A survey conducted by Shipbuilder shows maritime organisations mainly use very standard virtual reality (VR) functionalities. Geert Schouten, director of Shipbuilder: “At the SMM and the Monaco Yacht Show I spoke to a lot of organisations that use VR. They used it to show for example beautiful yachts and other projects. The users are very positive about this application. Design review and ergonomics benefit from VR already but only via standard applications. The real potential of this technology is not widely known. Through our Shipbuilder-VR application we have been adding real time information in VR for several months, and it’s been very successful. This will become a new trend in the maritime sector.”
VR’s potential gets fully utilized when extra information gets added to the visual experience, with the option to adapt this information in real time. Schouten: “With Shipbuilder VR+ your project management data, technical and logistical data get published real time in 3D, on your portable devices and PC. This allows you to experience being inside the ship, where you can immediately see all information from Shipbuilder that is relevant to this particular compartment. This is a very interesting take on data management. We predict that this new, accessible and integral data management is a trend that will develop itself a lot further in the sector.”
Trend: Real time and on browsers
Schouten regularly facilitates workshops that focus on creating a vision for the future of shipbuilding. He explains: “VR is on the rise in the maritime sector. VR+ is taking this development to the next level. VR+ allows for a real time interaction with the user. VR+ makes it possible for engineers to study the interior of the ship even before they visit the wharf to build or maintain a ship. Also, this way you can determine which material you will need. Do you miss anything in a scheme? You can then add this in real time, or correct together with a co-worker. The quality of the project data improves dramatically this way. Thankfully the times of walking around with a VR headset are over, as Shipbuilder has made VR+ also available on tablet and PC browsers.”
Virtually endless applications: training
In cooperation with a client Shipbuilder made instructions for usage and maintenance of a ship available in the VR+ module. Even before the ship is put into use maintenance personnel can virtually explore the ship, and receive maintenance instructions for all equipment and systems per compartment. After the completion of the ship the Shipbuilder software will tell automatically which maintenance will be necessary when exactly, based on the very latest information. When a task is done the maintenance personnel can easily tick that off in VR+ on, for example, their iPad. The possibilities are virtually limitless.