Virtual reality program allows users to step inside a building before it's been built, letting them make design adjustments before construction starts. Matthew Stock reports.
A new virtual reality program aims to take the guess work out of interior design ...letting you step inside before it's even been built. Called Inspacion, it was launched by Swiss-based researchers, and uses off-the-shelf VR tech. Plans are quickly imported into the digital model and re-created as a full size 3D immersive virtual space. In buildings like hospitals where layout is vital, Inspacion could save both time and money. SOUNDBITE (English) THOMAS NESCHER, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF INSPACION, SAYING: "Nowadays we have CAD (Computer Aided Design) designers that build the design, and then it's kind of disconnected from the people who work there. So a doctor can't read to 2D plan, it's very complex - having 2D plans and tonnes of pictures doesn't tell us how it will really be to work there. But this is the most important question - how will it be to work in the space... We felt we can change this with virtual reality. They can now put on a head-mounted display and go into the operating room before it's finished and test it." Once inside the virtual space, a doctor can test the position of all equipment in the operating theatre to find the optimal place. They can even test the direction of the lighting equipment. Other set-ups include helping shop designers see how customers will interact within a space, such as the placement of products. Home-owners can design a new kitchen here, trying out different colours and materials. The software can be used by multiple designers, meeting up in the virtual space even when in different countries. Developed by a team from ETH Zurich, Inspacion is now being offered to companies to help turn their virtual designs into reality.