using virtual reality to design the future of flight
“VR makes possible a number of tasks that Bell’s Innovation Team had never dreamt of before.
While it’s impossible to bring a hundred different helicopter platforms and configurations into a sales meeting, VR provides the next best thing.”
Bell recently attended the VR/AR Global Summit to discuss the practical use of incorporating Virtual Reality (VR) into future product concepts and customer experiences. Their panel, “Using Virtual Reality to Design the Future of Flight,” drew a large crowd of industry innovators and thrillists drawn to the business case use of VR production. Using VIVE, virtual reality, and partnering with Sector 5 Digital (S5D), an innovative 3D design and production agency, Bell was able to design their revolutionary FXC-001, which debuted at HAI Heli-Expo in 2017, in less time by jumpstarting straight into the design and implementation phase of the customer journey.
The Customer Journey
The team decided to build their mock-ups in VR, and it had a profound effect on their entire concept process. Bell worked with S5D, an innovative 3D design and production agency, to help design and sketch the initial model, then create the aircraft in 3D using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software. The model was then transferred into Unity (a real-time game engine) so the design could be experienced and modified in VR on HTC VIVE.