I had the pleasure of meeting David Peabody, a project manager at Unity's Calgary office, at a tech demo.
As a 90's kid interested in video games, I was familiar with Unity Technologies and its reputation as a leading software development platform for creating popular games like Fall Guys and mobile classics like Pokemon Go.
"We're a tech company, not just a video game company," he told me, “We’re heavily invested in the energy space with clients here in Calgary and around the world." It was clear that Unity's capabilities extended far beyond just gaming, with involvement in various industries such as film, VR, architecture, industrials and automotive, and the list goes on.
During the tech demo, I was introduced to Axl, Unity's robo-dog, in partnership with Boston Dynamics. The robot, which was capable of obstacle avoidance, backflips, and 360-degree video and photography, was powered by Unity's software. The demonstration highlighted the diversity of Unity's resources and how they constantly push the boundaries of technology and give users a glimpse of what the future could look like.
As I watched the reactions of the business folks at the demo and a group of curious children who came to take a look, it was clear that Unity's technology had the potential for a wide range of applications that could still bring as much delight as games. Thinking about the possibilities and potential for further innovation here in Calgary was exciting.
The next time I met with David, I had the opportunity to speak with Nick Facey, a Global Program Manager with Unity, who’s the leader of the local Calgary team. Nick's insights further deepened my understanding of Unity and its work in Calgary. “Video games require and lead to the creation of incredible technology, but the user doesn’t have to be an engineer to get the full benefit and experience. We’re committed to bringing that same approach to the industrial sectors. “
"In Calgary, we're expanding, but currently largely the Accelerate Solutions group, and that's a team that delivers industry-first use cases and scaling solution partnerships," Nick explained. "What we're doing is looking for companies that want to get out in front of change and drive innovation, and then we build it together. Suncor is a pretty neat example of that."
One project Nick shared with me was their work on the giant mining trucks used by companies like Suncor in Fort Hills, Alberta. Initially, Nick described the project as more of a pilot project, but the ramifications of their work had incredible outcomes.