In the 3D technology space, digital transformation has taken shape, and we're seeing massive progress and implementation of 3D tools and software in many industries, including healthcare, automotive, advertising, training, and entertainment. As the implementation rate of 3D technology increases, innovation continues. We've now begun to see the embrace of real-time 3D (RT3D) visualization outside conventional video game development. Special thanks to the metaverse for this push.
Where it all began: The evolution of RT3D
RT3D applications are built with game engines. Video games can be considered the original genre for RT3D applications. These game engines have been increasingly used in the last five years to create RT3D applications that are not games. With that change, one of the most popular engines is the Unity Game Engine, which has been rebranded to follow this trend. Now it is called the Unity Real-Time Editor or simply the Unity Engine.
Still, a game engine is a software framework that allows developers, designers and artists to collaborate and create RT3D applications. The framework streamlines the process needed to create these sorts of applications by including prebuilt packages and libraries out of the box.
Understanding RT3D in the scope of 2D and 3D
RT3D is redefining interactive communication, but before diving deeper into the technology, we need to consider the technological waves that got us here.
Traditionally, web and mobile applications are created in 2D—flat images—using standard user interfaces (UI) with common user experience (UX) interactions, including button clicks/touches, toggles, sliders, and zoom capabilities. 3D technology goes a step further. Applications can now incorporate 3D objects and visuals displayed on a flat screen with similar UX and interactions to 2D. Google Maps' 3D capabilities are a great example. Their technology allows users to view 3D models or Building Information Models (BIMs) of the buildings in the area while having the UX remain similar to 2D.
RT3D elevates web and mobile applications and additional devices, including augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and consoles (PlayStation, Nintendo, Xbox). RT3D creates a more immersive and interactive experience; these fundamental enhancements from traditional 2D and 3D make lifelike digital immersion much more precise and intuitive with the experience. In essence, RT3D is the most immersive and interactive way of experiencing and engaging with any digital application. Google Maps recently announced enhancing their application into a more "immersive" viewing experience, which would incorporate RT3D implementation.
Caption: Google Maps' RT3D viewing experience demo.
Why businesses should consider adopting RT3D technology
2D applications have long been the go-to medium for communication. But as we've seen, there's a growing trend towards AR/VR and 3D imagery. There are several benefits for traditional industries and businesses adopting RT3D technology in spaces such as simulations, digital twins, and training, including:
- Cost savings: Dependence on physical and expensive machines is reduced. In addition, it is possible to detect design and engineering failures in advance. This dependency is diminished by allowing replication of a system, simulation, processes, machinery, etc., to be recreated. Once that is done, you can create user journeys to train, simulate, test, and garner output to make better business decisions in real life.
- Increased sales: Presenting products in a more eye-catching and attractive way and going beyond traditional multimedia formats will likely increase sales and the tangibility of your online omni-channel experiences.
- Fast time to market: With better working research and development schedules, you're enabling automated systems to be trained in simulated environments.
- Improved product margins: You're guaranteed increased work productivity and more reliable, efficient, and faster after-sales services.
Although not all digital products need RT3D solutions, integrating these capabilities into your application can add more interactivity and engagement between your user and application. RT3D will always give a business a competitive advantage over a flat 2D application.
Digital innovation: The growing trend of RT3D
RT3D solutions for enterprise industries such as construction, architecture, retail, tours, and education are becoming increasingly common. There's a growing trend for these different spaces to have applications made in RT3D for numerous reasons:
- Increased demand for remote experiences: Covid-19 only accelerated the inevitable need for remote experiences. We've begun to see an increased desire for immersive experiences remotely. For example, going to a virtual concert and feeling like you're actually there without leaving your home. This is something that would fall under a bigger term called meta-tainment, which is entertainment done virtually and soon as part of the bigger metaverse concept.
- Staying ahead of the game: Businesses constantly need to remain innovative. Executives and decision-makers need to consider how to generate more customer engagement and enthusiasm for their products or service offerings. Extracting immersion and engagement is one of the most sought-after forms of media entertainment, so combining the immersive and interactive feel from RT3D technology only makes sense. IKEA's Kitchen Planner is an excellent example of using immersive and interactive solutions to customize and plan your home's look in real life. It has proven to be a success story amongst their customers.
- Effective research and design outcomes: Industries incorporating RT3D in their processes and workflows guarantee real-world predictions via virtual copies. Let's say you have machines you want to improve or test scenarios with to determine specific outcomes on the machine's usefulness. Rather than test these simulations in real life and risk complications and damages, you can create a Digital Twin. A digital twin can run simulations, train and validate models, ingest data and replicate processes to predict possible performance outcomes and issues that the real-world copy might undergo.
Real-world example: Bell Flight RT3D digital solution
Bell Flight was a past client of TTT Studios. In partnership with Unity Technologies, we created a product configurator app that Bell Flight's sales team would use to develop various flight scenarios with their flight fleet to analyze and simulate performance and showcase the ROI on that specific vehicle to prospective customers.
Essentially a more engaging and interactive spreadsheet with 3D models of Flight Vehicles Bell wanted to showcase to their potential customers. The application was made using the Unity Engine and built for Windows Desktop and Surface Pro. Our Development Team received the 3D assets from the team we worked with at Unity Accelerate Solutions, and following their UX/UI wireframes, we built and put the entire application together. The development side was all from TTT; we also had to build the application in a way that would be easily extendable by Bell Flight's internal Unity team.
There's a clear case for businesses to integrate RT3D applications into their products or services to create an immersive and engaging experience for their customers. TTT Studios' processes focus on presenting and creating innovative digital experiences, such as RT3D, that users love. For more information, contact us at email@example.com.