Virtual Reality Mockups
As architecture students we were always taught to show one speculative image that explains the project. It usually took many hours of Photoshop and rendering. That one letter size image had to convince the professor and the audience that the project was good. The audience had to see what we did. In practice however we see that this is rarely the case. Studies show that clients have a difficult time visualizing the unbuilt space from renderings and drawings alone. In fact, we know accurate visual communication is closely linked to project success. Yet we also know gaming has developed the technology builders need to excel at visual communication.
On a local healthcare, project the team identified that hospital spaces are a good opportunity for virtual reality mockups. Currently, the physical mockups are foam board cut out into squared dimensions as place holders. It’s difficult to truly understand the space until all the equipment and finishes are included. That is where the VR mockups become appropriate. We utilized our Oculus Rift and Unity3d to allow clients to become fully immersed in the space and to help them understand what they are purchasing. In essence, our goal is to outperform the cost and time spent on building a physical mockup. To achieve this goal, we captured the room’s finished materials and equipment. It takes the users from an empty space to a virtually furnished and finished space. Doctors, nurses, and hospital staff can clearly envision the space and how they would move within it.
Due to the importance of visual communication we foresee VR mockups as an advantageous method to spatially coordinate complex spaces. For more virtual reality click here to read our blog on Virtux Omni.