Integrating virtual reality into your business is no longer some long thought science fiction myth, but a very real possibility with a multitude of business benefits and ‘wow’ factor that’ll impress clients and boost sales. Its being touted by many as the ‘next big thing’ across several industries and business sectors; and with everyone from medicine to entertainment taking the dive into this emergent technology; its time for your architectural business to do the same and embrace the world of virtual reality! In fact, the technology is rapidly becoming more accessible; appearing at industry conferences and events. An HTC Vive for example, has become more affordable with their $600 price tag, and companies such as Google create small, cheap, cardboard headgear for $15 that the everyday consumer can use with their smartphone.
Unsurprisingly given the proliferation of VR technology available, there are several design and architectural software which already support VR usage. Autodesk Revit, Trimble Sketchup, IrisVR, and Yulio are just some of the many software you can use right now to experience your building in VR and work out the kinks for your clientele. This is a great to decrease whats known as ‘scope creep,’ an industry term for when a client actively changes their mind during the construction phase. While this can be difficult and frustrating in a standard construction job, its made simple through VR which allows you to instantly change your designs without undoing days of work in real life. This saves you both time and money, and ensures your client will be pleased with the results of your building.
While you might be excited to hear about the benefits and proliferation of VR, you still need to determine both why you want your business to use it, and how it will be used. You should seek first to outline the overall goals of adapting VR to your company. Whether you’re looking to create virtual mock ups, high quality models, or an interactive walk through of the property; you have to identify why you’re using VR in the first place, and invest in the technology from there.
While VR is a fairly new industry, and its overall business adoption is still small in scale; there have been several communities interested in VR technology for decades. These veterans of the tech can provide you with great advice, information, and assistance with making the most of this new VR technology and improving the experience for both your customers and the staff working with the VR technology itself. Additionally, there are several software companies who can assist with the process of developing proprietary software for your business for use in VR. This allows you to collaboratively develop your VR app with these firms, and in turn learn about the new technology which your business is adopting.
While there’s many different VR headsets which are readily available on the market, its important that when your business decides to start using VR technology that you make sound, solid investments. Not all headsets are created equally, and purchasing a headset which doesn’t meet the tech specifications for your industry, or under performs and muddles the quality of your 3D design can possibly taint relationships with your client. Its important to both utilize VR software to its full potential, as well as purchase a VR headset which allows you to show off the technology in a way that will surprise and ‘wow’ your customers and clients. Don’t skimp on the cost, invest in an HTC Vive or other major brand to ensure the quality of your VR testing with clients.
For some, the experience of VR can be a jarring, frightening sensation. Put simply, the human brain simply hasn’t evolved to be comfortable with the usage of this technology; and because of that, VR can sometimes induce negative experiences such as headaches, nausea, or motion sickness. It’s recommended you inform clients to explore slowly and at their own pace, as well as limiting their usage of the VR itself to five to 10 minutes at most. This helps keep them from becoming disoriented through using the technology, and can increase their overall comfort.
Many of the clients who will utilize VR through your service or business will likely be experiencing VR for the very first time. You need to take advantage of this fact and try to sell the VR experience as much as possible. Not only does this make you seem knowledgeable with your clientele, it makes them more comfortable and willing to use the technology your business provides. Being educated on the VR experiences you provide is pivotal to client satisfaction and long term success with this thrilling new tech.
For more information regarding VR and your Architectural Firm, feel free to consult us.