Research into the elements of so-called virtual reality (VR) has been practiced for years in companies, universities and government research laboratories. In 1968, the first head-mounted display (HMD) device was developed, and in the 1990s commercial consumer HMDs were launched.
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How architects work: a short story
Primitive architects just built things. As ambition and understanding grew, they began to draw what they wanted to build – before they built it. The sophistication and precision has been increased, along with the development of better pens into standardized units, rulers, protractors, drawing arms and much more.
The electricity led to even more tools and the Personal Computer Revolution brought the screen software into operation. Computer-aided design (CAD) was first disseminated in 2D, then in 3D. Computing power grew and Building Information Modeling (BIM) was introduced. They offered 3D, 4D (time), 5D (cost) and even 6D and 7D, and all of this was integrated into CAD.
The use of VR in architecture
Modern architectural designs can now include everything from the building plan to any demolition. But while some companies are still trying to integrate BIM into their CAD, other, less tech-savvy companies have already made the leap to the next level of sophistication: CAD / BIM capabilities that can be found in a VR head-mounted device ( HMD) are provided.
As more and more architecture firms adopt BIM and its 3D-based workflow, integrating VR into the design process is a natural extension. With good graphics indispensable, the industry is adjusting to high-resolution solutions that have pioneered the gaming community. In the meantime, Moore's law's relentless logic increases the processing power required for better graphics and performance.
Benefits for architects
Another challenge is simply that architects have become accustomed to the tools they already use. The primary solution is to be aware of the benefits that VR offers them.
On the one hand, VR gives architects an understanding of how their designs work in real world scenarios, also because VR can incorporate environmental data and other relevant data. This helps to detect errors or problems early in the design process and saves time and money. VR also enables better collaboration between multiple users in the design, and simplifies and speeds up the revisions that are part of the building design process.
VR not only lowers production costs but is also cost effective to implement. It also offers great potential for training new employees and ensuring that construction workers understand what they are building.
The use of VR in interior design
As VR evolves, it promises to revolutionize the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) sectors. Much of this development includes MR (mixed reality) and AR (augmented reality). VR is more useful in designing or visualizing new structures or other elements, while AR and MR are better suited for retrofitting or adding to an existing structure.
Technology-inspired architectural firms are already using these technologies, as do future-oriented companies such as thyssenkrupp Elevator. The company uses MR in a HoloLens HMD within a HoloLinc digital network to simplify and accelerate home mobility improvements. A VR-enabled HoloLens HMD will be used in pop-up outlets and at trade shows to help customers better understand solutions to their mobility needs.
Advantages for customers and customers
For architects, the use of VR has yet another advantage: customers and customers like it. As soon as customers put on the VR glasses, they immerse themselves in the building they have commissioned. Immersive 3D allows them to see more clearly what things might look like and helps them understand the space – far better than any other form of presentation, even video.
It also allows them to provide more immediate feedback and experience the changes they request in real time. With an interactive VR real scenarios can be simulated, discussed and rejected or adopted. Along with the improved and more immediate understanding that VR provides to customers, the increased speed with which changes can be made means VR gives architects a clear competitive advantage over customers or customers.
The customer benefits of VR can also be transferred to other aspects of building design. Recently, thyssenkrupp Elevator, the market leader in urban mobility, launched one interactive virtual showroom to present their products. Potential customers can experience and customize a variety of solutions with a single head-mounted device.
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