Here at OPD, we love the collaborative aspects of the design process; working with our clients and each other to create beautiful, functional new products that solve real-world problems. We also love getting stuck in with new technology, especially when it can improve the product design experience for our clients and for ourselves.

Communicating a design to our clients is an exciting time in a project – traditionally done using a mixture of sketching, photorealistic visualisations and models. However, at OPD we now have a new tool in our product design toolbox: KeyVR. This brings Virtual Reality into our process which means that not only can we communicate what the design will look like, we can now interact with it in a real-world environment.

Combining rendering software with an Oculus VR headset means that we can fully immerse you in a virtual 3D environment to experience how your design might work in the real world. We are able to do this both on-site at OPD or we can set up a virtual reality experience at your office, helping you introduce product concepts to a wide range of your team at an early stage in their development, before committing investment into physical prototypes.

As well as setting up virtual environments, we can also export rendered images as 3D files that can be used in Augmented Reality on a phone to provide an interactive, 3D viewing experience where products can be viewed in your current surroundings through your smartphone or tablet. This quick and agile way of visualising a concept can be incredibly useful for establishing a sense of scale, and a fresh perspective of a concept, without the need for extensive prototyping, and can also provide an opportunity for evaluating different colours, materials and finishes.

"It can really change how a design is perceived", said one of our clients. "On paper, we had a strong preference for one of the concepts OPD had developed, but when interacting with the designs in Virtual Reality, we had an enhanced appreciation for the thinking behind the other concepts, and the experience strengthened our preference for our initial choice and confirmed we had made the right decision."

"The integration of VR and AR technology into our design process is very exciting", says Andy Last, our Industrial Design Team lead. "It allows us to offer our clients the opportunity to experience product concepts in a 3D, immersive environment much earlier in the design process. Our clients and design team can use VR to make more informed design decisions which helps us to design better products for our clients and their customers."

We are really excited to be bringing this VR and AR technology into our design process and look forward to welcoming you to the OPD office to experience it too. We can also send you some examples for you to try the AR capabilities yourself. Please do get in touch if you are interested in learning more, or if you’d like to discuss your next product's development.