original article https://program-ace.com/blog/virtual-tours-use-vr/
In the era of rapidly growing IT technology idea of real-world virtualization where every person can choose a shape, communicate with millions of colleagues around the globe and visit all corners of the globe without leaving the computer screen, becomes more and more important. Of course, this virtual world needs to be colorful and attractive and to be as close to the real world special effects as possible and even exceed them. That’s why, all the innovation and technology are designed to create realistic 3D animations with the help of 3D technology allowing you to recreate three-dimensional objects and maps, facilities and location. Thus nowadays technology is very close to full virtual reality which might become a life standard soon.
Due to global modern world computerization Internet audience grows quickly and permanently. Today a total number of Internet users around the globe is more than 2 billion, and the number of mobile subscribers is around 5 billion. Each of them is a potential participant of virtual reality.
That is why people became more and more interested in virtual tours and exhibitions offering opportunity to make a virtual 3D tour, walk through the halls, watch a realistic spherical panorama of rooms, come closer to the exhibits and receive interesting information simply by clicking the mouse, sitting at home.
Advantages of Virtual Tours
360° Virtual TourA 360° virtual tour enables your web visitors to view everything within a physical location in 360° radius. Imagine you are staying in the middle of the room and looking at it. That is exactly what your visitors will experience having 360 ° virtual tours online via the website. Furthermore, 360° virtual tour features a ground plan and hot spots allowing tour visitors to interact directly with the scene. The real and interactive elements are the factors that make 360° virtual tours so compelling.
One of the main benefits of 360° virtual tour is that it can deliver stunning visual impact. It is audience-captivating and could be determining factor in your customer’s decision to visit your institution.
Proposes functionality for 360° virtual tour:
3D tour enables your web visitors to dip into the atmosphere of the institution, to walk through the rooms (exhibits) and to choose pleasing exhibits simply clicking on them either online via the website or offline using CD-ROM application. The 3D format is visually more attractive and realistic than pictures or panoramas because it allows seeing objects from different angles.
One of the main reasons is that 3D tour can deliver a stunning effect of full presence in the institution in real time. It is audience-captivating and might become determining factor in your customer’s decision to visit your institution.
Proposes functionality for the 3D tour:
With 3D animation, your collections can be shown to visitors if there is lack of space in real life. The software helps to create a complete picture of the artist’s lifework for the visitor. 3D familiarizes them with works that may be spread all over the world. It is possible to create 3D models of objects which no longer exist, such as military tanks, ships, destroyed buildings, historic furniture and more. 3D animation can be used to make your collections more attractive for visitors. With 3D animation, you can organize virtual tutorial or training without expensive logistics. 3D animation complements traditional objects.
Proposed 3D animation features:
Original article: https://www.siteminder.com/r/technology/hotel-internet-booking-engines/virtual-tours-hotel-marketing-booking/
With technology on an exponentially advancing trajectory, it’s never been more important to keep up-to-date with how a hotel can incorporate the latest innovations into their business. One great example is virtual reality.
‘Virtual Reality’ or VR is currently one of the most progressive tech sectors and it’s something hotel’s should be using to attract more guests and secure direct bookings.
VR made its first big splash in the gaming world to immerse players in new worlds and onto amazing life-like adventures. The hotel and travel industry quickly realised the potential selling points this technology offered.
Hotels are tapping into this phenomenon by using Google technology to create ‘virtual tours’, a method by which a hotel can give their potential guests a 360-degree walkthrough of their room options and facilities.
Rather than still photos and 2D imagery, viewers can now fully immerse themselves in the property, moving within the rooms as if they are actually inside them.
The saying ‘a picture tells a thousand words’ no longer applies because a virtual tour is much more valuable, offering guests complete transparency in the features a hotel has to offer.
Why are virtual tours effective?Travellers not only prefer a virtual tour, but they are expecting one, and often won’t book a room without gaining access to a tour first.
Statistics show that:
This alone will give you an indication of how important the technology is for cultivating bookings.
The most powerful aspect of a virtual tour is that it submits all control to the viewer.
They can move through at their own pace, looking in every direction from multiple angles to gain an unprecedented level of knowledge about what they’re going to be paying for, all from their desktop or smartphone.
It adds a wow factor to your website, positioning your marketing as cutting edge and fun.
Additionally, adopting a Google virtual tour for your hotel will rocket you to the top of rankings on search engine results, with the tour front and centre on your profile summary and featuring heavily on Google Hotel Finder.
Best Western has even gone a step further, converting stationary photo tours into YouTube videos that lead through the hotel.
The possibilities even extend beyond the hotel to activities such as local restaurants and landmarks.
How can virtual tours increase direct bookings?A customer’s desire for modernity, efficiency and simplicity can’t be overstated.
Enhancing your website with a virtual tour helps to attract traffic and make it stick, increasing a customer’s willingness to book with your hotel.
Why? A virtual tour will increase the amount of visitors you get, captivate them for longer and encourage them to return – effectively, intriguing new customers and keeping old ones interested.
Of course, all this will mean nothing if the guests don’t have an easy and immediate way to book their stay. You’ve just excited them with your virtual tour, so you want them to carry that enthusiasm straight into a booking.
A booking engine, like SiteMinder’s TheBookingButton, that provides a fast and simple booking process – and is fully integrated with your other systems – is essential to consistently turn your visitors into guests.
Take a tour to see how it works!
When looking for a 3D tour company, or 360 tour provider, it's important to have appropriate expectations. When you hire a service provider in the 360 virtual reality world, Houston Texas, has many valuable and high quality luxury service providers. The following article is a couple very important attributes to look for when hiring a marketing specialist that provides 360 virtual Tours.
Number one, do they have examples of previous 360 virtual tours on their website? Number two, do they have fully-immersive 360 mobile viewable technology? Number three, are they able to customize and host the tours based on your needs as a real estate marketing professional?
Cost and quality are based on value. So if you have a valuable high-tech service (with amazing quality that reflects your real estate prospect), there's going to correlate with that a high cost. For example, does the company provide hot spots with their 3D tours? Or does the company edit and post-process the photos taken on location? Is there upgrades available like aerial drone photography? Can you add your own custom 3D floor plans into the 360 virtual reality experience?
