Virtual reality technology and education is dominating this year’s discussion at the ArchitectureBoston Expo (ABX) and for good reason.
“Virtual reality has been around for 60 years, stemming back all the way to the early days of flight simulators,” says virtual reality consultant, Jeffrey Jacobson, of Enterprise VR.
Jacobson is managing the impressive ConstructionVR showcase at this year’s ABX, which is currently on its second day of exhibition.
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The demonstration area features professionals from 12 construction companies who are currently using virtual reality in their business to design, market and sell projects.
“For the last 25 years, people in the virtual reality world have really been after the construction industry,” says Jacobson. “Finally, the Oculus Rift came out about three years ago, and that was the first crack in the ice for VR costs coming down dramatically. That, combined with the evolution of BIM (building information modeling), has really allowed it to penetrate the industry.”
The exhibit features an array of VR and AR technologies. There are the well-known headset technologies such as Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, as well as other unique innovations.
There is a setup called a “Corner Cave,” essentially two large screens forming a “V” shape to surround and encompass the user while their eyesight aligns with images being displayed. “This allows true perspective, which is important,” says Jacobson.
Jacobson notes the revolutionary importance of VR’s industry penetration. For architects, it helps to visualize plans and go beyond the simplicity and limited capabilities of 3D models or renderings.
For builders, VR plays an integral role in marketing. “But not just marketing,” adds Jacobson. “VR helps with any kind of client communication. When you show people their homes, you have to be able to help them imagine what it’s like to be in there. VR allows the builder and designer to control this message.”
The “ConstructionVR” exhibit will continue its featured showcase today and tomorrow.
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