I/O Design & Engineering look to cutting edge technology – Virtual and Augmented Reality – to provide their clients with reliable, accurate, and realistic modeling for a variety of applications.
Far from being a technology of the future, virtual and augmented reality is increasingly being utilized in multiple industries and sectors, ranging from entertainment, communications and education to design, scientific research and engineering.
I/O Design & Engineering in Trail, BC, is a business taking advantage of virtual and augmented reality to more thoroughly provide for the needs of their clients, not to mention set themselves ahead of the pack in their corner of the market.
Modeling in 3D has been a tool for many engineers for decades. The design, construction, and use of buildings and infrastructure is one such area where 3D models have had a significant impact, bringing designs and drawings into tangible imagery and, in many cases, form. However, access to 3D models still requires that the users have the capacity to interact with the model and interpret the images that they see.
By leveraging VR technologies, viewing scanned objects, locations, data and more in fully explorable, at-scale settings, a business such as I/O Design & Engineering is able to generate the valuable early feedback about the impact and efficacy of new designs. Something that, previously, was hard to assess from plans and renderings alone.
I/O Design’s introduction to the possibilities of this technology in their business was through their attendance to the 2017 #BCTECH Summit where the theme of that year’s event was Virtual and Augmented Reality. With the help of the $1000 grant Columbia Basin Trust makes available for Basin-based businesses to attend the annual summit, the principals made their way not only to Vancouver but inspiration.
Upon their return to Trail, owner Isaac Saban and I/O Design approached the team at MIDAS and proposed a donation of $10,000 for the Fab Lab to purchase the necessary VR/AR technologies in exchange for a one-year corporate membership.
With the help of MIDAS instructor, Jason Taylor, who spent almost 20 hours converting 3D designs to VR/AR to see if what the company had in mind was even possible, drew on various resources and did all the vital legwork to hand the team at I/O the ball so they could run with it!
More than just a model – an experience.
To continue on Taylor’s work, I/O Design hired a summer student, Jordan Currie, to use 3D scan data rather than a solid 3D model to produce VR/AR imagery. After a couple of months, the company took the work to yet another level, hiring database programmer, Tim Cristofoli to pick up where Jordan left off.
Moving from the Lower Mainland to Trail to “play with VR”, it took Tim about three months to get up to speed and begin adding animations and colour, bringing I/O Design’s VR/AR project to life.
Given the power of providing the user to experience rather than simply view with VR/AR, short-term, the I/O Design & Engineering team expects to see their new VR/AR abilities to be used for training purposes and to allow crews to more accurately view and assess the inside of various industrial facilities.
As a result, I/O Design & Engineering offers a service that goes well beyond traditional representations such as photographs, 3D renderings, and diagrams, enabling clients to receive an entirely different perspective on a space or object in real-world proportions.
The investment I/O Design made in MIDAS while leveraging the expertise of the Fab Lab team has allowed I/O Designs to quickly evolve their use of VR/AR technology and expand their services as well as their positioning in the market.
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