When a property manager or an apartment owner hires virtual tour companies, these factors are all very important. Make sure to pore through their examples as a typical user who's shopping to lease an apartment unit. As you look through their examples and get the full experience, ask yourself the question, "Does this technology market my property in the way I would like it to be experienced? Overall, will this add value to my real estate? When someone clicks on this virtual tour, will they click to also contact our location? Or will they ask for more information? Or will the marketing experience impress the future tenant?"
The objective of the virtual tour is to get the user to pick up the phone and call your office. So shouldn't that experience be obvious and feel that way to the user? It should. So as you view the virtual tour examples of these companies, make sure to compare how it feels when you're clicking around the tour. Does this quality represent my space?
Lastly, you should consider pricing. What is an appropriate pricing for the service I am being provided? Or you could ask how much does it cost for a 360 virtual tour to come out to a multi-family property and shoot all my amenities and all my floor plans?
Here at TourRhino.com, our cost varies based on how many floor plans, how many amenities, and how many extra features you want to add on to your package. Everything is customizable based on your needs. The goal with 360 virtual reality is that you feel comfortable spending the money it takes to make this last for a long time and increase the value overall of your property.
If coming to your location and shooting a virtual tour increases the net operating income of your property, then the money spent on the virtual tour is well worth it. Make sure to ask our customer service team what all features and what all packages we have to offer. You can expect to pay $800 to $4,800 based on the package you select for your 360 virtual Tour.
In Houston, Texas, the range of quality is very vast. We know and trust that our excellent service as a 3D tour company will impress you and your team. Commercial real estate funds and large LLCs and capital funds trust Tour Rhino to make their assets look better, market better and have a better customer flow from the virtual tours.
So ask our company today what our pricing packages are and get started right now. Make sure to talk to one of our virtual tour experts and book your 360 Virtual Tour in Houston, Texas, today.
Are 360 Virtual Tours Better Value Than Traditional Slide Show Virtual Tours For Marketing Real Estate
Traditional virtual tours certainly have their place when marketing a property. They are simple, and ubiquitous. You probably see them everywhere. They are picture slideshows that are often accompanied by music and descriptions for each photo. They do a great job of marketing a property and giving viewers a rough idea of what the property has to offer.
If traditional virtual tours are like watching a movie in black and white, 360 tours are like viewing everything in living color! Rather than giving a mere glimpse of a property, 360 tours give viewers a fully immersive, modern view into luxury living. Both are useful, and TourRhino give you both.
TourRhino gives you these features:
Users can use their mobile phone to pan and zoom around a room as if they were actually standing in it. They can also use their fingers or mouse to move around the room. Virtual tours, on the other hand, are static. We host both!
No limit to number of scenes
Many virtual tour providers offer limitations on number of scenes. TourRhino 360 tours and virtual tours have no limit to the number of scenes you can host.
Allow your used to walk around your tour by giving them hotspot links they can click on to jump from scene to scene. We offer hotspots for both traditional virtual tours and 360 tours.
Our tours have no expiration date. As long as TourRhino exists, your tour will, too.
Matterport burst onto the scene as Silicon Valley's favorite real estate room scanning software in 2015. And while its true that is built the first end-to-end room scanning platform, a lot has changed in the industry since then.
Indeed, many alternatives to Matterport exist now-a-days. Lets examine some of the Pros and Cons of using Matterport as your tour service provider.
Matterport allows you to take photos of a room and output those photos to 360 images. In fact, this same feature is now available in consumer cameras across the United States. Matterport's five thousand dollar camera allows you to take photos of a room, but so does the four hundred dollar Rico Theta S.
Matterport provides a platform to upload your 360 images and output a tour. Unfortunately for Matterport, this 360 touring platform comes at a high cost! In fact, realtors and tour owners are charged a recurring fee to simply host and use their software. TourRhino charges a fixed fee. And as we know, fixed fees are the name of the game for Apartment Owners who care about NOI and for Realtors who have too much to do than manage yet another subscription.
Matterport has preffered vendors. Matterport is a brand that others tend to recognize, and if you are a Matterport provider then opportunities come your way. But did you know that TourRhino is one of the fastest growing 360 touring brands in the world? And that we offer the same 360 immersive tour experience that Matterport offers, but at a fraction of the cost? Our brand is a proud one, and you can join our vendor network whether you already use Matterport or are looking for a fresh start.
Matterport has an absurdly expensive camera. And the camera is proprietery. Which means if you want to shoot a 360 tour, you are locked into their platform. TourRhino, on the other hand, is flexible. You can bring your own device, bring your own photos, click Upload, and click Go! and instantly have a Matterport quality tour for 1/10th the cost.
Matterports roomscanning technology takes much more time too shoot than our 360 tours - and offer no real benefit to consumers. In fact, in live consumer tests, we noticed that viewers were just as enthralled with our point and touch tours as they were with Matterport. The only difference is the effort to create each tour - with TourRhino you can shoot a tour in 15 minutes. With Matterport it may take hours.
Matterport requires hosted tours to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee. This is one more thing to worry about and manage. And for property managers, this is just one more fee that negatively affects annual income, and therefore valuation metrics such as Cash-on-Cash and NOI. By using a fixed cost per tour, you never have to worry about managing yet another subscription, and your commercial property is able to get the highest valuation it deserves.
High cost per tour
The cost to shoot a Matterport tour often costs upwards of $2000. TourRhino preferred vendors offer the same service for less.
Remember, your first hosted tour is free on the TourRhino Creator platform. Or, if you would prefer to hire someone to come shoot your property for you, our expansive vendor network will get your tour created for a fraction of the cost of Matterport service providers. No matter how you slice it, TourRhino is cheaper for both property owners and for tour service providers. Get started today by either creating your first tour (link) or by hiring someone to come shoot your property (link)!
Apartment 3D Tour In Houston TX
Its time to use 360 to market your apartment or rental properties. And now its easier than ever. Just contact your local 360 tour specialist from TourRhino.com. To get your apartment 3d tour started, click the 'Get Started' page here: Get Started
See our 360 Virtual Tor Example Here
When adding a 3D tour to your apartment complex marketing website, there's a couple things you need to look for. Number one, does the experience seem clean on desktop and mobile? Number 2, is there special features, like fully immersive 3D views, and can I get a full 360 experience from the service provider. 3D tours are a powerful marketing experience for any luxury apartment, but the analytics backend is an important feature that needs to be requested when you order a 360 virtual tour.
