March 25, 2022 – Autodesk, Inc., a provider of software that includes AutoCAD, Revit, Maya, 3ds Max, Fusion 360, SketchBook, and more, has announced that 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.
Autodesk stated that the acquisition will enable the company to meet increasing needs for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology advancements within the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry and further support AEC customers throughout the project delivery lifecycle.
“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 enables AEC professionals to present, collaborate and review projects together in immersive and interactive environments for real-time ideation and decision making. Teams can work together inside digital project models to explore, interact, and make changes to models directly in the cloud, which can lead to better decisions and project outcomes at a fraction of the time and cost compared to in-person collaboration methods.
With the company’s two platforms serving more than 700 customers worldwide, 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.
“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.”
Tier 1 global engineering and construction firm Black & Veatch, which has more than USD $3 billion in annual revenue, utilizes The Wild’s IrisVR solution, along with a wide range of Autodesk solutions to enable many of its teams to successfully deliver projects around the world.
Commenting on IrisVR’s ability to enhance engagement and collaboration for distributed work groups and stakeholders, Brian Melton, Black and Veatch’s Technology Innovation Lead, said: “This type of spatial real-scale immersive experience is a game-changer for our professionals… 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.”
Autodesk noted that it is making this investment in XR for several reasons, including:
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 VR/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. Plus, 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.
Nic Fonta, General Manager of XR at Autodesk, added: “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. 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.”
Image / video credit: Autodesk / The Wild / YouTube