Ford is now designing cars using Mixed Reality!

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By 2017-11-20

By Shenali Welikala

When designing a car, what are the key things to think about? It's the functionality and design. Yet if one key factor over powers the other the purpose of the car will not be met. The right balance should be identified whereas each design feature should complement the functionality. Therefore the complex design of the vehicle should be as clear as water for its designer or the production team. Where does the Microsoft HoloLens come into play? What the HoloLens gives the vehicle designing and production team at Ford is the simple way of understanding the extremely complex information that comes from multiple sources around the company.

The application matters to everybody from the young designer all the way up to the top level management. Ford has been in the journey of introducing a virtual process within the company for a long time. Everything starting with 2D drawings, that designers do on the computers evolving to 3D fully digital models were done investing a long time. The limiting factor was that they had to develop a physical product or a prototype almost all the iterations.

The technology that is embedded in the Microsoft HoloLens is known as Mixed Reality. What it can do is that it can take a physical asset and can overlay new concepts on top of it. Ford is using HoloLens to let designers quickly model out changes to cars, trucks and SUVs.

This allows the designers to see the changes on top of an existing physical vehicle instead of the physical clay model approach to design a car prototype.

HoloLens also means that collaborating can be digitized in clever ways, including allowing the recording and sharing of high tech virtual mixed media sticky notes, which can be appended to specific spots of the vehicle.

Microsoft has partnered up with Ford to take decisions quickly and iterate rapidly. It does not replace the process that Ford uses now but it augments them, and it makes them better and faster.

The HoloLens is the newest tool that is added to the Ford tool box. Apps are being created to use in the production environment for designing cars in the near future. It has now created a collaborative environment where people can share ideas together. HoloLens gives the people a faster path to make their creative ideas into something physical.

After its launch Microsoft Hololense has been slowly expanding to commercial markets. Before the Lens was embraced by Ford, it was applied to the businesses of NASA, Volvo, Lowe's, Audi and Volkswagen.

The application of HoloLens in the Ford's business is still at a testing stage.

The company's statement "It's definitely a smart fit for use, of the still relatively nascent world of AR" provides the fact that how Ford is looking forward to bring HoloLens and mixed reality into more of its engineering work.

The application of technology to existing businesses is not something new yet again the application of a technology such as Mixed Reality via a HoloLens is taking existing businesses in to the next step.

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