When the virtual reality device was first launched, the applications for it have been mostly related to gaming. Ford is using the technology to design, create prototypes, and evaluate cars in a virtual reality environment.
The company collaborated with motion-capture technology firm Vicon to create a setup that enables their engineers to visualize car designs and prototypes in a three dimensional environment. With the help of motion-capture cameras, the setup tracks the user’s position and movements so that when the user physically moves around, it will also reflect in the digital environment that he or she is in. With the system, the engineer wearing the Oculus Rift will feel like he or she is inside a full-scale virtual model of the car.
Vicon product manager Warren Lester told Fast Company, “The idea here is that auto designers can use this type of system to really look at the design of their vehicle in detail, whether its color, material, or finish.”
According to the post on Fast Company, Ford is currently using three similar Rift models in Detroit and has plans to replicate the system in other locations.
Check out the video by Gear Diary below for a quick demo of the system.