3D Apartment Tours - Virtual Tour Provider Houston TX
Our tours have a full analytics back end. You have access to all the data and can see how much traffic, how many visitors, and many people are coming to view your tour. Also, it's important to get an embeddable code for your website because most 3D virtual tours are hosted offsite on separate servers. Because these sites are hosted somewhere else and the servers are off location, you need to be able to embed the code into your website so as a viewer comes and looks at the website, they'll be able to see an embeddable code and track some of the statistics of that 3D tour.
Apartment competition is getting fierce and advancements are being made all around us. You must be able to use 360 tours to capture more leads and convert those leads into tenants. Many companies are responsible for relocating their employees to your city or town, they will need some type of 360 or 3D tour experience to trust that where they're going to live, looks exactly like what’s promised. It is now industry standard for an apartment to have a 3D tour. As viewers see floor plans and photo galleries, they're always asking the questions, "What does this space really look like? And if I want to book this apartment and live there, do I really like what I'm looking at?"
Using a 3D tour is a great opportunity to show off your development and show off a clean, beautiful space from the inside. Dont allow photography to create confusion because they can't explore inside the space. If your apartment has large closets or a big kitchen, show it off in 360. These types of features are powerful in the 3D environment and are not well marketed in just still photography shots.
If you have special amenities like dog parks, or a really nice pool or spa, make sure your 3D tour provider gets those shots and always show every room, even if the room doesn't seem like it's that valuable. Certain things are valuable to certain people. You can mitigate and get a lot of questions answered, and (phone call) questions are already answered because the 360 tour shows the space in full detail.
So upgrade your 3D marketing today. Book tourrhino.com to come out to location, shoot a 360 tour, and get your marketing to the next level.
check out other 360 virtual tours at our home page.
To get started with your virtual tour in 3D and 360, click the get stated button for pricing and more information.
Orginal article: https://www.eyerevolution.co.uk/virtual_tour_articles/hotel-marketing/
Hotel Marketing OnlineWhen potential customers hit your hotel’s website – what persuades them to book with you? Is it your brand, your star rating, cheaper room rates, better rooms? According to a study, 69% of people who book hotels online rated visuals as highly important in their selection of a hotel – coming above other criteria such as star ratings, hotel brands, loyalty programmes and even customer reviews.
‘Visuals’ covers a multitude of possibilities, and chances are that you have still images, and maybe even some virtual tours on your website. However the survey goes on to reveal that many customers have been dissatisfied with the quality of visuals on offer on hotel websites. Small, poor quality virtual tours and visuals can leave customers feeling frustrated and dissatisfied – not the experience you want potential customers to have on your site!
Increasing conversionYour website is your shop window. By making that window richer and more appealing, your customers can choose to engage and interact with your content – giving them a taste of your brand experience before they book. A 360 virtual tour that is both beautifully shot and easy to use will put your hotel head and shoulders above your competition.
Our superb quality 360 tours will provide the viewer with additional reasons why they should book with your hotel. An Eye Revolution virtual tour will help convert your online prospects into sales, boosting your occupancy rates.
Great rooms – not just cheap ratesA good, high-resolution virtual tour means you can break the cycle of merely competing on rates. Showing your potential customers a complete 360 view around the room at the point they’re trying to decide on a hotel allows you to differentiate on the quality of your rooms and facilities, not just on price.
Prove it!You can tell your customers that your hotel rooms offer unrivalled levels of comfort or luxury. But customers are wise to the fact that copywriters will ‘talk up’ a product. But with an Eye Revolution 360 virtual tour of your hotel, you can give solid evidence to back up your assertions. You can challenge negative perceptions – people who have perhaps thought that a 3 or 4-star rating would mean basic or unimpressive rooms can be shown that this is far from the reality.
Your competitor’s small visuals and descriptive text simply can’t compare with a high quality, full screen 360 degree view around the various hotel rooms, the bars, the restaurants, spa or gym. You’re able to visually prove to viewers that your hotel meets and even exceeds their expectations – thereby converting web visitors into paying customers.
Providing content across channelsThird party booking sites such as Expedia can be used as a marketing opportunity to use your virtual tour content to showcase your hotel. Using good quality content on third party channels gives potential guests the chance to choose on the basis of facilities and quality, not just on rate. Eye Revolution can provide versions of your hotel virtual tours to third party reservation sites such as Lastminute.com, Expedia, Laterooms.com and Hotels.com. Thus potential guests who may never have seen your site still have the opportunity to view your content and make a booking.
Meetings, conferences and functionsHotels face tough competition in the business and functions market too. Hotels need to work hard to show potential customers that the facilities they offer for conferences, meetings, events, functions and weddings are right for them. Giving customers the opportunity to see for themselves what’s on offer helps them decide to book with you. 360 Virtual tours with a floorplan interface allows customers the chance to see the spaces and rooms on offer, and navigate around them, understanding the layout. This allows hotels to market their facilities to conference and event decision-makers in a meaningful and compelling way.
High quality 360 virtual tours are an excellent hotel marketing tool, adding value to the web viewers brand experience, and increasing the chances of that viewer going on to make a booking.
original content: https://www.eyerevolution.co.uk/virtual_tour_articles/virtual-tour-interface/
When we refer to virtual tours, we are talking about the individual 360 tours. For some clients, these individual virtual tours are all they need, perhaps because they only want to commission one virtual tour, or sometimes because they wish to just have text links to the virtual tours. However, for an increasing number of companies looking to commission virtual tours, an interactive interface adds value to the 360 virtual tours, providing their viewers with a positive and engaging brand experience.
What’s an interface?An interface provides a framework for your viewers to use to view and navigate around your 360 virtual tours. As well as offering a practical navigation method, they can also add value by offering viewers extra features such as hotspots, audio or even video.
When is it useful to have one?A virtual tour interface is exceptionally useful if you have two or more virtual tours within one location, or even spread out geographically.
What are the options?Floorplans / MapsA floorplan enables the viewer to choose rooms and change direction at any time, so they can move through different rooms, changing rooms at any time. It’s not just useful for individual buildings; a map can be used allowing users to navigate between separate virtual tours across a wider geographical location. Here are some examples of how maps and floorplans could be used in different types of projects:
Info windowsWhen a hotspot is clicked, an info window can appear which shows the viewer a photo or some text about a feature.
