In a recent article for online industrial design magazine, Core77, Senior Industrial Designer, Tom Murray, explores how virtual reality is translating to faster turnaround and cheaper development costs.
Murray points to the Jacuzzi Aging-in-Place Shower as an example. A few years ago when that product was in development, designers at Bresslergroup built a foam-core mockup to conduct ergonomic assessments and get client feedback. A nearby virtual reality facility was rented to evaluate a simulated version of an early prototype of the shower. Both scenarios helped the design team see the value of changing some of the hard-to-reach controls.
Today, writes Murray in “How VR Is Changing the Game for Product Designers,” Bresslergroup has its own in-house VR setup, and the industrial design team has integrated VR into its workflow. Being able to iterate virtually allows designers to explore variants much more quickly and to improve a design before building a prototype. In the case of the shower, they would have been able to build an early prototype that was already optimized for ergonomics.
As Murray explains, the many possibilities for integrating virtual reality into the design process will only increase as the technology continues to evolve.