Realism, interactive configurations, and lifelike avatars in immersive environments; Thomas W. Smith, Executive Vice President, of Business Development at EON Reality describes some of the trends in commercial aircraft visualizations over the next years.
Mr. Smith worked on the STADAN Tracking System at Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt MD during the Apollo program. He helped develop a means of recording massive amounts of data and look for anomalies which lead to the development of current day data mining techniques. He left Goddard and started working in the commercial sector, helping develop what later become “Ticketmaster”, and generating a computer generation format for political campaign financial reporting to the Federal Elections Commission. Thomas is a commercial Pilot / Flight Instructor and is Boeing 727 type rated. Mr. Smith came to EON Reality in 2004 as a vertical market specialist in the field of Aerospace.
What do you see as the major trends in Business Jet interiors modeling software over the next 5 years?
The companies which offer their customers the ability to build, see, modify and experience their “perfect airplane” in a Real Time Virtual Environment and accept their creation prior to manufacturing are going to have a major advantage over companies who are unable to offer like services. The value associated with this ability is so great that most of the development effort in Business Jet Interior Modeling will be in support of providing this capability.
We have very realistic immersive environments, we have computers and video cards strong enough to support the concept, we have visualization software and data base hooks to create the interactive configurations, and we have the ROI financial model to make it all affordable.
The only thing missing is the building of the virtual parts catalogue which is required for creating a unique virtual interior. This problem will be resolved over the next years.
What are the biggest obstacles to overcome when using new technology?
New Technology equals CHANGE!
Your employees are going to make you or break you on this one. If they want the change in technology to take place, than they will get through the process with little to no problems. If they do not want change to take place for whatever reason, than your transition will be a disaster. The easiest way to make them want to change is to make sure they understand the problems associated with the current method of doing business, and have them involved early on in the evaluation process of new methods of doing business.
New technology always comes with a risk: one of the largest being upward compatibility when trying to merge old assets with new capabilities. Sometimes this process can be as simple as automatic conversion the first time you utilize the new technology, and sometimes your entire asset base is deemed useless regardless of what you do. It is imperative that a full understanding of the integration process and the limitations associated with change are anticipated and dealt with prior to start up.
Another caution here is the time it will take to install, get trained and start utilizing the new technology. My experience is that time is normally calculated optimistically which makes an uneventful transition from old to new difficult to accomplish.
What will be the key advances in Business Jet Interiors Modeling Software technology in the next 10 years?
Merging of Technologies and Processes is happening now, and will continue to expand in the years to come.
During the configuration process, the adding, removal or moving of assets and monuments will be controlled by weight and balance limitations. Effects of weight and drag on operational characteristics will be calculated in real time as the configuration process is taking place.
Once the virtual aircraft is created and accepted by the customer, plans, parts lists and order placements can be completed automatically. The end result is a customer who is very happy upon delivery because he experienced the airplane in the virtual world before it was built, and a builder who is very happy with the extra profits realized by containment of construction costs, time savings, and total customer satisfaction.
Realism of the models is the key for these results to take effect. For that reason, models will be more photo realistic and will utilize other life like enhancing processes such as lifelike avatars. Already we have perfected the ability to add green screened people inside virtual aircraft interiors.
How advanced – in your opinion – is Business Jet interiors modeling software compared to systems used in other industries (automotive, mainstream commercial aircraft, domestic interiors etc) Where does it rank? Or does it often share the same process with other disciplines?
Jet interiors are created by placing many engineered parts in a confined space.
There are around 90 CAD-CAM type software products on the market today that create the parts, and for the most part, do not differentiate if a seat is for an airplane or an automobile. It is what you do with that part that makes the difference.
Business Jet interior configuration is probably the most complex due to the amount of options available to the buyer, with many of the options being one of a kind type options.
Commercial Airplane Configurations normally limit the number of options to a slated approved option list which makes the data processing and data base portion of the configuration system easier to manage.
What makes your firm stand out from the others within this field? What do you consider its specialism to be?
EON Reality specializes in Immersive Interactive 3D Stereo Virtual Environments. The realism of EON models and our ability to bring the models to life through a seamless transition from the virtual world to the real world is what sets EON apart from our competition.
EON manufactures and sells the software tools which provides the ability to convert Cad Data into an interactive 3D Stereo model, configure, in real-time, a complex assembly utilizing these models, and publish the results in any format required.
Our interactive models can be re-purposed for Engineering, Design, Manufacturing, Training, and Marketing purposes. We are able to differentiate products through engineering and design applications, and add the human factor for marketing and sales presentations.
EON Reality can integrate the models to be shown on the internet, or on any other display system up to a 3D Stereo Theater experience, meeting the demands and requirements of the intended audience.
Virtual Reality Solutions for the Aerospace Industry
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