VR 101: What is Virtual Reality

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VR places a person inside a 3D computer simulated environment, and allows them to explore and interact with that world. Users can experience activities, places and scenarios that don’t exist or are too far away to visit firsthand. The best part? As one explores this new setting, it feels like you are really there! VR technology has advanced considerably to make it feel very convincing for the person immersed in that space.

Why just play a video game when you can be IN the game? No need to flip through blueprints when you can walk IN your future dream home. Before you book a vacation, take a tour IN that city. With virtual reality you are able to step into a new world and believe that you are part of that world. You are not just a spectator in VR as you explore, interact, and make the computer generated environment your reality.

 

Virtual Reality is no longer just for gamers

While the popularity of VR initially exploded with games, people have found ways to bring those immersive and experiential elements to their daily and professional lives. Many different industries -- including architecture, real estate, travel and tourism, engineering, teaching, marketing, art and design (just to name a few) -- have been impacted by virtual reality.

Innovative individuals in these fields have realized that VR can enhance their work tremendously. Architects and engineers can easily experience and review designs, and make changes if needed. Teachers can truly engage students and make them part of the lesson. Designers can help clients better see and understand their work. This interactive visualization in VR is a means to solve problems, show and experience a vision, strengthen understanding and relationships, and ultimately increase ROI as a result.

Beyond the workplace, virtual reality will soon be a social experience as well with Facebook Spaces. In a virtual environment you will be able to connect with friends and colleagues to interact and even create things. This could become your new work conference room! Or if you need to unwind after a long day at work, Facebook Spaces is an interesting and easy way to connect and chat with friends -- while immersed in a completely new world.

 

VR vs. IV (Interactive Visualization)

At vCAD we prefer the term Interactive Visualization as now you can truly see and understand what doesn’t exist. Users are now able to visualize and realize the imaginable as they interact with designs that aren’t yet available in a tangible world.

We believe this is a much needed professional tool for anyone that needs to communicate 3D designs. What better way to help a client understand your vision than to invite them to experience the design in an interactive 3D format? And imagine how much time can be saved making changes to a design when the client has actually experienced it and is able to provide informed feedback! Interactive Visualization will change the way we visualize, design, communicate, educate and entertain.

 

Virtual Reality has an affordable price tag

As virtual reality has become more popular, VR products have advanced to include a variety of hardware options to experience it. Not too long ago there were few equipment choices, and each setup was extensive and expensive. Now you can get by with just your smartphone and a $15 Google Cardboard viewer! A great option is vCAD, which has a very simple interface for uploading and viewing 3D files.

Of course there are still pricier head-mounted display and controller options for the more tech savvy VR adopter. Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Sony PlayStation VR are all in the $800 range, while Samsung Gear VR and Google Daydream will make less of a dent on your wallet.

 

Give VR a go

If you haven’t tried virtual reality yet, we hope this overview gave you the nudge and information needed to do so. It really is amazing what you can create and experience in this new world. We are especially excited by the professional advantages virtual reality offers to a range of industries, and established vCAD to help users turn their CAD models into an immersive VR experience. We encourage you to jump in now and explore the many ways you can benefit from VR and vCAD technology.

Interested in the vCAD experience? Download in the App Store or Google Play and register with us!