Visualising door handles with Augmented Reality

Zürich, 06.08.2018 – OPO Oeschger Reference

 

Ergon has developed an Augmented Reality app for the Swiss company OPO Oeschger which allows virtual door handles to be viewed in the real world. The same app can be used to order the door handles immediately if the customer likes them. This lowers the risk of incorrect orders by the end customer and cuts the costs to the company as fewer door handles need to be returned.

Business potential from new technology

Digitalisation is an important part of corporate strategy at OPO Oeschger. Subjects such as Augmented and Virtual Reality and IoT have been under consideration for some time so it stands to reason that OPO Oeschger would want to present something innovative in these areas at their in-house trade fair, SCHREINER 2018. There was a condition: it had to be possible to continue to use the application after the trade fair.

OPO Oeschger chose Ergon as their advisory and implementation partners. The first step was to review various application scenarios in a workshop. The choice was quickly made: an Augmented Reality app which allowed visitors to the trade fair to view virtual door handles in a realistic representation on real doors.

"It was very important to us to start experimenting early on in order to identify the use cases that would be really helpful and to build a firm foundation for the coming years on that basis."

David Froidevaux CIO, OPO Oeschger

Data acquisition was a challenge

Some obstacles had to be overcome to develop the app. For example, it was difficult to obtain data for the door handles. Digital details exist for many products, but not all producers like to make this data available. Measuring with a 3D scanner is too time-consuming and too expensive. OPO Oeschger was successful in persuading an innovative and pioneering door handle manufacturer to join them in a strategic partnership. Ergon designed and developed the solution based on Unity3D and ensured that the image of the door handles was as close to reality as possible. Initially, in order to restrict the amount of input required, they worked with a small set of door handles.

In order to deal better with the problem presented by the lack of data in future, OPO Oeschger worked with Ergon to produce some guidelines which showed producers of the products which door handle data was required in order to create the virtual 3D models. This not only helps OPO Oeschger, but also, ideally, helps the manufacturers with their production.

Costs and risk reduction

The advantages of an Augmented Reality app such as this one are obvious: for example, it was not necessary to bring a large number of door handles to the trade fair; just a few models sufficed. Joiners also might benefit from an enhancement to the application as they can send their customers a link which allows them to view door handles in order to make a selection. As a result, fewer door handles are returned and the risk of incorrect ordering by the end customers and the costs to the dealer are reduced.