Alongside Metaio’s community of over 100,000 developers, Metaio also works with some great partners in our “Advanced Solution Provider” program. These companies come to the world of AR from all sorts of fields, but share the common interest in Augmented Reality, as well as the ability to execute extremely ambitious AR projects that few developers can match. Metaio Advanced Partners receive direct training and support from Metaio, so they are equipped for any AR project out there.
Today we introduce our newest partner, 3D Studio Blomberg (3DS). Hailing from Finland, 3DS has a long history of visual communication through technology and is now applying this experience into AR. CEO and founder, Pontus Blomberg sits down and tells us a little more about the history of 3DS and what’s in store for the future:
How was 3DS born and how did the goals and vision evolve?
Pontus Blomberg: I started my own business in 2001 with the goal of employing myself through something that inspires me, visualization. Firstly, it was CAD oriented regarding the documentation of existing products for local SME companies. Initial developments were made on expanding this aspect of their business. Soon afterwards, a whole new dimension of need was recognized as new customers, notably larger and more established companies, already had their own CAD and mechanic design processes in place.
“I started my own business in 2001 with the goal of employing myself through something that inspires me”
The major challenges with these companies were many: how to explain to the end-users and potential customers their product design process and production; what the product is; how does their product work; how is their product operated; what is the path of development for their product. To address these challenges, I presented the idea of utilizing existing CAD data to create product supporting visualization in digital animation and image format. The resultant materials would then naturally and seamlessly be utilized for marketing & sales of the product as well as for training & maintenance.
In 2006, a client’s CEO asked me two straight-forward questions, “what do you want to do when you grow old, and what plans do you have for your company”. Just a few weeks back, I had initiated the process of restructuring the business to a limited company. Needless to say, these questions were presented in just the right time. The CEO had several good business partners who may consider investing in my business as well as contribute with their extensive global industrial experience. Further discussions concluded in an agreement, followed by the hiring of several employees including myself. This was a big step to take for an entrepreneur such as myself.
While continuing to supply animations and photorealistic rendered images to the industry, internal discussions with our customers evolved towards a new mega-trend and paradigm shift in communication, mobile-related work and mobile tools. This was recognized, by all parties privy to our discussions, for increasing efficiency and flexibility of work. Our vision One Global Visual Language addresses this paradigm shift in communications.
What is the current vision of the company? What is AR’s role in this vision?
PB: Our vision is referred to as One Global Visual Language.
Today, the communication of long technical, well-explained and intelligible text needs to be published in various languages. Onwards this text requires its reformation and restructuring into something completely new because text will no longer be the leading form of information transmission. Now, information transmission will be achieved via visual and physical elements. Relevant information will be readily available and retrieved only when needed in an easily comprehensible visual format.
“Now, information transmission will be achieved via visual and physical elements”
Augmented Reality, in combination with 3D Studio Blomberg’s existing know-how and Visual Tools & Solutions constantly supplied and developed, is a great platform to start more ambitious developments towards our vision. Looking further ahead, incorporating this platform into existing business infrastructures and the Industrial Internet would evolve into One Global Visual Language.
Is the company specialized on specific industries? What categories of products can you support? Do you have some examples of projects where your solutions were implemented?
PB: Our segment of focus is the heavy machine industry that produce lifecycle products that are constantly developed and require service, internal and external training for sales, installation and operation. Our Visual Tools & Solutions incorporating AR will support all aspects of such product lifecycles. (See here for an example – Ed.)
Which particular use cases would benefit most from AR, in your perspective?
PB: I see that AR allows for information to be on par with other visual and physical elements. This allows for intelligent filtering of data and retrieval of relevant and up-to date information in a visual form where and when needed. In future, the connection and synchronization to large information systems allows for awareness, integration and continues improvement on personal, organizational and corporate levels.
What do you like most about using Metaio tools?
PB: Comprehensible tools, quick and easy to get a pilot running and demonstrate the idea and need to the customer. Flexible integration and cross platform capabilities. In the words of 3DS developer, Henrik Hermans, “The Metaio Creator is surprisingly powerful for such an easy-to-use program, and creates lightweight applications that load quickly and run smoothly.”
Do you offer support in Finland only, or also abroad? How should those interested get in contact?
PB: We currently operate from Finland with the Nordic region as our business area of focus. We have an ambitious growth plan and AR plays a significant role. With our global experience through our owner structure, we are currently looking at partnerships around the globe to support and enable our strategy.