VideoYou may wish to include videos in your virtual tour, and this can be achieved very neatly. For example, in a retail virtual tour you may wish a hotspot to take the viewer to a product video. Eye Revolution’s programmers can even embed a live webcam within the virtual tour.
What else is possible?We can build in other features which Flash allows, so you can let your imagination run free! For example, you might have the virtual tours above a block of text. If you refer to something in the text that features in the tour, we can make this clickable so the tour automatically pans around to show it. (Please contact us to see an example of this functionality.) If there is a feature we haven’t discussed here which you think would enhance the virtual tour experience for your viewers, then please talk to us about it and we’ll see what’s possible.
original article: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/what-vr-devices-apps-turn-real-world-virtual-ncna857001
What is VR? The devices and apps that turn the real world virtual
What is VR? The devices and apps that turn the real world virtual
Here's what you need to know about a technology that's sweeping the digital realm.
by Tom Metcalfe / Mar.15.2018 / 4:27 PM ET
WHAT IS VR?
Virtual reality (VR) is a term used to describe three-dimensional computer-generated environments that replace the normal reality in which our everyday lives play out.
VR environments are often described as “immersive” because they engage a user's vision — and in some instances touch — to provide a seemingly three-dimensional simulated world to interact with or explore.
Many people have already experienced virtual reality games, and VR is of growing importance for training and education in fields like medicine, engineering, and the sciences. Some of the world’s leading technology companies — including Microsoft, Sony, Google, Facebook, Apple, and Samsung — are spending heavily to develop VR equipment and applications.
HOW DOES VIRTUAL REALITY WORK?
In its simplest forms, virtual reality is experienced as 3D graphics, images, or 360-degree videos on computers or smartphones running mobile apps. More elaborate VR systems use wraparound computer displays or even entire rooms with high-resolution displays integrated into the walls.
Increasingly, virtual reality environments are experienced through VR headsets, or goggles. These can be dedicated headsets, like the Oculus VR system and the HTC Vive. Alternatively, a headset adaptor and mobile app software can turn a smartphone into a 3D display, like Samsung’s Gear VR system.
VR headsets track your head movements and adjust what you see depending on where you look — so the virtual world appears to exist in all directions. Many VR systems let you control this virtual environment with hand controllers or gloves, including so-called "haptic" models that vibrate to provide a sort of virtual touch.
WHAT CAN I DO WITH VIRTUAL REALITY?
Although scientific and industrial applications are on the rise, the main applications of VR today are in virtual reality games and entertainment. Here are some things you can do with VR:
Have fun in 3D. Virtual reality games have boomed in recent years, in part because VR headsets have become more affordable. Many multiplayer games, like Gaijin’s War Thunder, now work with virtual reality equipment that puts players inside the game world.
Look back in time. Mobile apps like Lithodomos VR make it possible to visit ancient sites, such as the Acropolis in Athens or the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
Dive deep. Virtual reality techniques like 360-degree video and detailed 3D models let landlubbers go underwater to visit famous shipwrecks.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?
Smartphone VR systems use a headset adaptor that can cost from a few dollars to around $80 for high-end versions like the Google Daydream VR. (Of course, you'll need a high-resolution smartphone capable of running VR mobile apps.) Samsung’s Gear VR headset costs around $100, plus the cost of a VR-enabled Samsung smartphone.
Dedicated VR headsets cost from about $400 for the Oculus Rift or Sony’s Playstation VR headsets to about $600 for the HTC Vive.
It’s possible to create your own three-dimensional virtual reality environments and 360-degree video using specialized VR cameras like the GoPro Odyssey. But at a cost of about $15,000, the necessary gear isn't cheap.
In addition to VR, many companies are now working to develop technology for so-called augmented or mixed reality, which blends the view of the real world with computer-generated graphics. The most familiar examples of AR gear are wearable see-through displays, commonly called smart glasses.
orignal article: https://www.viatechnik.com/resources/50-virtual-reality-technologies-in-architecture-engineering-and-construction/
Virtual Reality technology has advanced rapidly in the past few years and in no other industry is this more relevant than in the AEC market. Here is a list of 50 VR hardware and software tools that have the ability to change the way work is done in the AEC space. This list was compiled by the virtual reality team at VIATechnik.
As large tech companies such as Facebook, Google, and Microsoft build their own game changing tools or buy companies in this space, things will only become more ‘real’. With all this progress, it is no wonder that architects, engineers and construction teams are already finding uses for this technology in their own workflows.
1UNREAL ENGINEUnreal is a suite of tools for developers that can be used to create games and virtual reality environments. This is VIATechnik’s preferred tool for highly polished virtual reality experiences. It is free for the architecture industry and is frequently used to visualize spaces and render architectural models in immersive environments. This tool enables engineers and architects to design and build in a virtual reality environment by means of a powerful editor toolset and the interaction models that have been specifically designed for VR world building. The outcome is a believable immersive experience built upon natural motions and interactions.
2UNITYTranslating CAD or BIM models into virtual reality experiences used to take considerable time and programming know how. With the advent of the Unity gaming engine, bringing Revit/3D models into a virtual reality space becomes much easier. Now, any AEC professional can take their Revit model, bring it into Unity, and create a VR experience. With a bit of programming knowledge, the VR models can also be heavily customized. This powerful, intuitive and flexible tool ensures rapid iteration and fluid workflow, thus allowing engineers and architects to create stunning, interactive walkthroughs and provide clients with a realistic sense of how it would feel like to actually live in the simulated environment.
One thing that Fuzor does for AEC industry professionals is instantly transform Revit or Sketchup models into virtual reality experiences. This is a great tool for construction because greatly speeds up the process to get designs into VR – allowing users to iterate and improve on their designs.
Twinmotion is a powerful and simple visualization engine that takes in various AEC models. Developed for architectural, construction, urban planning and landscaping professionals, regardless of the size and complexity of their project, their equipment, their computer skills or their modeler, Twinmotion is a simple to use tool powered by Unreal Engine that generates amazing graphics in a short amount of time.
