Technical development has eased the work of humans and reduced its intervention within the industrial process. However, creative processes like conceptual styling do not follow predefined paths and no machine so far has succeeded in replacing human inventiveness.
The capability to design innovative products is a key factor to foster the competitiveness of industrial products. In particular, the conceptual design phase plays a strategic role since the creativity and synthesis, which characterize it, are of great importance for the design of an industrial product. Therefore, it appears clear that, in order to boost efficiency and enhance creativity, innovative and adequate tools have to be developed.
GraphiTech's recent years R&D activities have promoted improvement to the design process through the development of innovative interactive design tools within Virtual and Augmented Reality scenarios. The goal is to foster a new generation of systems capable to dynamically adapt to designers’ needs, in opposition to current systems that require designers to adjust to the technology adopted.
Several projects have brought to the development of a number of different technologies in the field of:
- Augmented Engineering
- IT Support for the Virtual PDP
- Mixed, Augmented & Virtual Reality
- Realtime Solutions for Simulation and Visual Analytics
- Interactive Graphics Systems, HCI
- CSCW - Computer-Supported Collaborative Work
GraphiTech is aware that the international context has been, and in a more complex and unpredictable way still is, characterized by worldwide competition and by a rapidly evolving global economy. Improved communication and transportation means have helped provide consumers with an enormous choice of goods and services. If, from a customer perspective, competition and global economy have brought to the wider choice of cheaper and better products, from the company’s standpoint these factors cause pricing pressure, force to shorten production times and to perform continuous innovation.
As a result, to be able to cope with increasing competition and be successful, the company has to improve quality, increase product’s added value, reduce time-to-market and foster innovation at all levels.
GraphiTech has promoted R&D sustaining and maintaining innovative product design which is essential to ensure constant success and competitiveness. This is especially true for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), which still dominate the market in Europe. The fast development of IT and communication technologies as well as their wide adoption within several companies, creates an opportunity for companies to (inevitably) introduce sometimes radical improvements within their organizational structures. IT tools developed by GraphiTech support several phases of design and production. Managers can be supported by adequate innovative IT tools which can contribute, with relevant improvements, to activities within their companies related to innovation of products and processes.
Within this context, since its early days, GraphiTech’s research has been focused on the application of Virtual Reality technologies to Computer Aided Design, to the development of advanced 3D interaction techniques and to applications of Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) within several engineering scenarios. The research has been carried on with the aim of assisting the product development process and the product lifecycle with modern information and communication technologies as, for instance, Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality, CSCW (Computer Support Cooperative Work).