In 2018 we will be celebrating a decade of Platipus. In the past decade we’ve been building our Augmented Reality (AR) company Platipus. But we haven’t been doing this in a vacuum. We’ve been able to advance in the world by the grace of our clients and partners. And one partner in particular has been a very important factor in our growth process over the last decade ; Innovam.
Innovam is the knowledge and training institute for the mobility sector in the Netherlands.
The slogan “Innovam Moves You Forward” does right to how our relationship started. Back in 2008 we were full of ideas on where we wanted to go and how we wanted to change the world but lacked the power to make a real impression.
We were very fortunate that Innovam recognised our potential and took the risk of partnering up with us.
Over the years we’ve aided in a lot of Innovam projects often to visualise complex technical subjects and make them easier to understand.
We started out with a lot of somewhat traditional e-learnings but back in 2012 we convinced the Nissan Academy that it was time to step into Augmented Reality with several simple yet effective animations for the ( then ) new Nissan Note. The 3D animations were projected on the Nissan Note technical course materials.
The roots compressor demo in the picture above is a great example of the strengths that are inherent to interactive animated 3D content in the augmented reality medium. Pictures in a technical textbook are often abstract 2D renderings and hard to mentally translate into real world 3D. Animated 3D content allows you to view the subject from all angles ( either from far away or close up ) just as you would in the physical world and the animation helps you understand how the mechanical parts interact. 3D animated AR content can be interactive as well. For the Nissan Note we created a manual gearbox, that you could control to see how shifting gears effected it.
The Augmented Reality demo for the new Nissan Note was all the proof of concept that was needed to convince Nissan Europe that we had to bring AR to all their technical courses. In collaboration with Innovam and 3D studio Zwartlicht we published the Nissan AR app.
In addition to augmenting text books we took the leap of augmenting the actual physical cars. Their exteriors, engine rooms an interiors.
In the above image you can see our Nissan AR app used for an exploded view of the Nissan NV200 electro motor.
Strategic partner Innovam International
And it’s now, since 2017, official ; we are an Innovam strategic partner for their international business.
Platipus and Innovam are moving forward. Platipus’ official title in the relationship is “Advanced E-learning development & consultancy”. You might miss the term “Augmented Reality” in that title, but the name of the specific technology is getting less relevant as it’s now becoming omnipresent. Augmented Reality is here to stay, the real world is quickly becoming our only interface to interact with the digital world. In fact very soon there won’t be any clear boundaries between the different types of realities anyway. They will blend naturally. We’ve stopped calling our e-learnings “online” as well. Because of course we’re building online applications and naturally they’re using Augmented Reality. As Augmented Reality is becoming the new mass medium the name of the specific technologies that enable it are fading to the background.
As Mossberg says in The Invisible Computer “Tech was once always in your way. Soon, it will be almost invisible.” The fun thing we at Platipus have been working on for the last decade is to use advanced technology in innovative ways to make that same technology disappear into magical user experiences. Or as Arthur C. Clarke would put ; “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
The great thing is that our particular brand of magic is unmistakably not only enchanting our end users but adding real business value. Studies at General Electric proved 15% efficiency increases when engineers were using AR smartglasses. Studies at Bosch Car Service workshops confirmed time savings of 15% in average per step taken are possible even on common vehicles and less sophisticated repair tasks such as removing specific components. There’s clearly great value in the way AR displays information in the context in which it’s needed. Although looking information up on a laptop or iPad might not seem such a hassle having instant and handsfree access to what you need to know when you need to know it saves you the mental effort of switching from context to look things up. Which turns out to be a big time saver even on trivial tasks.
Of course, in our future the volume of work will no longer be in e-learnings locked up in screens. The days of this limiting display technology are almost over. A new generation of learners simply won’t accept that their e-learning is locked up inside a rectangular screen sitting on a desk. E-learning ( and the Internet in general ) is everywhere around you in your physical world and new display technology will reflect that fact. We won’t be building another Nissan AR. Although it was awesome in 2012, today it feels outdated. The content was mostly static and even when it was interactive the responses were pre-scripted. We’re moving forward into a future of more aware and more intelligent AR. The gimmick phase ( our Nissan AR phase ) is over. The technology has matured. Today we are selling more than the proof of concept or the enchantment of an immersive user experience. We’re selling real business value. We are combining the beautiful display techniques of AR ( think optical see through glasses ) with IoT sensor data and Artificial Intelligence to create augmented reality experiences that adapt to the real world and to you the end user. We create AR experiences that give you the superpowers to excel at your job while having fun doing it.
The work we’ve been doing for AEGIR marine is great example of that future.