Ford's vehicle design process is getting a major upgrade, thanks to Microsoft HoloLens.
The automaker on Thursday announced it has "been swapping some clay-sculpting steels and rakes for mixed reality headsets and visualization software" to more quickly prototype vehicles. Ford has been piloting Microsoft's augmented reality headset for the past year in Dearborn, Mich., and now the company expanding its use of this technology "across the globe."
The technology lets designers and engineers see 3D holographic versions of possible side mirrors, grilles, and vehicle interiors as if they were already incorporated into a physical vehicle, Ford said. With HoloLens, designers can "explore different shapes, sizes and textures of future vehicle attributes in minutes and hours instead of the weeks and months it can take to create clay models," the company said.
"We may not be able to teleport yet, but HoloLens allows us to review full-size 3D designs with designers and engineers around the world in real time," Craig Wetzel, a Ford design manager, said in a statement. "And we've only just scratched the surface, so possibilities for the future seem almost limitless. This is very exciting."
HoloLens might also be used to help sell those cars once they become reality. In 2015, select Volvo dealerships added HoloLens to their showrooms to help buyers customize their dream car.
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