In recent years the ArcMedia team have been experimenting and developing new ways of visualising the spaces and places we create for our clients. The latest advances in technology have driven architectural visualisation and property marketing a long way from the original water colour artists impressions, to the current computer generated images (CGI) that are indistinguishable from photography. Now, virtual reality (VR) looks poised to cement its place as the next step in the evolution.
We have always been aware of the potential of VR for this purpose, however the delivery technology and hardware had never quite been viable for the commercial applications, at least not to the quality we required, until now.
The introduction of smart phones and tablet devices affording the gyroscopic control of panoramic images has delivered a simple and more tactile way to interact with virtual 3D spaces. Our work on the bespoke App for the Ballamona Estate made use of this technology and kick started our journey into VR. Following this we developed a number of Virtual Room Viewer applications for our interior design and property development clients so they could present their design proposals to clients on site or remotely, through the iPad.
More recently we have been looking at the potential offered by the Samsung Gear VR head set, powered by Oculus. Aimed at the gaming and film industries, this powerful combination of head set and smart phone enables swift delivery of one of the most immersive visualisation experiences currently available. Using stereoscopic CG rendering outputs from our 3D virtual environments – i.e creating two slightly different views of the same CG image – the viewer can be fully immersed in the virtual space. This provides a very convincing representation of how the proposed space will look and feel.
The practical application of this visualisation method lends itself to the next generation of property marketing suites and numerous stages of the design process. For overseas and off-plan sales this is a game changer, putting potential buyers inside any room, apartment or amenity from anywhere in the world. It takes visual communication of architecture and interior design to another level. While the gyroscope-controlled tablet devices provided a window into these virtual spaces, the Gear VR headset takes you beyond this and places you within the space.
You can get a glimpse of how this works with a Google Cardboard headset and your smart phone [You can find more information on the Cardboard here]. If you already have a Gear VR headset and applicable Samsung smart phone then please visit the following links to download an example of our CG environments.
If you think your business would benefit from giving customers a truly immersive, visualisation experience, or you would just simply like to have a go, please contact Ben Bancroft firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01253 896616.