Autodesk, Inc. has announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire The Wild, a cloud-connected, extended reality (XR) platform, which includes its namesake solutions, The Wild, and IrisVR. The Wild enables architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) professionals to present, collaborate and review projects together in immersive and interactive experiences, from anywhere and at any time. This acquisition enables Autodesk to meet increasing needs for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology advancements within the AEC industry and further support AEC customers throughout the project delivery lifecycle.
Serving more than 700 customers worldwide across its two platforms, The Wild’s XR technologies offer affordable, on-demand and in-context opportunities for deeper team collaboration. Its virtual format empowers remote workforces amid a rapidly evolving work landscape and offers an immersive environment for real-time ideation and decision making.
“Our acquisition of The Wild reflects the rapid transformation taking place in the building industry, from the complexity of projects to the geographic diversity of teams who design, construct, and operate them,” said Andrew Anagnost, CEO and president, Autodesk. “XR is a must-have business imperative for today and an important part of Autodesk’s Forge platform vision.”
The Wild’s virtual platform allows teams to work together inside digital project models to explore, interact, and make changes to the model directly in the cloud. This leads to better decisions and project outcomes at a fraction of the time and cost for in-person collaboration methods.
“The Wild and Autodesk share a common mission of encouraging a more productive and collaborative AEC industry, and in this case, one where teams can resolve issues in minutes from their desks rather than the traditional miles of costly travel,” said Gabe Paez, founder and CEO of The Wild. “The Wild’s customers understand the value from the get-go, building consensus as a team in the virtual world with the ability to make changes to their designs at the speed of thought.”
Black & Veatch is a global leader in engineering, construction and procurement with more than $3 billion in annual revenue. Black and Veatch’s Technology Innovation Lead, Brian Melton, indicates The Wild’s IrisVR and a wide range of Autodesk solutions, including Autodesk design software and Autodesk Construction Cloud, enables many of their teams to successfully deliver projects around the world. The Black & Veatch team uses Autodesk solutions and The Wild’s IrisVR to connect its project professionals, clients, and partners with digital workflows and enhanced collaboration capabilities. IrisVR enables distributed workgroups to increase engagement and improve collaboration between stakeholders by leveraging immersive virtual meetings. This leads to an enhanced awareness regarding safety, access and maintenance, and an overall better understanding of the project, leading to better decisions and better outcomes.
“As remote collaboration continues to become the new normal for many professionals across industries and market sectors, the capabilities of systems like Autodesk Construction Cloud and The Wild’s IrisVR platform help Black & Veatch deliver world-class projects regardless of our professionals’ physical location,” said Brian Melton, technology innovation lead, Black & Veatch. “This type of spatial real-scale immersive experience is a game-changer for our professionals by allowing us to meet virtually within the project design environment, to talk about the design, conduct reviews and coordinate activities, document potential issues and collect comments aimed at accelerating execution and improving safety. Autodesk’s acquisition of The Wild could create an even more seamless integration of VR into the platforms we use, leading to wider adoption, more capabilities and a shift from what was once sci-fi to a daily activity.”
Why XR now?
“A convergence of events makes this the right time for Autodesk’s acquisition of The Wild’s talent and technology as the foundation of Autodesk’s XR journey,” said Nic Fonta, general mManager of XR at Autodesk. “Accessibility, affordability, as well as the future of digital twins and metaverse, create the right environment and business rationale for advancing XR technology within the AEC industry.”
- Resiliency. The need for greater workforce resiliency and remote collaboration has increased significantly amid the global pandemic. With physical distancing and ever-evolving travel restrictions, XR solutions offer a way to virtually keep teams together and projects moving with minimal interruption.
- Accessibility and Affordability. Until recently, the cost of professional-grade Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) equipment was unattainable for many. Now, headsets cost a few hundred dollars instead of thousands, and most smart phones support AR – putting the power of XR into the hands of anyone, anywhere, at any time.
- Sustainability. In-person collaboration often requires costly travel and unnecessarily contributes to harmful carbon emissions – and, when teams cannot meet to work through design issues together, expensive rework and significant material waste are often a consequence. Offering streamlined, instantaneous, and immersive cloud collaboration allows teams to save time, money, and materials.
The Wild and IrisVR draw data from various AEC technologies into their respective XR collaborative experiences to perform design review and model coordination. Cumulatively, existing integrations include Autodesk Construction Cloud (Autodesk BIM 360, Autodesk Build), Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Navisworks, as well as other non-Autodesk technologies, Rhinoceros and Trimble SketchUp. For more information about integrations, please visit The Wild and IrisVR.
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