Reality: Virtual or Augmented?

23 August 2017All, Architecture and Engineering, Construction

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Reality: Virtual or Augmented?

When I first think of Virtual Reality or “VR” as it is also known, and also Augmented Reality “AR”, conjures up images of Star Trek: Next Generation, Geordi La Forge on the Holodeck recreating some kind of adventure or training exercise. As in the Oscar Wilde 1889 essay The Decay of Lying, Wilde writes “art imitates life”. Meaning in this context, our sci-fi ideas have become a reality. VR/AR can take many shapes, form and combinations.

This could include an eye glass goggle walk thru of a space, a predetermined path animation, a user driven walk thru experience, or a full immersion full sensory “holodeck” experience. Besides the obvious “cool” factor of this type of technology, we need to consider its purpose. Its usefulness. The reason behind actually investing the time, money and effort for VR in the first place. Is there a real need to create a 3d environment to be used in a VR scenario? What goal is the VR or AR trying to achieve?

There is a cost delta between the two above mentioned “realities” that can become the driver to move toward one vs. the other. But also, I have encountered several folks who when using VR get motion sickness, disorientation, and vertigo. Those separately or collectively do not end well when trying to promote a project or win a bid for new work. The alternate in many cases can be AR, which is viewing almost holographic images from a handheld ipad/tablet type device to place it in a digital environment or using a camera on the device to show the real environment.

A third hybrid version is the first person gaming like view on a computer or mobile device. There isn’t a need for goggle, head sets, or a trashcan for weary participants. But overall a good user experience for onlookers to join in, and also navigate the intended scene.

In closing, which ever form of reality you chose, make it a good one, and know what your client is needing vs wanting, so the delivery is met with open arms.

Until next time!

Zee

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