Augmented reality to change the model making landscape

Although augmented reality first hit the headlines in 2008, big brands and major industries have only recently started tapping into its full potential.  Aviation, astronautics and automotive industries have famously used augmented reality in the past and now, the model making industry is taking advantage of its uses.

Augmented reality is a view of a physical real-world environment with digital information, portraying a virtual experience.  A smart device is used to unlock the 3D video. It is particularly useful for architectural purposes, where multiple users can share a space and take a virtual tour of a building or prototype from design to construction.

Chris Conlon of Amalgam, a specialist in model making is keen to explore augmented reality for its superyacht models and explained, “I have worked closely with a company who used the clever programming, which overlaid the physical model we adapted. I surveyed and measured the model so I could produce a 3D computer generated model, which they added to and uploaded to an IPad through an app.

“When viewed through the IPad a ‘marker’ under the model is recognised and the IPad overlays it. The viewer can walk around the model and the IPad and the virtual model rotates accordingly. It would have ‘hot spots’ that could be tapped to create pop-up images, information and movies. I see this personal device interactivity being a thing to watch out for; it’s certainly got the wow factor at the moment.”

When asked how augmented reality will affect the model making industry Chris added, “For the moment there is a sort of symbiotic relationship between the two as the physical model is what draws people in from afar and then there is the further wow factor of the experience on the device.  So I'm not quite sure where it will go but at least the model doesn't require recharging or a software upgrade.”

Superyacht models are often commissioned by yacht designers to showcase their concepts; the added bonus of augmented reality introduces versatility, further innovation and choice. 

Michelle Williams, website and digital marketing manager at Yachting Pages said, “Using augmented reality, now potential owners can be presented with a physical model of the proposed design and offered a selection of additional extras or even variants in a 3D visual format.  This technology is still massively under-utilised and has huge strengths, particularly in sectors such as construction, design and model making. 

“Anything that allows you to communicate a vision, design, passion or concept has a significant place, especially in the superyacht industry.  Virtual furniture, choices in décor, different layouts, technology options, etc…  It has huge potential.”

Disney, Nissan, Toyota and Lego have all famously used augmented reality in their marketing efforts and now Pepsi has announced that 20 million cans in the Northeast United States will utilise augmented reality as part of a bigger digital push around the Super Bowl XLIX in 2015.

The number of worldwide users consuming augmented reality on portable media devices is expected to exceed 1 billion users by 2020.

For further information about model making, visit Yachting Pages’ model making section.

For details about Amalgam, visit http://www.amalgam-models.co.uk/.


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