Autodesk, Inc., today has announced its plan to acquire The Wild, signing a definitive agreement to purchase the AEC/O’s leading software firm delivering compelling VR/XR software solutions which include its namesake solution, The Wild, and IrisVR.
Architosh has written extensively about The Wild before and awarded IrisVR its AIA BEST of SHOW honor in the past. Both companies have thoroughly impressed CAD industry analysts, press, and customers alike.
This purchase now by Autodesk will better serve its customers’ growing needs for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) as the AEC/O industry begins to accelerate the adoption of these technologies. While VR technologies led the way and emerged on the market five to seven years ago, these technologies were largely seen as “gaming technology.”
Nicolas Fonta, Director & General Manager Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality, Autodesk, told Architosh earlier this week that the timing of this acquisition is coming at a time when immersive technologies (VR/AR/XR) are at the “Early Adopters” stage in terms of the Geoffrey Moore innovation adoption model. (see image below)
This means that market penetration is now in the teen percentages and that the vast majority of tech-forward firms in AEC/O—aligning with Innovators in Moore’s model—have been utilizing immersive technologies in practice for years
Serving more than 700 customers worldwide across its two platforms, The Wild’s XR technologies offer affordable, on-demand, and in-context opportunities to deepen and extend team collaboration.
“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, of Autodesk. “XR is a must-have business imperative for today and an important part of Autodesks’ Forge platform vision.”
“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 Gave Paez, founder and CEO of The Wild.
Global leader in engineering and construction, Black & Veatch, has been an enthusiastic user of The Wild. Brian Melton, Black & Veatch’s Technology Innovation Lead, said, “As remote collaboration continues to become the new normal for many professionals across industries and market sectors, the capabilities of systems like the Autodesk Construction Cloud and The Wild’s IrisVR platform help Black & Veatch deliver world-class projects regardless of our professionals’ physical locations.”
Nicolas Fonta of Autodesk told Architosh that there are three things driving the increased usage of XR technologies today.
“Firstly there is a strong need for better resiliency and collaboration,” he said. “Now in this context, nobody will ever dispute that there is a need to better collaborate and work remotely.” The global pandemic has brought resiliency to the fore of business thinking and operational continuity.
Accessibility and Affordability
“The second thing is the democratization of the hardware,” said Fonta. “There will be better phones and soon better AR glasses. The hardware is driving the accessibility. And with the lower barriers to entry, we will see higher adoption rates.” Fonta noted that consumers drive this type of technology and that the pro-space will follow. “That has always been the case and it will bring awareness and demand.”
The third factor is sustainability. “We absolutely want to make sure our carbon footprint is lower and this technology helps bring down that carbon footprint,” he says. “It also lowers costs and increases speed to get people together immersively to make faster, and better decisions at lower costs than physical travel.”
Fonta noted that the larger strategy is “one that allows Autodesk to add value directly to the customers but also leaves tons of room for our partners to complement the value of our entire ecosystem for our customer’s benefits.”
“A convergence of events makes this the right time for Autodesk’s acquisition of The Wild’s talent and technology as the foundation for Autodesk’s XR journey,” said Fonta. “Accessibility, affordability, as well as the future of digital twins and metaverse, create the right environment and business rationale for advanced XR technologies within the AEC industry.”
The Wild and IrisVR draw data from various AEC technologies into their respective XR collaboration experiences to perform design reviews and model coordination. Existing integrations include: Autodesk Construction Cloud (Autodesk BIM 360, Autodesk Build), Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Navisworks, plus non-Autodesk technologies like Rhino 3D and Trimble SketchUp.
For more information about integrations visit here.