Microsoft Adopts Skolkovo Resident’s VR Solution
Skolkovo resident VR Concept has developed a VR prototyping solution that was recently picked up by the American corporation Microsoft for its “Gorod Innovatsii” program (Urban Innovation). The project is aimed at industry with the goal of increasing efficiency, particularly with regard to communication, but also for virtual prototyping, analysis, and so on.
VR Concept solution for the oil & gas sector. Screenshot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1RmFMciRPg
The partnership with Microsoft will give the VR Concept team the opportunity to develop its sales both in Russia and abroad, and the fact that the American company has added the solution to its collection indicates the growing interest in virtual reality prototyping technologies. VR Concept already has over 30 clients in Russia, Europe, and Asia as well as 300 prospective clients, and its market sectors are construction, engineering and education.
The main feature is to combine the capabilities of virtual prototyping and collective remote interactive work with a wide range of building information modeling (BIM), computer-aided design (CAD), and computer-aided engineering (CAE) data. Using the solution, you can create a virtual session for a project from BIM/CAD/CAE models and run it on virtual and augmented reality desktop systems; it allows users with VR systems to connect to a given session via a local network or via the Internet, in spite of geographic location. VR Concept is built on its own engine using algorithms that can reduce the need for resource performance and implement the creation of 3D models and scenes on client equipment from native 3D models from BIM, CAD and CAE packages.
VR Concept solution in education. Screenshot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QiOAGGKsKE
VR Concept is a software developer that creates prototyping applications to solve industrial challenges, aiming to provide users with a quick, convenient and relatively simple VR application for collaboration and for visualizing scalable CAD models. The project began as a spin-off of VE Group four years ago, when it was registered as an LLC. While the company only became a Skolkovo resident in 2019, its team of fourteen specialists has fifteen years of experience behind it.
The new collaboration with Microsoft is a major step for such a young company, although it isn’t its first collaboration with a large corporation. VR Concept’s solution has already been used with the Russian energy giant Gazprom Neft in a move to help the company implement its internal digitization program; the collaboration ultimately reduced business trip costs. Another joint corporate project was with Sinara-Transport Machines Holding, one of Russia’s largest holdings for transport engineering. VR Concept’s solution was used in this case to improve the locomotive design process, a completely different field to the Gazprom case. The result was a reduction in the time it takes to design new locomotives, while the technology is being applied and scaled to other divisions within the company. Aside from corporate projects, the company also applied the solution in the academic field during a collaboration with Belgorod State Technological University named after V.G. Shukhov, which increased the training speed and quality of BIM specialists with skills working with digital tools and VR.
The virtual reality technology market was estimated at around $10.3 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $15.8 billion by the end of 2020, although VR Concept focuses on the VR prototyping market. The market is projected to continue to grow steadily over the coming decade. The Russian VR-prototyping market accounts for about 2-3% of the total VR market and, according to VR Concept, the company currently has few domestic competitors. Its stated main advantage over rival companies is the solution’s ease of use, productivity, focus on solving industrial challenges, technical support, its speedy implementation according to client needs, not to mention its competitive price.
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