On Wednesday, April 7th, Clifton Dawson, Founder and President of Greenlight VR, moderated a panel with executives from Flex (formerly Flextronics), Dassault Systemes, and Renault. The panel discussed the opportunity and challenge of using VR and AR to solve large-scale enterprise problems as part of the Paris Region's Silicon Valley tech meeting.
The panel provided insights on several key points with implications for the future of virtual and augmented reality. Among them:
1. Solving "real world problems" provides immediate opportunity for VR and AR. The panel agreed with Dawson's statement that there will continue to be numerous high-value professional and enterprise verticals/use cases. Steven Madge, Vice President of Industry and Global Affairs at Dassault Systemes, elaborated further that these specialized use cases will use highly specific software, and dedicated HMDs, customized to the real world problems being solved.
2. Every automobile on the road today has been designed in part using VR. Pierre Delaigue, Project Manager at Renault shared how engineers his company simulators to observe and interact with a fully digitized vehicle.
"Using the simulator, engineers and designers of Renault vehicles can sit behind the virtual wheel of a new model and take it for a drive achieving a level of realism and detail early during the development process," says Delaigue. "This innovation will contribute to improving the quality, ergonomics, and safety of future models."
3. To live up to all the hype, companies must overcome common manufacturing challenges for new VR/AR hardware. In a week that had headlines about more shipping delays due to supply chain outages, Eric Braddom, Vice President Consumer Technology Group at Flex, the second largest global electronics manufacturing services, offered, "There is a lot that can go wrong when bringing new products to market. It's an ongoing process that requires continually building new prototypes." His advice to the startups in the room was to "Design it. Run it down the line. Test it. Play with it. Go back and do it again as many times as you can, as cheaply as you can."