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How real-time 3D (RT3D) experiences are transforming global industries

April 2, 2020 in Industry | 3 min. read

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From its roots in gaming, real-time 3D’s impact now extends across dozens of industries. A new study sheds light on the state of adoption of this technology and how it’s changing the way products and buildings are created, built, monetized, and operated.

Just a few years ago, real-time 3D (RT3D) technology was most commonly found powering mobile, PC, and console games. Now, in addition to gaming studios, companies in industries ranging from automotive, transportation, and manufacturing to architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) are embracing this new medium of creation and collaboration.

Real-time 3D has become a fixture in their processes for bringing buildings and products from vision to reality. SHoP Architects and Daimler are just two of the thousands of companies creating virtual experiences from their data (e.g., building information modeling (BIM), computer-aided design (CAD), and product lifecycle management (PLM)). These experiences extend across every stage of the product and building lifecycles, changing the status quo for how they are designed, engineered, made, sold, and serviced.

With the sprawl of real-time 3D expanding rapidly, Unity worked with one of the top independent research firms to better understand what’s compelling AEC and manufacturing companies to adopt this technology now and in the future.

The findings are published in “Digital Experiences In The Physical World: Are AEC And Manufacturing Companies Ready For Real-time 3D?” a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Unity, published in March 2020. Check out an infographic featuring the key findings below.

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Key takeaways

Let’s explore the major findings for AEC and manufacturing companies.

Reliance on traditional forms of visualization across the lifecycle creates an urgent need for modern alternatives.

Due to a heavy reliance on 2D visuals, physical models and other mediums, over half of companies (61%) identify visualization as a pain point. These issues are not just in the design studio, but widespread – from training service technicians on maintenance and repair tasks to demonstrating products to customers.

Adoption is accelerating – a tipping point is in sight.

Approximately one in five (19%) companies have adopted real-time 3D. A majority (55%) say they will have implemented it within two years. According to the study, “It appears that real-time 3D in these industries may be hitting a threshold of adoption which will snowball over the next few years.”

The real thing is better than imagined.

What’s driving the uptick in adoption? Across every use case surveyed, from design to marketing, real-time 3D adopters found the technology significantly more valuable than projected by nonadopters. That tells us real-time 3D is providing substantial benefits at multiple stages of the lifecycle. In fact, the top benefits reported are decreased costs, increased sales, and improved time to market. It’s no wonder that “94% of those who have implemented real-time 3D are expanding their investment.”


Get more insights into the study’s findings during our webinar “The tipping point: How virtual experiences are transforming global industries,” featuring guest speaker Paul Miller of Forrester.

April 2, 2020 in Industry | 3 min. read

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