At the AIA Conference on Architecture 2017 in Orlando, Florida, USA, BIMobject AB (“BIMobject”) launches two different Virtual Reality solutions tailored to building product manufacturers and BIM projects: BIMobject® VR and BIMobject® AR.
BIMobject® VR and BIMobject® AR give building product manufacturers the ability to use virtual products to visualise their projects. Connecting this technology to the platform BIMobject® Cloud creates the unparalleled opportunity of utilising the vast catalogue of digital objects, so-called BIM objects, that BIMobject already provides. Both solutions utilise these digital versions of real products that have been created by manufacturers and used by architects, engineers or builders.
The BIM objects are reused from the Cloud and their high-quality product information applied in a virtual context. The solutions are developed together with manufacturers and other customers who purchase the solutions on a project basis. No costs will arise for the users.
BIMobject® VR provides a fully immersive version of a building project. Developers, builders, and building product manufacturers are given the chance to experience a simulated reality first-hand through a HTC Virtual Reality device worn on their head. BIM objects from manufacturers are reused for the process of creating the final VR-solution, which ensures correct and current information. It then uses a game engine with photo-like realism to refine them to a lifelike degree. Once immersed, users can interact with the digital building products in real-time and modify aspects of interest as they go, adding and rearranging objects or changing surface materials.
BIMobject® VR can be used for educational purposes, sales configurations, marketing, and online collaboration to facilitate product and material selection. The solution gives customers a better understanding of the possibilities regarding those selections and helps builders sell projects earlier in the process. In addition to the unique digitalisation methods, the BIMobject® VR offer includes on-site user support and custom developments to provide each company with individualised sets of components and features.
BIMobject® AR lets users integrate the digital products in an actual, real-life setting through Microsoft HoloLens glasses. With BIMobject® AR, another dimension is added to the HoloLens which the whole construction industry will be able to benefit from. Users are able virtually to furnish an empty space with digital products from the BIMobject Cloud. BIMobject has created a one-of-a-kind feature, in which the space is 3D-scanned and the resulting 3D-mesh interpreted intelligently. The floors, walls and ceilings are maintained, but any unwanted obstacles present in the real-life environment are removed. Digital items such as kitchen interiors, furniture or HVAC-equipment can be placed virtually in the actual space. The intelligent process employs built-in logic to determine whether a specific BIM object is to be placed on the floor or mounted on a wall. Through voice commands and hand gestures, the products are selected and configured in 1:1 scale. Multiple people can view the same configuration and freely walk around to explore the proposed digital result.
BIMobject® AR will help users get involved quickly in the product sourcing process, but also enables further application for purposes such as training and examining or for assisting subcontractors with installation instructions. BIMobject will also give the option of renting the technology and manpower to drive the solution at exhibitions or other events.
Virtual Reality in general and the two new BIMobject solutions in particular once more demonstrate the importance of having a single source of truth. The solutions also highlight the necessity of using highly detailed and accurate geometry, as well as rich and manufacturer-specific product information to connect all the relevant aspects.
“This is a new era for digital reality. With all the information and assets we have in the Cloud, our AR solution will be easier to manage and faster to deploy than similar solutions. It will also be a lot more accurate, both in 3D and in the detailed information of the object properties. This is the first version of BIMobject® AR. We will continue to refine it and develop new ways to connect all the dots faster and more efficiently”, says Dr. Marek Kozlak, Product Evangelist for AR and VR at BIMobject.
“Today’s Virtual Reality is mature. Our solutions will offer completely new ways to communicate and to interact virtually with the entire supply chain spanning from owners to end-users. The two new BIMobject solutions prove that Virtual Reality technology is now ready for the mass market. The effective utilisation of existing product information and geometry is key to its success”, says Steve Holzer, Product Evangelist, US Operations at BIMobject.