One of the areas of research that Motorola actively engages in is the drop testing
of their products- in this case one of their pagers. Physical drop tests typically produce few useful results as
they typically only identify whether the product did or did not survive a fall. There is no easy way to observe
the fall at the moment of impact. In particular there is no easy way to observe the effects of such a crash from
within the device to identify key weaknesses in the product design.
However, by the simulating the data on supercomputers, Motorola is then able to visualize the effects of the impact
from within the CAVE. The immersive capabilities of the CAVE affords a more natural interface to view the data.
In this particular application a cutting plane can be pushed through the pager revealing the inner circuitry and
printed-circuit board (PCB) housing. As the pager is rendered larger than life in the CAVE, the observe can physically
walk inside the pager to observe how the PCB dislodges from its housing at the moment of impact. From this the
designer can devise supports to further strengthen the housing.
Furthermore by adding tele-immersive capabilities to this visualization tool,
Motorola engineers can discuss their findings with their collaborators around the world.