There was a time when everything at the airport needed a blueprint. From the screws holding together whirring ground-support equipment to the detailed layouts of the terminal buildings themselves; everything built and used on-site originated from a two-dimensional paper plan. With the arrival of computer-aided design, another dimension was eventually added to these schematics. Nevertheless, a gulf in understanding has persisted between those who design a product or built space and the individuals intending to buy it.
Dr Henry Wojcik is hoping to change that. As CEO of 3D Interaction Technologies, he hopes that the company's 'Govie' software will allow engineers and architects to showcase the capabilities of their designs using the company's intuitive 3D-imaging software. Having specialised in providing this solution to clients in systems engineering and the construction industry, the company is finding a receptive audience for its 3D applications in the airport sector. In 2015, it won its first InterAirport Award, having demonstrated how its software could be used in virtual walkthroughs of planned buildings.
"The 'G' comes from game technology, and 'ovie' from movie," explains Wojcik, as he manipulates a 3D reproduction of a black and yellow laser on his laptop. Govie is available either as an offline application or through a web browser. By combining the mediums of a video demonstration with the opportunity to interrupt proceedings so as to manipulate the 3D object being presented, the user is granted new opportunities for the intuitive exploration of a product's capabilities. This last feature is especially useful in any demonstration of an individual product's internal workings, as Wojick illustrates using a model of a water pump.
"Normally, it's not so easy to look inside and see what's going on," he says. In fact, any presentation of the water pump's internal schematics would necessarily have to include complicated, twodimensional schematics of its input and output, as well as its components, aspects that might have to be illustrated in consecutive blueprints. By moving the object out of the slideshow and into a 3D environment, however, its demonstration becomes intuitive.
"Using our software, you can now see in real time where the magnets are rotating inside the component and how water is moving through it," adds Wojcik.
3D Interaction Technologies can recreate an object from CAD or architectural data, from scratch or, if the application demands it, upload a model they have laser scanned. Wojcik illustrates this capability with a reproduction of a small church, seemingly plucked from its location in rural Germany and dropped into an endless digital netherworld. "This representation was produced using a combination of laser scanning by hand and drone," says Wojcik, as the building rotates on the screen. "This had more than 100 or 200 million polys, and we ended up reducing the file size to about six megabytes."
Wojcik hopes that 3D Interaction Technologies will revolutionise the way in which the airports sector approaches product demonstration. "Govie has a vital role to play in technical marketing and sales," he says. "Companies will have a crucial edge when it comes to the demonstration of their products and designs, whether that's a new conveyor belt or scanner, up to and including entire terminal buildings."