In previous posts, we’ve looked at how and why VR in business is far more advanced than use by consumers. Not to say that consumers aren’t taking to it - Nielsen surveyed 8,000 of them last year and found nearly a quarter wanted to either use or purchase a VR headset this year. But the cost of investing in top-end VR technology to entertain yourself at home is still enough to make even the most impulsive of impulse buyers give it some serious thought. Businesses, on the other hand, have a unique new tool at their disposal in virtual reality - one that comes with unlimited applications and large numbers of potential new clients to share the costs between. From education to retail, to tourism to charity, organizations across numerous industries are creating tailored VR applications that deliver very specific customer experiences. From virtual try-before-you-buy in retail to virtual travel-before-you-fly in tourism, VR is now being adapted in all kinds of creative ways to sell, to educate, to market and to inspire and very few applications require strapping people into cumbersome hardware that’s tethered to a humming mother ship.
Driving benefit and advantage through VR in business doesn’t have to require significant investment, steep learning curves and complex hardware. In fact, VR can be at its most dynamic and profitable for businesses when left agile, untethered and adaptable. In short, when it’s FAST VR.
So what is ‘FAST VR’?
FAST VR is a principle, a habit, a way of bringing virtual reality into business situations and workflows at precise moments when it can do what it does best - quickly communicate the complex.
Using Simple VR in Architecture and Design
Yulio has worked with educators and practitioners of A&D for several years now - enough time to have seen the best (and the worst) VR has to offer and to have made our bets on the value of FAST VR. Here are a few tips on how to get started and how to make it deliver:
TIP 1 - Don’t Wait
It’s not too late to be early - but it is time to start. VR is having its time in the sun and because of that, developers from across the world (including Yulio’s) are consistently advancing the technology. Don’t wait for perfect VR or the next evolution to land. Start to experiment right now. VR doesn’t need to replace tools already being used successfully but can integrate with the majority of them with surprising simplicity.
TIP 2 - Keep it Simple
Trust us, you don’t need high-end, immersive VR equipment. It’s expensive and, commonly, highly impractical. While ultra HD visuals might ‘wow’ a client during a kick-off visit to the office, chances are they won’t want to visit for every iteration of a design. Anecdotally we hear about 80% of presentations are off-site and transporting and setting up immersive rigs for each presentation is a non-starter. Using mobile devices and simple headsets to deliver VR experiences means presentations are always at your fingertips and costs are minimized.
TIP 3 - Renders Don’t Have to be Perfect
A designer wanting to communicate an idea quickly doesn’t obsess about making their pencil sketch perfect and it should be the same with VR. All renders should be useful but only very few need to be beautiful. Confirming feasibility of a design or a scheme by doing a simple black and white proof of concept with the correct dimensions can save countless hours, dollars and chances of future issues. Use VR to pop in and out of a draft design, check the validity of an idea and get buy-in from a client. The alternative can be having to field conversations on carpet selection and lighting choices before the floorplan is set.
TIP 4 - No Need to Dwell
VR can just be a tool, it doesn’t need to be an experience. Don't expect clients to spend hours strapped to a headset taking in every element of a design. FAST VR isn’t about convincing someone they’re in a building, it’s about enabling them to experience a spatial environment in a way that they’re better equipped to understand. One of our clients, Diamond Schmitt Architects, have said that their client’s understanding of scale and space improved dramatically after a Yulio VR presentation. And DSAI had originally intended to use VR as an internal tool but were so happy with the outcome, they gave it to their clients for reviews and checks. They found the engagement increased dramatically.
TIP 5 - Fast Forward to the Future
Design processes don’t need to follow the familiar, ‘draw - model - present - iterate - draw - model - present …’ cycle. A growing number of our clients are no longer providing updated drawings and models during the iteration process but instead, being asked by their clients to simply update the VRE in order to move more quickly to a project’s sign off. VR lets designers also find the medium lets them predict the future. On a recent project with heavy VR usage, Andrew Chung of Diamond Schmitt told us:
TIP 6 - Show the Team
Not every designer will be able to appreciate how an eventual building will be physically constructed. Using VR to allow every member of a construction team to view how the finished project should look ensures the vision is shared by those who will be hands-on and that any major issues can be highlighted before a single wall has been erected.
Implementing VR into A&D practice doesn’t need to be expensive, time-consuming or, indeed, perfect. With FAST VR, it can simply be a really useful tool - albeit one that makes clients go ‘wow’. To get started with your own designs within minutes, try a free Yulio account or learn more about implementing fast, effective VR with our FREE 5-day email course.