Ford Combines Virtual And Real Worlds To Develop New Products

DEARBORN (WWJ) – Ford has started using an interesting technology that allows designers and engineers to walk around a vehicle and instantly see changes.

It’s called HoloLens and the automaker says it is a game changer in vehicle design. WWJ Auto Beat Reporter Jeff Gilbert was able to try it out.

“You put the HoloLens over your head and you still see the real world through a clear screen, but you also see the virtual world on that screen as well,” said Gilbert.

The new technology uses mixed reality, which enables designers to see holograms in photo-quality backdrops through wire-free headsets. They can scroll and preview at the flick of a finger through numerous design variations projected virtually onto an actual car or clay model.

Ford Vice President Jim Holland they’ve been able to explore different shapes, sizes and textures of future vehicle attributes in minutes and hours instead of the weeks and months it can take to create clay models. Designers see 3D holographic images of themes and features as though these elements were already part of the vehicle – allowing them to quickly evaluate the design, make changes, and determine styling options earlier in development.

“We’re always looking for new opportunities to accelerate our development and this is one of the tools in the toolbox that we’re very excited about,” he said.

HoloLens can also connect people in different physical locations so that they feel like they are all standing around the same car discussing potential changes.

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