I own goggles that allow me to see in water. I own goggles that allow me to see in black diamond blizzard conditions. And starting this winter, I can own goggles that will allow me to see into the future. Okay, I’m not referencing some sort of Biff Tannen sports almanac from the Back to the Future series, but rather IrisVR’s latest software development for the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2. IrisVR’s founder, Shane Scranton, recently sat down with Burnham Works to talk about his new product and how it will shape the future of architectural renderings and the 3D marketplace.
Since graduating Middlebury College in 2013, Shane and classmate Nate Beatty began to see a deficiency in the architectural design market for rendering services and 3D visualization experiences. When a timely kickstarter announcement was made by Oculus VR for their new virtual reality “Rift” goggles, Shane saw an opportunity to breathe new life into two-dimensional design drawing world.
IrisVR created a software conversion product that translates popular file formats, such as Sketchup, Revit and Naviswork, into a format that can be utilizied by the Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 goggles. This allows any designer or customer to virtually interact with a project before the architect’s drawings were even stamped and finalized. Not only would this provide a visual experience unmatched in today’s design market, but it would also allow architects, designers, consultants and clients to more quickly approve visual initiatives without risking the hefty front-end, work-in-place costs.
Design visualization within the industry today is severely limited. Traditionally, before any design, material or color palette could be approved, the client is required to physically see the end product. This process posed significant burden on designers and contractors, forcing them to risk hundreds of labor hours and thousands in material costs to provide a physical representation of something that may ultimately be rejected. IrisVR bypasses these risks by fostering a sense of confidence and clarity within the customers and decision-makers, thus attaining early approvals without the costly investments and potential rework.
Shane’s vision first became a reality when he plugged his house coordinates into this virtual reality format, which allowed him to scale his home steps and move between rooms, all from behind virtual reality goggles and in the comfort of his office. Between the ongoing development in virtual reality hardware and IrisVR’s software, designers now have access to the same cutting-edge, video-game technology to be used as a personalized, customizable, and cost-saving approach to architecture rendering and presentation.
So starting this December, if you can’t become freakishly rich and buy your own “Biff’s Pleasure Paradise” in Hill Valley, you can certainly walk through one at a fraction of the price.
This article was written by Karl Sorensen