French software company Dassault Systèmes (EPA: DSY) have realised the ultimate sci-fi dream of manipulating images ‘in thin air’ by making their 3DEXPERIENCE product viewer compatible with the HTC Vive VR headset.

VR’s role in Industry 4.0

Virtual and augmented reality could become complementary technologies woven in to an Industry 4.0 ecosystem Smart Factory of the future. Showing their foresight of such development, Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE is optimized especially for the business edition of HTC’s VR viewer, to give industry professionals the digital edge when it comes to product management. In the video below, attendees of CES 2017 try out the hardware at the Dassault Systèmes booth.

CES 2017 demos

President Olivier Ribet says this is the first time Dassault Systèmes have showcased their developments in partnership with HTC. The company have however been working with the potential of VR for some years now. At CES 2016 they previously showcased a ‘mixed reality’ VR in Cave Automatic Virtual Environments (CAVEs) that support the interaction of multiple users.

Regarding CES 2017 Dassault Systèmes Vice President of B2B Virtual Reality, Herve Fontaine, adds,

I was speaking to some industrial designer, and they were saying the big thing for them is that they avoid mistakes. They see immediately the design review, so they don’t need to wait for the product review to assess the outcome.

Though still considered a novelty by some, when used professionally, VR can decrease the time taken to complete a product’s design lifecycle. Some key points in the video are that the 3DEXPERIENCE in the HTC Vive is demonstrated primarily for automotive applications, with a subtle hint at its use in medicine (shown next to a heart model), as is also exploited by VR competitors HoloLens. First time users also seem to take quite naturally to the HTC Vive’s controls.

A visitor to CES2017 tires out the 3DEXPERIENCE on a HTC Vive. Photo via: Dassault Systèmes on Twitter

A visitor to CES2017 tries out the 3DEXPERIENCE on a HTC Vive. Photo via: Dassault Systèmes on Twitter

There is undoubtedly more to come from Dassault Systèmes and HTC throughout 2017, and so 3DPI will be seeking every opportunity we can to get our hands on the tech ourselves and give it a try. Stay up to date by following us on Twitter, or liking us on Facebook.

Featured image – ‘The future is now’. Gaming on a HTC Vive. Photo by: Red_Shuheart on Flickr

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