Believably immersive VR/AR experiences within the mining industry: Mini-Expo Demos

Justin Magee, Terry Quigley, Peter McGroarty

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

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CDE Global, the world's number one wet processing equipment company for sand and aggregates, mining, C&D waste recycling and industrial sands. Ulster University secured a 20-month Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with CDE Global (£89.9K) to embed design-led methodologies, digital content workflows and VR/AR technologies into traditional heavy engineering industry. Communicating and experiencing such products is costly, time demanding and logistically complex, hitherto, only achievable through real-life demonstrations. Believable immersive and empathic experiences are now possible digitally. A precision full-scale digital model was developed integrating realistic visual imperfections of object surfaces through complex digital texture maps, accurate animated machine functions, soft objects and fluidics. Digital content was developed using 3DSMAX (Autodesk), Z-Brush (Pixologic), RealFlow, Photoshop (Adobe), Substance Painter (Allegorithmic), and the Unreal4 games engine controlled by the HTV Vive enabling physical interaction with the quarry machinery. This research captures customer empathy earlier and reduces the need for machinery exhibit at trade shows, expediting sales. The digital content (including AR/VR prototypes) has been exhibited internationally: AGG1 Aggregates Academy & Expo (2016), 22nd -24th March, Nashville, USA; BAUMA (2016) 11th-17th April, Munich, Germany; Hillhead (2016) 28-30th June, England; ConExpo (2017) 7-11 March, Las Vegas, USA. This KTP was assessed nationally, by Innovate UK, achieving the highest grade of ‘Outstanding’ and received a Certificate of Excellence Award (14th March 2017). It was selected by Invest NI to promote KTP’s, 'Their business in your hands', and for the Digital DNA 2017 showcase ‘Collaborate to Innovate – Harnessing the Knowledge from Universities and Colleges to Transform your Business Through KTP’. It was awarded the Ulster University Knowledge Exchange Impact award (2017). This research helped to improve competitive advantage across eight global sales regions including North America, Europe and Latin America.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 3 Nov 2017
Event23rd International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia, VSMM 2017: Through the Looking Glass, Back to the Future of VR - Ulster University, Belfast , United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Nov 20175 Nov 2017


Conference23rd International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia, VSMM 2017
Abbreviated titleVSMM2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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