Canon Applies VR Technology to Computer-aided Design System

Feb 4, 2010
Kentarou Kizaki, Nikkei Monozukuri
The MR technology that Canon exhibited at SolidWorks World 2010
The MR technology that Canon exhibited at SolidWorks World 2010
[Click to enlarge image]
3D data laid out in a real space
3D data laid out in a real space
[Click to enlarge image]

Canon Inc plans to commercialize its "MR (Mixed Reality)" technology, a VR (virtual reality) technology that can be used for designing spatial configuration in an early design phase, in 2011.

The company showed off the technology at SolidWorks World 2010, an exhibition that ran from Jan 31 to Feb 3, 2010, in Anaheim, the US. Also, Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corp introduced its MR technology at the exhibition site.

Canon's MR technology uses a head-mounted display (HMD) and shows CAD (computer-aided design) data in a real space.

"We expect that our MR technology will be used for roughly determining the layouts of units in an early design phase," said Masahide Hamatani, deputy general manager of the Information and Telecommunication System Division of Canon. "Then, 3D CAD technology will be used for designing the details."

Canon's MR technology enables to view not only the mechanical part to be designed by 3D CAD but also the models that are being moved by control software in CAD. The company considers that it is possible to save the time spent for remodeling by taking account of control software at an early stage.

This time, Canon prototyped an MR technology that requires converting CAD data. But the company is planning to add a function to show CAD data in a real space without data conversion.