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Virtual Reality

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DMI, NRECA (National Rural Electric Cooperative Association), and Jo-Carroll Energy teamed up to explore the benefits of using virtual reality at rural electric cooperative substations. "The project paid for itself in just over two years, solely from reduced drive time of the more than 30 staff who have used VR. The substation selected for the immersive VR is about 50 miles from JCE’s headquarters. Savings from eliminating the need to have staff drive several hours for each training session added up quickly. Other benefits are significant, but harder to quantify. “How do you know the payback on safety and doing the training in a non-hazardous VR environment?” said Skinner. For example, he explained, “Every time you go to a substation with a whole crew, you're going to go over the safety details – what the voltages are, what kind of physical hazards are potentially there, and so on. Most substations are full of rocks. It's not a smooth surface; there are tripping hazards. There's a whole bunch of equipment that you can bump into.” JCE sees that being able to do the training in the office, a non-hazardous area, is a huge advantage.

Innovative Training Simulator for an Agricultural Sprayer Takes Top Honors in a Field of Eight Intel® Software Innovator Teams An ingenious virtual reality application for farming—a VR simulator to train agricultural sprayer operators—earned Team Crop Dusters top honors in the Ultimate Coder IV: VR Challenge, an invitational competition cosponsored by Intel and Microsoft*. Eight finalist teams consisting of Intel® Software Innovators competed to create the most compelling commercial VR applications, ultimately placing their project in the Microsoft Store – all in eight weeks. Throughout the competition, teams posted their progress on Developer Mesh, an online community where developers share projects, collaborate with others and find and follow world-class innovators. 

On September 28, 2017 DMI introduced the next industrial revolution encapsulated in our newest suite of solutions called Precision Reality™. Executives that attended were educated on the latest innovations, from virtual reality to internet of things, forming the foundation for a wellspring of untapped enterprise ROI. DMI shared our experience as a trusted advisor within numerous industries. We were also able to share an exclusive look at some projects with our partners. Together, we explored the the impact of harnessing the transformative power of emerging technology in the enterprise.  

There are some innovative uses for virtual reality, but too often the technology comes across as more of a novelty, with gaming and fantasy being the primary focus of use. Dubuque, Iowa strategic systems innovator Design Mill, Inc. and Chicago’s Ideas Into Apps have joined forces to integrate virtual reality with corporate real estate through a technology called Precision Reality. Using laser scanning and 3D modeling, DMI and II2a can recreate a company’s assets, such as real estate, an assembly plant or an office building, in the digital world. Workers or investors in Chicago could take a tour of a property in Lima, Peru via their laptop, or using a VR headset. Surveying and equipment manufacturers around the globe have turned to laser scanners for their work, allowing DMI and II2a to line up partnerships with them to scan properties in almost any area. “If we’re working with a Fortunate 500 company, that has a large portfolio of properties,” said Dave Proctor, Chief Operating Officer for DMI. “We’re a software company, we don’t necessarily want to be a scanning company. That’s where our partners come in, allowing us to scan dozens of properties simultaneously.”