SAP buying Right Hemisphere for 3-D visualization

Right Hemisphere's technology will help jazz up SAP's user interfaces

SAP is to buy 3-D visualization toolmaker Right Hemisphere in a bid to improve the user interfaces of its various lines of business software, the companies announced Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Business information and 3-D imagery will make for a winning combination, allowing workers to "easily cooperate and communicate using the most powerful human sense -- vision," SAP said in a statement.

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Right Hemisphere's technology will be applied to SAP's Business Suite ERP (enterprise-resource-planning) applications, such as by providing manufacturing or service workers with animated renderings of products, or "intuitive visual access" to part and stock lists, SAP said. The companies have many joint customers already, according to a statement.

SAP also intends to integrate Right Hemisphere's capabilities into its growing line of mobility software, which got a jump-start through the acquisition of Sybase last year.

Along with mobility, SAP has been making a further push into analytics with its HANA in-memory computing appliance and a related series of specialized applications. The Right Hemisphere technology could conceivably play into those plans as well.

While customers have long been able to integrate 3-D CAD (computer-aided design) software with their SAP environments, the acquisition of Right Hemisphere represents a bigger step into 3-D visuals for SAP.

In addition, Right Hemisphere positions itself as an easier-to-use, less expensive alternative to CAD. One of its products, Deep Exploration, allows users to convert existing CAD assets into "interactive 3D visual work instructions," as well as PDF, HTML and PowerPoint documents.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com.

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