‘We visualise future processes for Industry 4.0’

Viality is a pioneer in virtual and augmented reality

‘In the future, there will hardly be any industry that does not make use of virtual reality and augmented reality,’ says Markus Rall, managing director of Viality. Particularly for industry, virtual and augmented reality mean technical innovations with great future potential. In the ‘City of Cities’, there are companies that have specialised in these technologies, including Viality from Dortmund.

A frequent use of virtual and augmented-reality applications at manufacturing companies lies in user training. For example, with the aid of virtual reality, employees can practise controlling giant cranes without any danger. They can immerse themselves in a computer-generated factory hall by means of a head-mounted display. Here, they can look around, and using the controller in their hand, operate virtual machines which respond realistically. This saves costs: continuous operation is not disrupted and standardised training can be carried out regardless of the time and place.

Sales also stand to benefit from virtual reality. ‘For example, think about an office that you would like to move into, but it’s still in the early planning stages. With a pair of virtual reality glasses, you can take a tour through the new four walls, as though you were standing there directly,’ Rall explains. He then mentions a second application: ‘Or take a yacht builder who no longer needs to transport their boats to an exhibition venue, but can instead offer a virtual reproduction, including the sights and sounds of the sea.’

Augmented reality expands real experiences

Augmented Reality hit the headlines in 2016 through the game Pokemon Go. All over the world, people gathered in public places to search for the virtual entities using their smartphones. Thanks to augmented reality, the real world and the virtual world are connected. Viality uses this technical application in industry to service machines. Technicians can augment the real world through virtual information using AR glasses, a tablet or smartphone. In the maintenance of complex machines, they receive additional virtual information, such as 3D animations, error analysis or details about necessary repair steps. If they need additional advice, they can call on the assistance of other experts through video web conferences.

Creating virtual worlds for regional and global players

Viality’s customers include car manufacturers, football clubs and media companies. The Dortmund-based company offers a complete programme, from idea development, implementation and programming to visualisation. Markus Rall sees the location in the technology centre of Dortmund as beneficial, with connections to the Technical University of Dortmund, enabling innovative exchange and cooperation on the company’s doorstep. Also significant are the 155,000 companies based in the Metropolis Ruhr, with many potential customers to be found among the industrial companies there in particular.