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       Now imagine a job where the technology dishes you up   The result is that issues can be troubleshot and error
       a blank slate on which to write. What would you build if   can be avoided. That’s what Boeing engineers found,
       you could throw off the shackles of software constraints   after replacing assembly manuals with smart glasses
       – if you never again had to explain to your project man-  displays and seeing a decrease of 25% in wiring pro-
       ager or client that ‘the software doesn’t let me do that’?   duction time.
       If you were tasked to reimagine 3D model data and the   It also means that formerly impossible feats are becom-
       right technology sat at your fingertips, what couldn’t you   ing doable, such as NASA’s latest Mars Rover pro-
       do?                                                  ject that uses HoloLenstechnology to bring the experi-
                                                            ence of space exploration straight onto the design floor.
       Gaming engines are empowering, because they offer    By immersing themselves in a virtual space reality, de-
       platforms on which to design and innovate towards    signers and engineers are not only able to visualize in
       what you dare to imagine. The technology doesn’t ask   3D; they can literally get in, on and around the potential
       you to reinvent the wheel and write a software solution   problems that threaten future space missions. Says
       from scratch. Instead, it gives you the framework and   Matthew Clausen, lead designer of ProtoSpace for the
       the tools to start small and then think bigger.      NASA endeavor, “Being able to see it in the space,
                                                            walk around it and put their arms in the hologram al-
       You can program subtle changes, or you can roll up   lows engineers to uncover a lot of solutions. [They can]
       your sleeves and dive deep into the heart of the engine   discover problems they didn’t even know existed.”
       to forge truly unique functions. It means we can be
       more focused on inputting ‘what if’ and not just ‘what is’   It’s just a matter of time
       to arrive at ‘what might be’. The emergence of gaming
       technology in the world of engineering is allowing the   The fact is, more employees are catching onto game
       mind of the engineer to take flight and, in so doing, im-  technology and starting to pull the headsets over their
       agine a better world through better design.          eyes. According to a Deloitte internal report, AR/VR
                                                            solutions are being tested or have already been rolled
       Getting inside our designs                           out by over 150 companies from multiple industries,
                                                            including 52 of the Fortune 500. And according to the
       In the past, we designed by observation. Projects were   IDC, worldwide revenue from augmented and virtual
       pitched through movie formats and static visualizations   reality is projected to grow from $5.2 billion in 2016 to
       and concepts were left to be envisioned in the mind’s   $162 billion by 2025. Its adoption is not really a matter
       eye. But now design is interactive, intelligent, engaging   of if, but a matter of when.
       the user on every level.
                                                            Companies would be wise to take heed.
       Manufacturers and machine operators can pull a 3D
       virtual product into reality before its parts have even   Because game technology is improving by the day and
       joined the assembly line. Thanks to Virtual Reality   becoming more customized and accessible to a whole
       (VR), we can now walk around our designs and experi-  world one floor up from the basement shadows. As ap-
       ence them from every angle, analyzing as much as     plications keep getting better and tailored to the end
       ‘feeling’ our way to a more refined solution. Head-  user, more and more companies will seek its tools as a
       mounted displays (HMDs) such as HTC Vive             way to stay one step ahead.
       and Oculus Rift, used by a number of today’s games,
       give designers and engineers an immersive 3D interac-  The punchline with a surfer, a gam-
       tive experience, and reveal new worlds of invention and   er and an engineer walking into a
       productivity.                                        bar is that this is now more and
                                                            more likely to be one person rather
       Augmented Reality (AR) headsets such as the Mi-      than three. And that person is as
       crosoft HoloLens can overlay instructions, maps, sys-  passionate about redefining the
       tem information, or real-time feedback over a worker’s   world of how engineering design is
       field of view. And some applications allow colleagues to   done through visual thinking as they are about catching
       collaborate remotely over the same virtual space.    the next beach break, dude! ◊

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