A Perth based business that uses augmented reality technology to help customers visualise designs for factories, offices or other products is investing up to $6 million in research after winning a federal grant.
Forrestfield-based Jumbo Vision International (JVI) recieved $1.1 million from the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre last year, a federal government body created to promote research collaboration between Australian businesses and universities.
The business has previous won a federal grant for its technology, securing $1 million in 2015.
JVI will work with the University of South Australia to develop the CADwalk product, which founder Gerhard Kimenkowski told Business News had been used by clients such as Western Power.
'CADwalk is a life-sized visualisation tool where you can walk through your design before its been built', Mr Kimenkowski said.
'CADwalk is a 300 square meter visualisation environment, we project the design onto the floor and we can move virtual objects in the physical space to modify the design.'
'It's what we call a large scale augmented reality system.'
He said the technology did not use glasses, as is the case with much visualisation technology, because CADwalk was designed to facilitate group collaboration.
Mr Kimenkowski said the product shaved considerable time and cost off the design process.
The company's research program is running through its Adelaide office, with the hope being JVI can create visualisation services that work for small and medium-sized enterprises to give them a competitive edge in export markets.
JVI also has an office in Munich, which opened in 2017.
IMCRC managing director David Chuter said the centre expected that funding the product would make new technology more accessible for small local manufacturing businesses.
'They (JVI) could be hugely influential in helping manufacturers be able to plan and visualise what a design can look like, what a factory can look like', he said.
'They're an enabler and a catalyst for others to embrace visual technologies and start to blur the boundaries between the physical world and the digital world.'
'A lot of manufacturers will look at this whole digital revolution and find it very intangible.'
'If you've got an organisation that can help show companies what the real world looks like in a digital world.. you've got a really accelerated pathway for people to adopt a hybrid of the digital and physical world.'
He said JVI's position in export markets gave it credibility.
'They are already getting into the global world,' Mr Chuter said.
'A lot of the research and development and know-how is Australian home grown, but they're prepared to go out and see what else exists in the world, and they're making people sit up.'
'If you set up in Munich, you've got to have something that's leading edge in itself.'
Mr Chuter said there were 12 universities in the cooperative research centre's network, although none so far were from Western Australia.
CADwalk allows clients to understand plans and space in a new and exciting way by using the latest in advanced visualisation technologies to create an interactive, life-size design experience.