Sporting Virtual Reality

By Kate

So far as part of our spring series on Virtual Reality, I’ve shared interviews with VR software and equipment specialists. How about some perspective from a VR scientific researcher? And even better, one exploring VR and sports? ;-)

Here’s an interview with researcher Daniel Mestre, member of the French Association of Virtual Reality and head of the “Immersions Group” at the Marseille Institute of Movement Sciences, CNRS and Univmed.

Questions I asked:

  1. What work are you doing with virtual reality and sports?
  2. Who are the people who will benefit the most from this work, athletes, doctors or sports equipment manufacturers?
  3. Do you think that sports will evolve to a level where athletes use VR applications while exercising their activity?
  4. What’s the future of virtual reality? (My pet comparison question.)

Here’s the translation/transcription:

Q1: What work are you doing with virtual reality and sports?

We want to understand how athletes behave, and we use virtual reality to create situations where we can study human behavior in sports. That’s the fundamental aspect. More precisely, we’re studying virtual training for athletes. And we’re also exploring how, through virtual reality, we can inspire men and women who aren’t physically active to exercise again.

This is a VR topic that’s pretty developed now, especial in Anglophone countries like the US, and it’s starting to spread in Europe. Here we’re trying to couple, for example, gym equipment with virtual content that motivates people to get active. We’re starting to orient our work targeting obese populations to help motivate them to get in shape.

For example, is it more motivating for someone to distract them from the exercise at hand? Or is it more motivating to encourage them with biofeedback? Virtual reality is interesting for these classic questions because it allows us to externally study a process that’s typically internal.

Q2: Who are the people who will benefit the most from this work, athletes, doctors or sports equipment manufacturers?

I think it’s all three. We need doctors to help us develop a process of re-adaptation. It would be illusory to think that by magic virtual reality will resolve our problems. Equipment manufacturers are interested in the work to help them bring new products to market. I think athletes are already benefiting from it. For example we’re working on a project about virtual cycling training. A cyclist living in a flat desert region can virtually train for an upcoming race in the mountains, although this remains elitist.

There’s a fourth group of beneficiaries to our work and that’s coaches/teachers, students and people developing VR sports applications. A big part of our activity is working with physical education students, exposing them to the possibilities that virtual reality and training provide.

Q3: Do you think that sports will evolve to a level where athletes use VR applications while exercising their activity?

I’d say we’re not there yet, but then again we’ve already introduced it as video arbitrage during ball games. Otherwise we’re starting to see athletic trainers explore using virtual reality for coaching team sports, although it’s an old idea for us. So rather than drawing positions and strategies on a chalkboard, they’ll produce them virtually.

But are we going to invent virtual sports disciplines? I don’t know how to answer that question today.

Q4: What’s the future of virtual reality?

It’s brilliant and polymorph!

Merci Daniel!

Stay tuned for more . . .



P.S. If you’re new to our series, previous posts include:

Virtual Reality Series: Interviews & I Spy
Live from Laval Virtual Day 1: R-Screen
Day 2 @ Laval Virtual = Fire
Day 3 @ Laval Virtual: Ergo Wide 3
Equipping Our VR Future

P.P.S. You may also enjoy this VR sports application: Spinning into Virtual Reality

Fit for Use Lead Design

By Vincent

Robert Burns

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry…

Robert Burns’ poetic words ring as true today as they did when he penned them in 1785.

This is especially true if you’re in the business of bringing new consumer products to market. Even with a disciplined, phase-gate project methodology in place, often you end up with a design prototype just before launch that scantly resembles the winning concept(s) blessed further upstream.

Why? Because the prototype misses the mark on any number of consumer, technical, and/or financial success criteria defined for the project in the marketing and design briefs, when your “best laid plans” were formulated. And too frequently just before launch you find yourself scrambling to make the design work, often at a significant capital cost.

So what to do?

Product developers know and accept that design changes are imminent. Consumer preferences, market dynamics, global economic conditions, supply chain capabilities, and production technologies are a few variables that could justify modifications to the design of a product as it moves through the phase-gate continuum. So eliminating design modifications in the new product development and introduction (NPDI) process is not a realistic option nor advised.

This predicament is significant, not because change is happening in the design, but because there’s no visibility to the impact of those changes on the marketability, manufacturability, and financial viability of the design until much too late in the NPDI process.

This is exacerbated by fragmented internal IT systems for managing design elements and the common practice of outsourcing design to our supply chain partners who have their own isolated systems.

But what if there was a way to see in real-time how proposed product design changes will impact the success of your new product? Specifically, from the perspective of the elements that matter to you most: the consumer, technical, and financial success criteria you defined in the project charter. Further, what if you had such visibility even if the proposed changes are coming from your supply chain partners?

A way to accomplish this is with Dassault Systemes’ Fit-For-Use Design Engine. It gives you visibility to the impact of every product design change in real-time. You define the consumer, technical, and financial success criteria for the project through the marketing and design brief (including the acceptable variance for each criteria), and the Fit-For-Use Engine measures how each design stacks up against those criteria in real-time, displaying the results in an intuitive, dashboard format.

Learning early and often through the design phase of a project – and being nimble enough to adjust prior to final design – is the way to go.

Sounds like a fruitful way to embrace change to me. What do you think?



Detective Cloud Perspective

By Kate

I just clicked the End Call button in our Telepresence conference room. Aside from the excitement of experiencing what it must feel like to be a world political leader on an international, immersive video “call” (why thank you Cisco!), I’m really happy because Oleg Shilovitsky will be joining us as a contributor on 3D Perspectives.

Why? Because he’s an IT expert and I’m not.

You see, we’re both interested in exploring topics like cloud computing. Rather than getting a Kate-analysis of the Cloud Watching polls , Oleg has agreed to break down the results and commentate them from an IT perspective.

In addition to being an IT veteran, Oleg’s been chatting about Clouds for some time now on his blog PLM Twine and also in person with industry people and customers at various conferences and meetings. The guy’s in the know.

So . . . stay tuned for some perspective on your collective Cloud perspective! Detective.



P.S. It’s not too late to answer the two questions if you want a prevue-feel for what’s coming.

Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.