My name is Ingmar Vroege, I'm one of the founders of the company Bricks & Goggles, a subsidiary of Digitalisma. At Bricks & Goggles we convert CAD files to Virtual Reality (VR). In this blog series I write about the challenges, opportunities and possibilities that VR brings for the yachting market.
A general introduction to VR:
According to Wikipedia:
Virtual reality (VR) typically refers to computer technologies that uses software to generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that replicate a real environment (or create an imaginary setting), and simulate a user’s physical presence in this environment, by enabling the user to interact with this space and any objects depicted therein using specialised display screens, projectors, headsets and other devices.
If you ask a random person what VR is he'll probably answer that it has something to do with a headset and that you can watch all kinds of videos with it... This is actually only one of the forms of VR, below we discuss some forms of VR.
Panoramic VR vs Immersive VR
The most common way of showing VR is by using 360 video’s, renders or pictures which can be made with special cameras or render programs like 3D Studio Max. The large benefit of using this kind of VR is that it can be easily distributed by smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop. Using a Google Cardboard or other viewer you can experience an existing yacht: for example the Galactica Supernova from Heesen Shipyard:
Immersive VR isn’t as well known as panoramic VR but when you refer to Oculus Rift and HTC Vive most people probably heard of it before. Unfortunately this form of VR isn’t accessible to a large audience because of the high costs of the headsets and VR-Ready PC’s. Nevertheless the possibilities of immersive VR are endless and offer the best VR experience compared to a first version of the matrix. Because the Matrix is still a movie and not (yet) reality below we have an example of immersive VR used for a 120m speculative project from H2 Yacht Design, Robert McFarlane shipping and YPI:
VR for you?
Now that you know what kind of VR there is, you can start thinking about possibilities for your business. Companies like Oceanco, Heesen and YPI already started exploring some VR solutions and see the benefits. Yet general adoption in the market seems to go slow. Much heard objections are:
- Quality of VR isn't realistic.
- Immersive solutions (Headset + Desktop) are a hassle to travel with.
- Clients are afraid to put on the headset and lose control of their environment.
- It disrupts the design process.
Luckily the VR landscape is developing fast and developers and engineers are building solutions which make VR more accessible. GPU Supplier Nvidia developed new Graphic Cards with VR optimized Pascal technology which enables developers to create more realistic experiences. Alienware developed a VR-Ready laptop which makes travelling a lot easier. Clients are getting more used to VR due to commercials and social media which helps the adaption and developers are creating solutions to make 360 renders and convert 3D drawings for instantaneous VR reviews.
In my next blog I'll dive a bit deeper in the hardware solutions that are available :) Thanks for reading!
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If you have any questions and/or remarks don't hesitate to contact me on: Ingmar@shipsandgoggles.com