What We're Saying

Beyond Beta: Virtual Reality In the Real World

Preview the SXSW 2016 panel “Reality Check: VR and AR in Workplace Design is Here” with the presenting architect and the software engineer.
Image © IA Interior Architects.
Image © IA Interior Architects.

With virtual reality (VR) headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive shipping to consumers in the very-near future, everyone is eager to find out if 2016 will be the year of VR. For many, VR is still an experiment or in beta, but for the past 16 months, IA has been using VR with great success. In the immediate future, it could spark a paradigm shift in the way our clients communicate with us and experience their designs.

Last year, Oculus and Samsung released the Samsung GearVR, a portable virtual reality headset that runs on a Samsung device. Although updates and upgrades are constant, it has consistently afforded thousands their first glimpse of the future. In particular, GearVR has given IA’s clients a window into their brand new, unbuilt workspace via a wireless, easily portable solution, and we’re giving audiences a look at how VR can affect the development of a new workplace at the 2016 edition of South by Southwest.


Angel Say InsiteVR HSbwAngel Say, CEO and co-founder, InsiteVR: Last year, we watched VR evolve from a novel technology that drew curiosity to a medium that has unlocked new ways of communicating designs. Initially, many architects we talked to were timid about VR and uncertain of the technology’s readiness. The hardware was becoming readily available, but the workflows and tools for presenting to clients didn’t exist. To bridge that divide, our software enables architects to easily present designs to clients in virtual reality environments, with an enriched clarity and confidence of vision that would not have been possible short of seeing a finished space.


guy messick headshot IA Interior ArchitectsGuy Messick, AIA, director of design intelligence, IA: Virtual reality is no longer just for early adopters and developers. IA has leveraged VR as an architectural tool and integrated InsiteVR into our workflows. I find it improves the way we communicate with clients, builders, and our own design team. Each of our offices worldwide are equipped with GearVR devices and linked to InsiteVR to bring our Revit models to human scale at the click of a button. The benefit of being able to simultaneously see on the desktop what the VR explorer is experiencing cannot be overstated.


Angel Say InsiteVR HSbwThe first time someone wears a VR headset, you always get that “wow” moment. But a well-crafted VR workflow and experience produces more than a shock factor: It improves decision making. Our core focus at InsiteVR has been to minimize the challenges involved with improving the VR experience, and ensure designers are equipped with the right tools to tell their story, and communicate with their clients in this new way.


guy messick headshot IA Interior ArchitectsWith virtual reality we can unlock conversations that were previously difficult to have. The design process becomes more empathetic when you can literally see the world through someone else’s eyes. When the client understands the space and can clearly perceive how the lighting, wayfinding, and objects all interact within a space, they can better comprehend the design intent. Virtual reality helps fill in gaps that catalyze more constructive conversations between the architect and client. We are now empowering clients to share early workplace designs with staff and stakeholders, to support the change management experience of adjusting to their new office design from disruptive and stressful to holistic and engaging.

Join us for the full presentation at SXSW on March 15, 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm, in the Marriot, Salon 7.

Learn more at bit.ly/realitycheck2016.

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