Oculus Rift’s headset is traditionally seen as a tool for gamers. However, in the AEC space, it makes working in virtual environments so much easier. Through the 3D experience combined with motion tracking capabilities, it becomes a lot easier to move around 3D models and look around corners than using a mouse and keyboard. There is no wonder that more and more architecture companies are deciding to experiment with using the Rift technology for visualisation and design. Rift allows architects to get a real glimpse of how their buildings will look like and understand the scale, something that is impossible to achieve on a traditional monitor.
TPCast is an amazing tool that detethers the VR experience. Using an HD transmitter, one can experience a wireless VR experience through the HTC Vive. Imagine being able to run around a large VR environment without the risk of tripping over headset wires!
What is Magic Leap? According to their own website – “Magic Leap is an Idea”. A usable prototype still appears to be at least 1-3 years away, but the “idea” is that their technology will allow 3D virtual elements to appear in real life. The prototype is still in stealth mode, but the word on the street is that the team at Magic Leap is expanding upon retinal projection technology born out of medical surgical research. This basically means that this tech will be able to project virtual images onto the wearer’s retina, thus conveying virtual animations and objects an augmented sense of depth. If successful, Magic Leap’s ability to blur the lines between the virtual and the real is sure to disrupt the AEC industry.
Microsoft’s Hololens is still in its development stage, but its conceptual release has already introduced various ways in which this technology can be applied to different industries. The Hololens utilizes augmented reality to create three dimensional objects within a real space (versus virtual reality, which focuses on a full virtual experience) through the use of light to create holographic images. It’s also the first holographic computer running Windows 10, and is completely untethered – no wires, phones, or connection to a PC needed. It delivers a mixed reality of both our digital and our real word, allowing us to pin holograms in our physical environment. With Microsoft HoloLens, holographic computing becomes possible, enabling us to visualize and work with digital content naturally, as if it were part of our real world. For the AEC segment, this device is able to extend the interaction with 3D models beyond those provided by 2D computer screens, creating new ways to visualize and manage change on complex projects.
The popular Kinect is a device that is part of the Xbox 360 and Xbox One Gaming consoles, but developers have pushed this technology onto other applications aside from gaming. The Kinect uses a RGB camera, depth sensor, and microphone to capture motion and sound within its depth of view. The advantage of the Kinect technology is its ability to not only recognize people and their gestures, but multiple people at the same time. The only limitation is how many people you can fit into its field of view without any obstructions.
There is no wonder that businesses worldwide – including the AEC industry – use Kinect in creative and innovative ways to address challenge and enhance the client experience. This technology allows customers to naturally interact with products before they purchase, thus allowing retailers to create a deeper engagement with their prospective clients.
VRSCA is a powerhouse engine that allows you to navigate up to eight people, wearing VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift, through a virtual environment at the same time. Most computers are not equipped to handle the massive volume of data contained in a typical VR simulation file. A high performance laptop computer can process the data necessary to simulate a 25,000 square-foot building at a frequency of 25 frames per second. By contrast, VRSCA processes the same model at 80 frames per second. A 100,000-square-foot model with defined interior and dynamic lighting would crash the average high-powered computer. VRSCA, on the other hand, runs the simulation with ease, without lag or overheating. Architects and engineers can simultaneously navigate up to four clients through a virtual environment and, at the same time, remotely host up to 32 viewers. With this technology, 3D models are easily converted into stunning VR simulations.
11LEAP MOTIONThe Leap Motion Controller is a motion-sensing device that allows users to see their hands in virtual reality and augmented reality. What’s more, the controller can be easily plugged into the USB ports of any Mac or PC. The technology converts hand and finger movements into 3D input with sub-millimeter accuracy, virtually no latency, and without gloves or other handheld accessories. Users are able to naturally interact with virtual objects, just as they would do in the real world. Due to Leap Motion’s capabilities, users are able to use their hands to move objects, create shapes, pan, zoom, or easily perform any other gesture-controlled function. Leap Motion has been designed to work with Autodesk 3-D products, including AutoCAD, Revit, Maya, or 3-D Studio Max. A developer’s kit is available to be used in the integration of this device into various applications, such as 3D Modeling or AR/VR.
In a world where global teams are increasingly prevalent, the researchers at Stanford CIFE have created a virtual meeting place solution, sure to be a breakthrough in the AEC industry. 3DiO is a virtual immersive environment, drawing from the idea of an Obeya, the Japanese term for a big room or war room. Imagine WebEx meets Second Life and you have 3DiO – a refreshing change for anyone who has sat in an excruciating long, mismanaged, and boring BIM coordination meeting. This technology is still in the early creation stages, but anything that comes out of Stanford CIFE is worth keeping an eye on.
With a VR headset and intuitive and expressive controller, Google Daydream uses a specialized smartphone to explore virtual spaces, play games, and watch films. AEC professionals can use this technology to improve design critique, quality control, and client communications without misinterpretations. It stands apart from the competition in that it has its own remote and relies on smartphones instead of desktop computers.
14MYOMyo is a wearable armband device that allows the user to use gestures to wirelessly control technology. Combining a set of EMG (electromyographic) sensors able to sense the electrical activity in the wearer’s forearm muscles, a gyroscope, an accelerometer, and a magnetometer, this device is able to read muscle activity, allowing the user to control software using gestures and motion. For instance, Myo allows you to easily navigate through slideshows by simply using gesture controls such as tapping fingers together, opening and closing the fist, or waving the hand. This device could be used on construction sites, in laboratories, or even at the office to control robotics, equipment, presentations, and more.
Real3D is a digital projection technology, most commonly used for watching 3d films in movie theaters. RealD 3d glasses are polarized lenses that are worn by the audience so that they can view the 3d images being projected onto the screen. Circularly polarized glasses come with oppositely polarized lenses, thus ensuring that each eye can see solely its designated frame. Just as with any movie, the AEC industry can make use of this technology to immerse its viewers in a themed environment.
16SAMSUNG GEAR VR
Virtual Reality is such a hot topic right now that all hardware giants need their play in this space. Samsung is collaborating with Oculus to create a mobile VR solution utilizing Samsung’s smart phone. Because, honestly, if the user is really to feel like they are immersed in a virtual environment and experience supreme comfort, they should not be constrained by a 2 ft cord to their computer. Samsung’s Gear VR promises to deliver bigger fields of view, alongside smoother images, reflection prevention and low light leakage. The completely flat touchpad ensures convenient control and precision. Due its capabilities and portability, Samsung Gear VR is ideal for architectural use.
