augmented + virtual reality platforms to help creatives visualize ideas beyond two-dimensions




over the last few years, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been majorly showcased as great potential for the entertainment business, but always overlooked by other industries like architecture, design and construction. as hardware becomes less and less expensive, these platforms are unfolding across slowly, but very few people, not even google with its failed ‘google glass’ project, have a practical vision for what the development road map might look like. efficiency of work flows and improved deliverables are only the tip of the iceberg, with virtual and augmented reality impacting the design and architecture industry in much more very positive ways. so let designboom share a few platforms that may shape how ideas are created, shared and experienced. 

micrsoft’s ‘hololens’ in action manipulating digital renderings 




basics of AR and VR


understanding what amounts to a wearable virtual or augmented reality device is a key factor in developing ideas around how it may be used. AR devices superimpose content in a field of vision, augmenting and enhancing the experience of reality. VR employs screens to display the external world and presents the user with a totally fabricated digital visual experience. in terms of the architecture and design industries, there are compelling potential uses for both AR and VR devices with companies developing specific applications and platforms.


a sample of london in a virtual reality format




virtual reality 


advancements in graphics have pushed VR to allow designers and their clients inside conceptual layouts even before they need to pull out the glue to create models and 3D prints. these three-dimensional renderings in computer-generated space are far more effective because they allow users look and feel the design in greater detail. it lets clients make better-educated assessments of the total visual and audio sensory experience and the small details of any layout. devices like the oculus ‘rift’, samsungs ‘gear VR’ and google’s upcoming headset, bridges the divide between ideas and the clients’ perception of them, letting architects and designers simulate earlier in the project schedule. this ability to share virtual renderings may fundamentally change the way final design plans are experienced. 


microsoft is developing tools to construct designs in augmented reality




augmented reality


AR can be used to meld imagined design solutions with physical spaces with the ability to place digital objects into the real world. microsoft have invested heavily into this platform with their ‘hololens’ project which allows users to interact with digital objects sitting at a table or even working spaces. it will be only a matter of time before engineers, architects and designers can adapt layouts on physical products and make decisions based on real-time space and dimensions. as an example, architect greg lynn used AR to visualize his redesigns of an abandoned automobile factory in detroit.

the daqri AR helmet




daqri has developed an AR construction helmet that overlays gauges as users walk through the space. for example, a wearer can look at an electrical system and the device will register the internal temperatures of the various components, visually alerting the user to spots where overheating can occur.augmented-reality-virtual-reality-explainer-designboom-03
using just a tablet ‘ARki’ can augmented architecture onto any model




ARki’ by darf design is another example of augmented reality adapted for architectural solutions. by incorporating the platform within the design process, the platform is able to visualize 3D models for both design and presentation purposes, helping to create an immersive layout technique with multiple layers of interactivity. but all these kind of solutions only scratch the surface of AR’s potential. architects can soon have the ability to place digital buildings over a site. they could find opportunities to make modifications in-progress and even during construction.


magic leap’s mixed reality concept for everyday use




architecture and design industry’s relation with VR and AR is not like that of the entertainment production. the design process will take these new digital tools and hardware, and fully leverage the use to even greater creativity possibilities.