plant and the connected piping. You can even place a scale man inside the model to check if there's good enough access to the various valves and instruments.

The final step is to command the model to grow to full 1:1 scale. The observer feels a moment of disorientation as the model smoothly expands to true scale. Now we can literally walk inside the digital asset. Using the scale man, you can even teleport yourself around the model, from the bottom to the very top. 

No longer do we have to make an imaginary leap through that glass monitor pane. For the very first time, the 3D digital asset has left the confines of the screen and joined us in our real world! 

No computer commands, no gestures needed to view the model, it’s JUST THERE!

Written By
Paul Elton

Vice President of Research and Innovation, AVEVA. Paul Elton has been responsible for several technology and product innovations over his 30 years at AVEVA. He created the Review product, introduced interactive 3D graphics into PDMS and began the development of AVEVA NET. More recently he conceived the AVEVA Engage solution for decision support that combines advanced 3D and information access technologies.

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