Virtual Reality is transforming the Building industry, enabling better communication and visualisation for architects and engineers
By now it is a broadly acknowledged fact that the practical applications of Mixed Reality (MR) – the term that covers this ever-expanding array of technologies including VR and AR – go far beyond entertainment and gaming. Yes, they sure are fun to play with, but they mean serious business too.
Many industries are embracing this change wholeheartedly, and the architecture and real estate industries are amongst the most enthusiastic early adopters of innovations such as Microsoft’s HoloLens.
“The process of making a building come to life involves thousands of moving parts and multiple stakeholders, and clear and timely communication is key to success,” explains Shane Scranton, CEO of IrisVR, one of the platforms emerging in that space.
IrisVR offers two enterprise products – Prospect and Scope – which help building professionals visualize and share 3D models in virtual reality. Prospect takes SketchUp, Revit, Rhino, Grasshopper, and OBJ files and automatically converts them into virtual reality experiences for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, while Scope allows users to view 360° panoramas in virtual reality using a Google Cardboard, Google Daydream, or Samsung Gear VR device.
“Prospect and Scope use VR to communicate building projects with more clarity and speed, saving team members time, money, and energy,” says Scranton.
The technology lets designers instantly curate VR walkthroughs, create life-like presentations and interact with virtual models. This enables dramatic reduction in design errors, and also allows professionals to capture and share the essence of a construction project without having to build physical models.
These practical applications save companies time and money, taking Mixed Reality well beyond the realm of gimmicks and making it into a practical utility that has real impact on a company’s bottom line. This is reflected in the fact that Iris is already being adopted by established architectural firms and building companies such as Ennead, HMC Architects, Corgan and Miele.
You can download a free trial of Prospect and Scope here and see an overview of the platform in the video below.
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Alice Bonasio is a VR and Digital Transformation Consultant and Tech Trends’ Editor in Chief. She also regularly writes for Fast Company, Ars Technica, Quartz, Wired and others. Connect with her on LinkedIn and follow @alicebonasio on Twitter.