Playstation VR has been one of the leading platforms in 2016 because of its relatively low cost and easy integration. Unlike other VR displays, the PS VR display uses full red, green and blue sub-pixels to produce a full color pixel; however, bright light sources should be eliminated for optimal functioning. The Playstation VR headset is also designed to be comfortable, balanced, and adjustable, making it easy to wear at job sites.
18AVEGANT GLYPHAvegant Glyph’s new virtual retinal display device takes the experience of watching a video, playing a game or viewing images to a whole new level. With an array of 2 million micromirrors that project a complete fill-in image as oppose to today’s pixilated images, the Glyph creates a vivid and realistic viewing of whatever content you are being immersed in. Being marketed as wearable headphones that convert the head piece to a sleek goggle for viewing, the Avegant Glyph is also compatible with all types of media using a simple plug-in chord. While VR headsets like the Oculus Rift are designed to shut out the world around you, creating an illusion of being somewhere else, the Glyph lets you look above and below the visor to get a sense of what’s going on around you.
On the plus side, it lets you do things like sip drinks and read text messages without taking off the headset. On the downside, it isn’t nearly as immersive as the Rift, and is designed more for viewing stationary, single-pane content, like you would on any other screen.
19ZEISS VR ONE
The VR One is a head-mounted viewer for the virtual reality content that is playing on your phone. The viewer is already available for consumers and works with Android smartphones and the iPhone 6. You feed the phones into a slot on the VR One using a tray specifically designed for exact positioning of the display in front of the lenses. The optic is designed in a way that users always see a clear and sharp picture all over the screen even when the glasses are not positioned perfectly on the head. And eye glass users can use the VR ONE above their glasses. It is similar to the Gear VR by Samsung and Oculus, except for its cheaper price. Due to its portability and lightweight design, Zeiss VR One is the ideal companion for augmented reality or videos and games.
Olorama offers digital scent technology that incorporates smells into virtual reality and augmented reality experiences. It’s largely pitched at the film and museum industries but also has applications for those who work in AEC. Scents have the power to make us feel nostalgic, safe, invigorated, and comfortable. With essential oils and natural extracts, building companies can create realistic sensations and customized emotions for clients, tenants, and guests.
When someone thinks of 3D technology, people usually only consider the visual experience. But why not considering the audio part as well? The folks at Arup came up with a 3D sound lab to simulate sounds in the built environment. A visit to their lab allows you to experience the audio being optimized at a New York subway station in order to ensure that all the announcements will be heard clearly all across the platform. Their aim is to allow people to hear – even from the design stage – how a planned wind farm or high-speed rail will sound like when completed. Combining visualisations with sound simulations is a powerful tool that can allow engineers and architects to bring sound into context.
22TOUCHABLE HOLOGRAMSThanks to clever engineering by the research team at Bristol University, virtual reality should expand beyond sight and sound to ‘touch’ as well. Can you imagine being able to feel different interior textures and choosing the right ‘texture’ for your project? What this technology means is that holograms are now able to move away from 2D surfaces and enter a limitless 3D world. What’s more, since these holograms are touchable, they acquire an interactive dimension. With this technology, one will no longer need heavy binders of showroom material – a simple holographic projection should do the trick!
This large-scale VR environment is a hybrid system able to combine the benefits of both VR systems and scalable-resolution display walls, thus creating a seamless 2D/3D environment which supports both VR simulation and information-rich analysis. Its resolution matches human visual acuity. CAVE2 merges all the major benefits of OptIPortal and CAVE into a unified environment. While the CAVE technology immerses people into those worlds that are too large, too small, too complex, or too remote to be viewed otherwise, OptIPortal is able to create a virtual “project room” that allows people to display large images, simultaneously juxtapose information, or infer and see relationships among the data.
The CURV technology brings virtual reality to immersive walkthroughs. We are talking about a wrap-around imaging solution able to display environments across large areas. This works well with teams who want to collaborate and work in the same virtual space. The fact that the curved-screen system can fill the peripheral view and provide a more immersive feel makes CURV the ideal tool for interactive research, virtual walkthroughs, or other applications that require wide fields of view.
25DAQRI SMART HELMETDaqri’s smart hard-hat seems quite similar to what Google Glass and Microsoft Hololens are able to do, but for industrial applications. Using 360-degree navigation cameras, a high-resolution depth sensor, and an inertial measurement tool, the hard-hat creates an augmented reality experience to help people on the jobsite complete their jobs faster and more accurately. The DAQRI Smart Helmet™ is able to deliver real-time data directly to the user, thus enabling him/her to understand and visualize the world in a way never before imagined. It would be interesting to see how this develops with Hololens coming out in the near future.
Using room scale VR, HTC Vive allows those in the AEC industry to experience ‘walkable’ VR with tracking and 360˚ coverage. Wireless controllers are used to simulate natural interactions in a 3D environment with an impressive sense of scale, depth, and space. To “walk” around a building, the trackable area is about 5 meters by 5 meters, and the headset is tracked by base stations mounted on walls or tripods.
27GOOGLE CARDBOARDFor struggling AEC professionals who aren’t able to afford an Oculus Headset, Google Cardboard may be just what they need. The Cardboard consists of a folded cardboard holder with lenses. Through pairing Google Cardboard with a compatible smart phone, one can experience ‘3D models’ in a similar way to the Oculus Headset. This hardware uses the phone’s display and also relies on the internal rotational tracking sensors of the phone. Though it is rather limited to static pre-rendered views and relatively small environments, Google Cardboard is an efficient gateway to more expensive VR. What’s more, it is portable and can be customized.
IrisVR is still in early development – but seems like something similar to Unity. Based on what we’ve seen, it can offer users a ‘one-click’ option to transform models from Revit and Sketchup into a Virtual Reality model. The company has been building VR tools for the design and architecture industries. The Iris Prospect allows clients to take 3D blueprints and plans and turn them into virtual reality experiences that can be viewed on devices such as Oculus Rift, GearVR, HTC Vive, and Cardboard. Perhaps professionals seeking a quick VR model can go this route over the Unity one.
