VR technology is expanding its footprint from powerwalls and specialized CAVES. Head-mounted Displays like the HTC Vive will take VR to the engineering and designer desktop.
The Hannover Messe Industrie event provides a good opportunity to take the pulse of the design, engineering, and manufacturing market each year. And this year, there were plenty of VR with Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs) scattered around Hall 6.
One of the most visible VR demonstrations could be found at the Daussault Systemes' booth. The company designed the entire booth to be a customer showcase and used a single client example for each individual aspect of their "3D Experience". At one end of the booth, visitors could find a large VR area and they could drop themselves into the VR environment and investigate the manufacturing process in the virtual world.
The system used the HTC Vive HMD with their controllers. The Vive controllers seem very nicely adapted to many industrial VR usage models. Having one unit in each hand with simple triggers allows you to adapt quickly to the virtual environment and to begin finding your way around. The VR software was Dassault's 3DXCITE software and the model was the work of their customer, WestRock.
Directly in front of the VR demonstration area was a space for Lenovo to demonstrate their dual Xeon workstation with an NVIDIA Quadro P6000 GPU. Along side the desktop workstation was the new 17" mobile workstation, the ThinkPad P71. Two of the great features of the new mobile workstation are the NVIDIA Quadro P5000 GPU and the option for a 4K resolution display.
The new mobile workstation also sports Intel's Kaby Lake generation of processors and can be loaded with plenty of fast SSD storage. The specifications in the data sheet are excellent all around. With the fast NVIDIA graphics, this system has been certified as VR-Ready.
A couple of example dream customers for the P71 would likely be either a video professional loading his workstation with multiple streams of 4K video and plenty of special effects, or a simulation engineer with plenty of design-optimization tasks to run on a tough CFD problem.
The ThinkPad P71 was not officially shipping at the time of the Hannover Messe, but that is a situation that should change soon.