Accenture is currently showcasing its newly-developed mixed reality experience using Microsoft HoloLens on the Bombardier C Series aircraft at the Farnborough International Airshow. This technology demonstrates how aircraft manufacturers can make the marketing and sales process more effective through an enriched and immersive experience.

Built by Accenture using Microsoft HoloLens, users – including customers, manufacturers, designers or suppliers – gain a real-time view of actual surroundings combined with an overlay of intelligent virtual objects, providing new interactions through gesture and voice inputs. While the person with the headset walks around the aircraft, 3D objects, videos, sounds and virtual screens bring the C Series aircraft to life. Users can stop at different points around the aircraft to explore and gain instant access to information about the major components of the aircraft such as cockpit nose design, engine and composite wing details, as well as information related to the supplier of the components.

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“To advance our industry position, Bombardier is constantly trying to capitalise on new opportunities and technologies,” said Patrick Baudis, vice president, marketing, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “With this proof of concept, Accenture demonstrates how valuable mixed reality can be. The potential of this technology could be huge for our industry and could accelerate many processes from design, to build and right through to the end sale.”

There is significant potential for manufacturers and suppliers in different locations to take advantage of this technology to work together during the aircraft design and build phase in a shared virtual environment. For example, users could have a 360-degree view of the empty cabin and work together to instantly see different layout and furnishing options, reducing a need for travel while dramatically accelerating time to market.

“Accenture is constantly applying its industry expertise to experiment and innovate with emerging technologies to understand the business benefits they could offer,” said Paul Molnar, Bombardier client account lead and managing director in Accenture’s Aerospace and Defence practice. “This proof of concept is a powerful way to demonstrate to clients, like Bombardier, how they can embrace digital technology and turn it into a commercial advantage.”

The proof of concept is based on research pioneered by the Accenture Labs, which resulted in the development of an Accenture HoloLens technical framework that has been leveraged for clients in a variety of industries, now including aerospace.

“Mixed reality technology provides the best of both the physical and digital worlds with the potential to improve employee productivity and efficiency by enhancing collaboration and enabling hyper-personalisation,” said Paul Daugherty, chief technology officer at Accenture. “This work is an exciting example of how forward-looking enterprises like Bombardier can leverage mixed reality technology to dramatically change customer and worker experience.”