Sixsense’s MakeVR is a software application aimed at making 3D modeling easy for those looking to 3D model objects with no prior knowledge of modeling softwares and CAD drafting. Sixense couples their software with a 3D multi-touch interface that would replace the traditional mouse in the modeling process. This interface, similar to holding two wireless joysticks, utilizes a motion tracking system to enable a 3 dimension space to model off of. MakeVR’s 3D multi-touch allows users to use their hands to naturally interact with the virtual world. Imagine the possibility to physically get into a 3D scene and grab and modify CAD-based solid models exactly the way you manipulate objects in the real world. Or imagine that, by simply clicking a button, you can send your creations to a local 3D printer and bring it into the real world.
30PROJECT MORPHEUSThe Project Morpheus VR headset revealed by Sony is plenty tangible. It includes a 1080p display, 90-degree field of view and uses the PlayStation Eye camera and PlayStation Move controller to place the player within a virtual environment they see and interact with. PlayStation VR is able to simultaneously render two different images: an image for television and a completely different display for the headset. The television may either mirror the picture that has been displayed on the headset, or it may display a different image for cooperative or competitive gameplay. The headset uses the binaural 3D audio.
31VIRTUIX OMNIThe current limitation of many virtual reality devices is the physical constraints of the space around them. Many virtual reality gears such as the Oculus Rift are tied down by wires, while other devices, such as the Google Cardboard, are limited by the physical walls we are occupying. Virtuix Omni aims to resolve this issue through its technology, which consists of a platform in which the user can be harnessed onto. The platform tracks the user’s movements and allows the user to freely walk or even run through their virtual space without bumping into objects within the physical world. The Omni makes use of inertial sensors to track the position of a person, the length of his/her stride, and how fast he/she is moving. This active VR motion platform engages the entire body and provides an unprecedented sense of immersion.
Steam is an online entertainment platform and community that provides access to over 3500 games. SteamVS was just released, which is a full featured 360 degree room-scale VR experience comprised of a HTC Vive headset and two wand-shaped controllers. The tracking system is precise and fast, and can be used to map a room’s boundaries, which can be included into the VR experience. The controllers make use of haptic thumb-pads which can be split into directional inputs or a number of “buttons”. In the near future, Steam could be used to host AEC content/environments for SteamVR.
The EON Icube is a PC based augmented reality environment. It is a multi-walled system where the user is completely surrounded by images and sound. Easy to use, the EON Icube uses light-enhancing rigid wall material, provides users with an impressive speed of immersive content creation and deployment, and has built-in collaborative capabilities. EON Icube is compatible with most Virtual Reality peripherals, such as data-gloves, Xbox controllers, joysticks, or motion tracking systems. Eon maintains a virtual reality library that already has many sample AEC environments built.
Meta glasses offer a different experience than a VR headset because the glasses display digital content as a layer over your real physical surroundings. These devices could easily replace our smartphones in the future, and more than 1,000 developers and companies are already using Meta. AEC professionals can add an interactive layer of 3D content to their surroundings in a building to digitally test different features and options.
Nimble VR is developing hand tracking devices for virtual reality platforms, and has now joined forces with Oculus in an attempt to create even more realistic and immersive VR experiences. Nimble VR will allow the Oculus environment to be controlled without the necessity of holding or wearing controllers on fingers or hands, using a small camera mounted on the headset. This makes the Oculus more flexible and more natural. The aim of the project is to develop a technology that enables users to interact with virtual surroundings using their hands and fingers.
Binaural recordings record audio in the same way humans hear them. When one listens to a binaural recording through his/her headphones, he/she perceives distinct and genuine 360° sound. Once recorded, the immersive effects can be enjoyed with a set of headphones that is able to provide good left and right channel isolation. However, head set manufacturers and headphone amplifier companies have created special units for the playback of binaural. Often times we forget about ‘audio’ in a VR space, but buildings and infrastructure all have sounds that need to be experienced in the virtual world. Think about passenger announcements, mechanical room noise, alarms, and HVAC.
Roto is an interactive Virtual Reality chair that allows individuals to explore in various directions and discover the gravitational presence in a VR environment. Roto has been specifically designed for all HMD’s: PlayStation VR (PSVR), Oculus VR, HTC Vive Pre, Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, and OSVR. Instead of just using your head to navigate around a space, the motorized chair allows one to rotate and turn around a VR environment. This feature makes it perfect for coordination meetings or navigating through a space in Navisworks.
38GOOGLE PROJECT TANGO
Tango is a platform which makes use of computer vision to enable devices to understand their position regarding the world around them. Project Tango integrates 3D scanning, indoor navigation and immersive gaming to create a device that seems perfect for the AEC space. The device can actually be used to scan spaces in 3D, track motion, and also process 3D models in a tablet. There is still much work to be done, but this could one day replace expensive 3D laser scanners and help any AEC professional scan built environments without a survey professional.
Another Autodesk technology worth mentioning is Autodesk LIVE, which allows users to transform Revit models and step inside their own designs to share and present. AEC professionals can upload BIM models to the cloud with just one click and interactive visualizations that can be published to mobile. This gives clients a better sense of your design early on so changes can be made with minimal disruption or delay.
The technology coming out of Musion is about the closest thing you can get to Star Trek’s Beam Me Up Scotty teleportation. From Charles, Prince of Wales, hologram address at the Abu Dhabi’s World Future Energy Summit to a Black Eyed Peas concert at the NRJ awards in France – Musion Holograms has made this a reality. So how does this translate to the AEC industry? Maybe it’s about walking through 3D models in immersive holographic setting can help project stakeholders visualize a project before it is constructed. Maybe it’s just about having some fun with your BIM, and seeing Donald Trump in your board room or Michael Jordan in your sports auditorium. The point is that Musion’s imaging systems and 3D technologies create spectacular multi-media presentations using 3D holographic images that are so real that they can hardly be distinguished from the presenters and live performers appearing next to them.
While Infinadeck’s omnidirection treadmill sounds like a safety and insurance nightmare for fitness gyms, it is a dream come true for AEC professionals looking for a better way to walk around virtual and augmented reality models. This is a much better solution to experiencing 3D models than an Xbox controller or the arrow keys on your computer keyboard. The latest prototype presented at CES 2016 boasts half the size of the original treadmill, is twice as quiet and comes with a harness able to detect directional input. Unlike Virtuix Omni or Cyberith, the Infinadeck uses motorized components instead of low-friction, passive surfaces to facilitate movement. For many users, the walking experience is much more realistic.
