We have been actively researching the exploding area of virtual reality and how we might use the technology in live meetings, internal corporate communications, training applications and trade shows.
The corporate environment has always been a great way to explore new technologies. Among other things, we are not bound by consumer hardware restrictions, we can control the presentation environment and glitches are not the end of the world like a consumer product launch.
From computerized slide shows in the sixties to the latest LED technology, corporations have always pushed the envelope in new ways to present their product and show off ideas to their audiences, whether internal or external.
Today we met with one of the pioneers in the history of American industrial design - Teague.
Teague is a global design consultancy headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Established in 1926 by Walter Dorwin Teague. Teague is known for its design contributions through the disciplines of product design, interaction design, environmental design, and mechanical design.
The company is particularly recognized for its work in aviation and consumer goods, with clients such as The Boeing Company, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung andPanasonic.
Teague's early role in consumer culture is most popularly associated with designs such as the first Polaroid camera, the UPS truck, Texaco service stations, and the Pringles Chips canister. More recently Xbox and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner headline Teague's post-2000 design work.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Teague parlayed the new concept of corporate identity into designing corporate industrial exhibits for companies such as Con Edison, Du Pont, Kodak, US Steel, and the National Cash Register Company. In 1933, Teague designed numerous displays for the Ford Motor Company at the Chicago Century of Progress Exposition, and expanded its showcase of architectural savvy through the design of the Texaco exhibition hall at the 1935 Texas Centennial Exposition in Dallas, Texas, as well as the Ford pavilion for the California Pacific International Exposition in San Diego, California (now housing the San Diego Aerospace Museum and a venue we recently staged an event at).
Having designed multiple exhibitions at the New York World's Fair, including the Kodak Hall of Lights and the National Cash Register Building, Walter Dorwin Teague was invited to serve on its Board of Design, as well as design the Ford Exposition Building at New York's World Fair of 1939. Teague would also later design the U.S. Science Center for the World's Fair in Seattle, as well as the "House of the Future" for the Festival of Gas at the 1964 World's Fair.
Essentially, they were one of the pioneers of corporate live events.
Now, Teague is actively pursuing virtual reality to more effectively work with their customers. Of course, VR is an excellent application for a company that is designing environments for customers who want to know “what is it going to look like.”
We met with Patty Roberts, Senior Program Manager, who works directly with their customers and Eric Klein who is Design Visualization Manager and heads up their VR effort to see what they are doing with VR and AR. Eric is working with all the different “off the shelf formats” – Samsung, Microsoft, Oculus and Vive as well as some variations from smaller studios. His extensive research gives him incredible knowledge about what the advantages and the disadvantages are of each.
We also saw some amazing demos that allow their customers to walk through an airplane interior and see how different designs look and how they may effect the overall space. Pushing a button on the controller changes the seat configuration right in front of your eyes. You can open the door of the restroom, walk inside and again, pushing a button, see how different configurations look. Quite amazing!
Finally, we discussed what we see the future of VR is for our clients and they were terrific about sharing with us the challenges of the technology as it currently exists and additionally suppliers who are making great strides in developing solutions. We hope to visit some of those folks in the coming months.
We really appreciate the time Patty and Eric spent with us and our hope is to partner on projects in the future. As they have for the past 90 years, they are still pushing the envelope of industrial design.