Autodesk to acquire The Wild for XR
Autodesk just announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire The Wild, makers of The Wild and IrisVR extended reality (XR) solutions. Odds are, if you’ve attended a recent Autodesk University, you’ve seen The Wild’s work in an AEC session: Autodesk and The Wild have been partnered for years and they and their customers have created many a sexy AEC visual.
Autodesk says, “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. … 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.”
The key points there are affordable, on-demand, and in-context. AEC is a challenging business, with stakeholders for any project potentially spread around the world. The Wild and IrisVR solutions use data that’s already created in an AEC design tool and use that to build XR experiences for walkthroughs, design review, abutter approvals, and other engagement types, and for coordination between contractors, trades, and owners.
Historically, the cost of AR and VR solutions for AEC has been too high for many potential users. The model can be enormous, meaning large compute resources. The renderings often need to have realistic outdoor settings, headsets cost a lot … Today we can participate in AR and VR sessions from our smartphones, removing at least some barriers. And for many owners, this technology is becoming a requirement — so a deal like this will enable even small AEC firms to compete with larger ones.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it’s unlikely to move the needle for Autodesk’s revenue. The Wild (the company) has 700 customers, so it’s not a tiny technology tuck-in by any means, but it almost feels like that from Autodesk’s perspective. With this acquisition, Autodesk gets The Wild’s cloud-connected XR solutions (and the experts who built them) — just at the moment when we’ve all proven that a work-from-where-you-are process can succeed. The Wild’s XR right now works with AEC solutions and data — who’s to say it can’t also work with other types, in the future?