Matterport’s fast and portable Matterport Pro 3D Camera and Capture App for iPad has the ability to scan 1,000 square feet of space in about 30 minutes creating high-quality immersive 3D models with ease and speed. With no software installation necessary, Matterport’s management and distribution platform for all your 3D models allow you access and organization between you and other team members. With the Matterport Cloud, a viewer from anywhere in the world can explore these 3D spaces from their desktop or mobile devices.as stated on their official website, Matterport is ideal for any industry that uses, modifies, markets, or talks about real- world places.
Jaunt’s technology provides creative professionals an end-to-end solution for creating cinematic Virtual Reality. With a camera system that simultaneously records 3D stereoscopic video in all directions, coupled with 3D sound-field microphones to record sound, the Jaunt technology gives you the ability to reconstruct a complete visual and auditory experience. Compatible with industry-standard software, as well as having cross-platform capabilities for rendering content for the Oculus Rift and other devices, Jaunt’s Virtual Reality technology is setting a new standard for immersive content quality. The binaural mixing creates an audio experience as immersive and impressive as the visual one. With a stunning design to top it all, Jaunt’s camera features high quality 360-degree capture and custom optics.
Boogio is definitely the first wearable able to instrument people’s feet! The bionic foot sensors created by Boogio is a set of sensory stickers and tiny computers that activates any shoe to play in mobile and virtual reality games and tracks movement from the ground to help improve physical performance and health. This hands-free approach to technology comes packed with 65,000 layers of sensitivity and accelerometers which calculate the 3D acceleration of the feet and the gravitational force on the body. The sensors provide real-time data on fundamental biomechanics such as center of balance, ground contact speed, foot strike zone, or gait symmetry, and communicate with iOS, Android, and Windows apps over Bluetooth LE. Perhaps useful for people in the field to track and monitor movements that can be coupled with VR tracking for safety purposes.
The Razer Hydra, which was previously known as Sixense TrueMotion, is a motion and orientation detection game controller developed by Sixense Entertainment in partnership with Razer USA. With its magnetic motion detector sensors, the Razor Hydra gives the user an unhindered virtual experience. The weak magnetic field detects the absolute orientation and position of the controllers with a precision of 1 mm and 1°.The game controller has also been pre-optimized for use with over 125 PC games. All in all, this gadget boasts total game immersion, unrivalled precision, and an extensive PC games library compatibility.
Unigine is a proprietary cross-platform game engine, developed by Russian software company Unigine Corp. Apart from its use as a game engine, it is used for virtual reality systems, serious games and visualization. Due to its sophisticated lighting and shading models, advanced special effects, accurate atmosphere model, and lifelike post-processing, UNIGINE delivers near-photorealistic 3D assets that make it the ideal tool for multiple industries. Its advanced renderer supports both OpenGL 4.0 and DirectX 11.
Open Source Virtual Reality, or better known as OSVR, is an ecosystem made to set an open standard for Virtual Reality input devices, games, and output with the intention of providing the best possible game experience in the VR space. OSVR is supported by industry leaders who are more focused on gaming and brings together gamers worldwide in order to push the boundaries of Virtual Reality Gaming. With the OSVR Hacker Developer Kit and software, you can also build your own or improve upon existing VR-Glass designs.
48CYBERITH VIRTUALIZERThe Cyberith Virtualizer is essentially a device that allows one to move freely and naturally in-place. The flat base plate comes with a low-friction surface which enables the user to walk, run, or strafe freely in any direction. 360° axial rotations and vertical movements such as crouching or jumping are also possible due to its unique ring. The adjustable harness ensures an effortless movement through virtual worlds, allowing the user to kneel or sit down. This should pair well with VR headsets to help one really move freely around modeled spaces.
Shapespark enables interior designers and architects to create real-time web-based visualizations with physically accurate lighting – perfect for meetings or presentations with clients. The visualizations can be shared via links, and supports the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, providing users with a stereoscopic 3D view. Since Shapespark uses WebGL, a web technology supported by default by all modern operating systems and browsers, visualizations can be comfortably explored directly in the browser, with no plugins required. Unlike static renders, Shapespark allows the viewer to enter and walk around a space freely, examining every detail.
50RICOH THETA S
With high resolution and full HD video capture, this technology features a camera that shoots everything in 360 degrees to edit and share, not to mention HD live streaming and live view functions and 8GB memory. Ricoh Theta S also has a new Wi-Fi module to transfer job site images to your smartphone. It’s compatible with the new Google Street View app and has its own smartphone app where professionals can snap, view, and share spherical images.
513DIO FREE SPACE
Different from our number eleven 3dio, this 3Dio is a manufacturer of binaural microphones and accessories. Binaural audio is essential for virtual reality applications in order to fully immerse the viewer. When in VR, the audio is exactly 1/2 of the experience. 3Dio’s Omni binaural microphone captures binaural audio from 4 different binaural perspectives, allowing VR filmmakers to capture complete binaural sound in a live scene, and match it up in post for fully interactive binaural audio to go along with their 3D VR film. 3Dio is soon planning to offer powerful software tools to aid in the creation of binaural audio for VR content creators.
The Briskeye camera is the first camera of its size to enable live streaming of 360 degree video. It has its own software which puts together the different images from the three lenses and renders them into a single spherical image in real-time. Briskeye creates video for web-based video players, apps and all current VR headsets. MOG has recently announced the total integration of its video cloud services and central ingest systems with Briskeye’s 360 cameras. The aim of this collaboration is to enable the user to capture 360 content and then store it on SSD (Solid State Disks) for ingestion and post-processing. The obtained 360 content will be published to the web through MOG’s Cloud Services, thus ensuring a secure and fast delivery to users on both VR headsets and seconds screens.
Enscape is a Revit plugin that creates a VR walkthrough with one click, based on your BIM data. There is no need to download or learn how to operate additional software. All materials, geometry and entourage come from your Revit project and can be changed during the VR simulation. This flexibility allows spontaneous presentations with the real-time rendering quality you know from modern games, but from within the architectural design workflow. Combined with the Oculus Rift, customers can virtually walk through your Enscape project and experience it as if it were already built.