How Architects, Engineers, and Construction Pros Use InstaVR to Create Virtual Reality

Pre-internet, the digital tool set of architects, engineers, and construction (AEC) workers was quite different. There was still powerful software like Autodesk and SolidWorks, that would generally run on higher end desktop computers. The internet though ushered in an era of CAD and 3D software that allowed for far greater interaction. Employees in different offices — and even different countries — could collaborate in a timely manner, using BIM best practices.

Post-internet, the next big revolution in the AEC space has been Virtual Reality. VR allows employees in this area to better visualize the modelling that they spend so much time creating. And thanks to InstaVR, the creation and distribution of the VR applications is simple. AEC employees don’t need to learn coding, as the workflow of InstaVR is drag-and-drop and simple to learn. And equally importantly, web-based VR solutions like InstaVR allow AEC employees to more closely work their clients in realizing their vision.

Below, we’ll cover each of the benefits a bit more in depth.

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Benefit #1: A simple to use, drag-and-drop interface to turn 360/3D images and video into distribute-ready VR apps

One of the main reasons companies turn to InstaVR is for its ease of use. Creating VR should not be time consuming and expensive. You shouldn’t have to outsource it. And InstaVR does just that — it simplifies the process of turning 360/3D media into applications.

AEC employees can do what would once take days or weeks, and condense it down into hours. In fact, we even put together a video on how to create a VR app in minutes using InstaVR! Time is a precious commodity in the building industry, and any time saved in creating VR apps can be applied to generating detailed 360 models or meeting with clients.

Another primary benefit is everything can be done in-house. Because of its simple, web-based interface, InstaVR can be learned by just about any employee at an architecture, engineering or construction firm. For instance, the marketing team or communications team can build the VR apps themselves. Or the sales team or project management team. Even an intern. There’s no need to engage with outside software developers.

Beyond saving time and doing everything in-house, AEC employees will be saving money. InstaVR’s low cost, subscription-based approach means no large upfront payments. The pricing allows for unlimited apps per license, meaning users can iterate until they perfect their VR app. Our belief is that VR, though incredibly powerful, should be affordable and simple to use.

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Benefit #2: InstaVR can handle high resolution media, including cubemaps.

Architects, engineers and constructions workers deal with very high resolution media. When you’re creating images or video dealing with building construction, every detail must be covered and rendered with clarity. InstaVR is able to handle these high quality images/videos with ease, including stereoscopic 3D, 4K 360 video, and cubemaps.

With InstaVR Pro, the same high quality media you upload will be available to users through high quality VR app outputs. Our Customer Success team has worked extensively with AEC industry workers, and we’ve created comprehensive documentation to cover the CGI Media -> VR app process. Topics covered include: How to Create a VR App Using Autodesk A360 and InstaVR, Cubemap Rendering Process and How to Incorporate it Into InstaVR, and What is a Cubemap?.

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Benefit #3: Single Click Publishing Across All Major VR Platforms, Including Gear VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Google Daydream, iOS/Android, and Web

The VR industry has matured so much that there’s now a wide variety of VR Headset options. Recognizing this, InstaVR has created a platform that is “write once, publish to many”. Meaning after you’ve authored a tour of your proposed building, for instance, you can one-click generate the apps that will work across all possible major VR headsets.

This is particularly of interest as AEC firms need feedback from a wide variety of stakeholders: fellow employees, outside firms, the general public, etc. HTC Vive might be a great way to visualize your media in-house, while Gear VR might work better for sales or general public meetings, since it is mobile and not tethered.

The main takeaway is that you’re not limited. Because InstaVR doesn’t charge per app, you’re free to make apps across the VR spectrum, and then deploy them when appropriate.

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Client Example: AECOM Uses InstaVR to Create Engaging Design and Construction Service Experiences

AECOM is a giant (~ 90,00 employees) multinational firm, primarily focused on design and construction services for a wide variety of industries. They are big time users of CAD and 3D software from companies like Autodesk. Distributing their finished visualization projects has been challenging, particularly as VR has become increasingly popular internally and among clients.

Enter InstaVR.

Starting with the DCS Americas Marketing group, and expanding into other divisions and offices, InstaVR has become a popular solution at AECOM for quickly and easily generating distribute-ready VR applications. InstaVR has been used for creating sales materials, training materials, and applications that are viewed at community development meetings.

According to Stephen Paul, DCS Americas Marketing Visualization Manager, “InstaVR allowed us a way to reach our audience across multiple platforms. We’re very pleased, and looking forward to all the great developments to come.”

To read more about AECOM’s use of InstaVR, read our full Case Study on them.

If you have any questions on InstaVR for Architecture, Engineering, or Construction, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Head of Sales, Andrew Woodberry, andrew at instavr.co or +1 925–708–3928.


Originally published at www.instavr.co on August 29, 2017.

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