Issue 8 of VRWorldTech Magazine focuses on architecture, engineering and construction (AEC), and features Numena, Holo-Light and Make Real, as well as VRdirect, Arkio, Theia Interactive, XYZ Reality and Sentio VR in The Reality Wire, and From The Future in the Meet profile
In issue 8 of VRWorldTech Magazine, there is a sense that we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of what immersive technology can achieve for architecture, engineering and construction (AEC). But what can be achieved right now is actually quite a lot.
Look no further than this issue’s The Reality Wire. VRdirect offers excellent insight into leveraging 3D models in ‘lightweight’ virtual reality experiences for the AEC sector, arguing that effective visualisation does not need to be complicated or costly to achieve.
Then there is Arkio, a new immersive collaborative design tool for architecture that features a custom-built solid modelling kernel optimised for mobile headsets, enabling architects to design inside virtual reality instead of simply using it as a medium for visualisation. This is free to try now on Oculus Quest and shows how far virtual reality has come as a tool for AEC. That is not six to 12 months in the future, but right now.
Of course, there are those that argue that virtual reality in particular isn’t being used to its full potential. Andreea Ion Cojocaru, a licensed architect, software developer and chief executive officer and co-founder of Numena, an award-winning interdisciplinary company based in Germany that designs and develops both physical and virtual spaces, argues that “visualisation is the least interesting thing about virtual reality in AEC”.
Germany-headquartered Holo-Light, developer of AR 3S (Augmented Reality Engineering Space), saw immersive technology as the means to upgrade current engineering software and give engineers and designers a new tool to improve and simplify workflows in planning, development, and production.
But Holo-Light did not stop at solving those problems and turned its attention to streaming immersive content and apps, a key problem for AEC businesses dealing with bulky CAD and BIM (building information modelling) files.
There is also a need for the AEC sector to increase its awareness of what immersive technology can achieve. Make Real, a studio and publisher focused on immersive technology for training and learning based in the UK, has been working with businesses in the construction, energy and utilities sectors, which it collectively calls the built environment, for over 10 years.
Sam Watts, immersive partnerships director at Make Real, says most businesses, whether in the built environment grouping, wider AEC sector or otherwise, do not necessarily even differentiate between virtual and augmented reality right now. Their interest tends to be piqued when they see a competitor adopting an immersive technology or there is a pressure to be seen as innovative. He goes on to state that these shouldn’t be the driving factors for adoption, however.
For learning and training, AEC businesses should consider the potential of virtual reality, in whatever form that takes. And the right partner is crucial, as From The Future, the subject of this issue’s Meet profile, reveals.
The AEC sector has much to consider when it comes to immersive technology, not least because it is ready and waiting to play a crucial role right now, whether for hands-on client design, tried-and-tested visualisation, or improving the training of staff.
Game changers, such as bringing clients into the architectural design process early on, will come. It’s also up to AEC businesses to consider the possibilities, and for the immersive technology industry to show them what can be.
Inside issue 8
The Reality Wire
A round up of the biggest AEC announcements, press releases and thought leadership articles tracked in The Reality Wire and on VRWorlTech.com over the past two months. Featuring VRdirect, Arkio, Theia Interactive, XYZ Reality and Sentio VR
It’s up to AEC businesses to consider the possibilities for virtual and augmented reality, and for the immersive technology industry to show them
Virtual reality has the potential to disrupt architecture workflows and give clients an unprecedented degree of agency in the design process
Augmented reality is disrupting AEC—and immersive tech innovators aren’t stopping there
Where virtual and augmented reality are proving particularly useful in AEC—and have done so for quite some time—is training
Meet From The Future
Construction industry companies are not set up to do virtual reality training. Luckily, with providers such as From The Future out there, they don’t have to