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Aiju explores the opportunities of virtual reality: catalogs that come to life and immersive training

The technology center helps the toy industry modernize and expands its R&D into sectors such as furniture and health.

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Aiju explores the opportunities of virtual reality: catalogs that come to life and immersive training


The Aiju Technological Institute of Children's Products and Leisure has concluded a project to delve into the opportunities offered by immersive technologies in sectors such as toys, but also health, education and industrial environments: from preparing commercial catalogs in which the client You can immerse yourself with virtual reality glasses to develop programs that facilitate the training of workers in the operation of certain machines.

Lasting one year, the project ended this September and has resulted in "the development of virtual environments that can complement real environments", as well as greater knowledge of Aiju about new immersive technology devices in the market, to be able to help companies "in any field or sector" to implement those that best fit their objectives, since "there are many companies that do not have the resources to investigate." "That's where we come in, to facilitate this technological transition," he commented.

"The vast majority of toy companies are not very big and if they want to release a slightly more innovative product it is difficult for them. That is where you have to be, to give them that hand and be able to help them release the best products. There are super traditional companies, for example, dolls that are still made by hand, and we have to be in contact with them. They know that you have to adapt or you will be doomed. Children increasingly play with tablets, Playstations and computers," commented the expert.

But the project not only focuses on this sector, but the researchers work in collaboration with different industries, since although "many people know Aiju as the Toy Institute, the hundreds of associated companies are from all sectors, from schools and institutes to automobile companies". "We are a little pigeonholed with toys but we cover more," said José Carlos Sola.

For example, in this project, they have recreated in virtual reality the catalog of an office furniture company, Actiu. "When you put on the glasses you can pick up a chair, lift it or look at its textures. It is a slightly more interactive catalog so that the customer gets a more solid idea of ​​your products," she explained.

The researcher has highlighted that this catalog is being used "as a 'showroom' at fairs" and, furthermore, if the company has a client who is in another country, he and the workers "can connect to the same virtual room and the Actiu commercial can show the models, change the textures and show a more approximate idea of ​​what they can acquire," explained Juan Carlos Sola, who points out that this technique allows costs and expenses to be minimized.

In addition, immersive technologies allow Aiju researchers to introduce gamification to "learn or rehabilitate by playing." In the field of health, they have been put into practice in a hospital environment with a stationary bicycle, so that patients in rehabilitation, when putting on the glasses, enter "a calmer, more peaceful and hyper-realistic environment."

While "a person who has to be face to face with the doctor finds the process more difficult," "sitting on a bicycle and pedaling seeing landscapes, animals, birds, or going along the beach, is much more pleasant and the patient he forgets a little that he is in a hospital controlled by doctors," the expert detailed.

In the field of training, focused especially on workers, researchers can connect with four virtual reality platforms that, in addition to visualization, allow the user to move, look and touch with the controls. "It is used to train workers before starting with a real machine, in this way you minimize occupational risks. There can be a job of four people within the same virtual room, as if they were working on an assembly line," he specified.

Also in the industrial environment, in this Aiju project a machine has been recreated for a company that did not know if it could integrate it into its facilities. It was recreated virtually to verify that its dimensions and technical requirements were feasible to implement.

"You can extrapolate technological research to everything; in the end, the more different sectors or companies you cover, the broader your knowledge is and you have a more global thinking, which helps you make it easier for companies to be more competitive and position themselves." better in the markets", highlighted the project manager in the ICT area

Regarding the degree of assimilation of these advances by the Valencian fabric, Sola considers that, just as "a few years ago companies were more reluctant to include technology, currently we are more on the bandwagon, because in the end you realize, above all in the toy, that you have to adapt or die", with the consoles gaining ground over the traditional toy when Christmas arrives.

The same occurs in the integration of immersive technologies in production processes. "Companies are increasingly aware of innovating in manufacturing, there are very artisanal companies and they can save time or detect that a machine is going to fail before it does," she explained.