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Audio Visual Technology in Engineering: Lessons from Guy Martin’s WWI Tank

Technology never ceases to amaze me. Even stuff that I’ve seen before. I always think its incredible when you see technology being used in a new way or for a different purpose. Settling down on Sunday evening to watch the latest Guy Martin documentary on building a World War 1 Tank, was one of those moments.

Over the years I’ve spoken to countless engineering professionals about how they can use audio visual technology in engineering to bring their work to life and this programme showcased the potential perfectly.

The programme follows Martin in his quest to rebuild the hundred year old Mark 4 tank in just a few weeks.  In the initial stages, Martin meets a computer modeller who creates a historical representation of the original tank using Computer Aided Design (CAD). Leading manufacturers JCB then project the CAD model on to a large screen so they can see and analyse every detail of the model as a life-size image in order to be able to construct it. They then used virtual reality to literally ‘step inside’ the tank, as if it was a real life model. It made for some great TV and Guy Martin seemed suitably impressed, but the reality is that great immersive technology is available for any business that wants it.

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Using Interactive Technology in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) Industries

Using a Projector in an Engineering Project

Projection is a really simple and affordable way to get up close to drawings, presentations, images, videos or data. As with the World War 1 tank, having a large image can provide the viewer with a greater amount of detail whilst providing a more immersive experience. In this example, they were able to create a full life-size model of the tank – it doesn’t get much more immersive than that!

LCD & LED Video Walls For Collaboration

If you like the idea of having a large projection but you prefer a sharper image, you could upgrade to an LCD or LED video wall. An LCD video wall simply uses a cluster of smaller screens, like a 46” or 55” screens pushed together in any formation that would be most beneficial to your needs. Choosing an Ultra HD display with a thin bezel will give you a crystal clear image with just a small line visible where the screens meet.

Alternatively you could choose an LED video wall which allows you to create a screen of any size or shape using small LED blocks. The resulting video wall is seemless and great quality – perfect for getting into the detail of a drawing or model.

Most of us are now familiar with seeing these video walls in public areas like shopping centres or public events, but their increasing affordability has resulted in more businesses using them for their meeting areas or collaboration spaces. You could even rent one to use for a specific project or to try before you buy!

Interactive Displays in Engineering

What was truly fascinating for Guy Martin as he explored the tank, was being able to get into the detail, see up close in the areas that he was most interested in and be involved in a more immersive experience. It’s not dissimilar from the benefits of an interactive display. These touch-screen interactive displays have long been popular as an audio visual technology in engineering for that exact reason.

Using intuitive hand gestures, it’s easy to zoom into the detail of a model or drawing, pan around to different parts of the image and even make or erase notes on the screen. Many businesses have adopted these interactive touch-screens to eliminate paper wastage and provide a more accurate and efficient way of analysing and making changes to plans. Not only this, interactive displays can be viewed by colleagues anywhere in the world from a personal device, so it’s easy to collaborate and make changes with colleagues without the expense and time of business travel.

Creative Projections: Nureva Span

The projected image of Guy Martin’s WW1 Tank also made me think of another great new technology in recent years; Nureva Span. The Nureva projector can project an image up to 10ft wide onto your chosen screen, allowing you to get up close and into the detail of any image or content you want to work on. Then using Nureva Span software, you can add digital flipcharts, sticky notes or other images/graphs etc to create a complete digital canvas of ideas – it is a powerful creative tool.

There is one final lesson from Guy Martin’s WWI Tank, on audio visual technology for engineering: In the past, we achieved great things, but with modern technology, we can make our processes and our products even better and more efficient. We’ve worked with many clients in the engineering industry who have used modern technology to change and improve the way they work with some incredible results. If you would like to explore some more options, and learn about return on investment or finance options available, we’d love to speak to you.

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