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The modern manufacturer’s struggle is often in differentiating products and beating competitors to market – which means that quick decisions within product teams have become increasingly critical to the speed, cost, quality, and overall success of a product. Due to this need, a large number of companies have turned to simulation to help designers make these types of decisions as effectively as possible.

Manual simulation methods can no longer keep up with the needs of the modern designer, often becoming cost-prohibitive and time-consuming. Long lead times during the tooling phase while running back to the drawing board to fix unforeseen issues is a costly way to uncover blind spots that could make or break the pre-production phase.

However, the expertise required to conduct accurate simulations, combined with increasing product complexity, leaves companies struggling to effectively predict the behavior of their products prior to testing. As a result, Best-in-Class companies are turning to simulation software to arm their employees with the insight needed to develop and optimize products.

Microsoft’s HoloLens fills an unexpected technology niche within the realm of augmented reality devices, allowing developers, product designers, scientists, and many others to communicate and collaborate with remote teams across the globe. Through a combination of hardware, input (user interface), and machine learning, the Hololens can bring fully 3D holograms to life using the world around you as the canvas.

The use-cases span construction, product design, and gaming – however, one of the most interesting aspects beyond the augmented reality element itself is that with their 3D modelling software, users will be able to build and interact with their designs to then produce output for 3D printers. To facilitate this progression, Microsoft’s Hololens will utilize a platform called ‘Spark 3D’ that will allow users to build 3D designs completely within the interface and print those creations on the fly.

Scientists at NASA will also soon be exploring Mars using holograms built from images taken by the Mars Rover. This ability for researchers to study the cosmos as though they were walking on the surface of the planet itself is a monumental feat that may not have been possible at any other time in history, and should allow for quicker insights.

With so many alternate reality options coming down the pipeline over the next few years, it will be fascinating to witness the effects they will have on our creations and experiences going forward. If you’d like to learn more about the value of virtual simulation versus traditional methods, check out this piece of Aberdeen research.

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