Virtual and Physical Prototyping is recognized as a practice useful for the reduction of the development costs of industrial products. Such prototypes are anticipation of a product shape-function that does not exist in reality yet, but that appears and behaves as it were real. Therefore, a Virtual and Physical Prototype simulates how a product looks like and how it works, and can be used to test how users use and interact with it, etc. Virtual and Physical Prototypes can be multisensory and multimodal. Research outcomes of recent years and the enormous improvements in price and performances in ICT technology have enabled the realization of complex prototypes integrating real-time, immersive, mixed or augmented, visual interaction, as well as haptic, sonic and olfactory interaction.
Creating effective Virtual Prototypes requires interdisciplinary skills, which go beyond engineering and IT disciplines, and include crucial disciplines related to human aspects such as human factors, human perception, etc.