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The State of VR Headsets
All this utility in software wouldn’t matter as much if the virtual reality headsets were not progressing. The good news is they are. They are moving rapidly, and today it’s possible to have high-quality VR experiences with untethered units. The VR headsets out there are all getting lighter and more comfortable and operate at higher screen resolutions with six degrees of freedom.
We want to create a solution for collaboration workflows for the next ten years of your workplace.
“I personally spend hours a day in virtual reality now,” says Paez. “I am seeing that in our clients now as well.” The software company can measure the number of hours users are inside space in The Wild. Paez is incredibly excited about the recently available Oculus Quest 2, the second iteration of Oculus’s wireless (untethered) headset. “This device is a game-changer for us.”
The Wild works with both the Oculus Quest 2 (version Quest as well) and the Oculus Rift S (and older Rift model available refurbished). Both devices are now just USD 299. Users can utilize HTC Vive and HTC Vive Pro headsets as well, though these devices are more premium in price and are professionally-oriented VR headsets.
I also mentioned to Paez what was at the far leading edge in the Varjo VR-3 device. “I can attest the headset is amazing,” he added. “For a high-end headset, what they have there is like nothing else in the market.” However, the Varjo devices are not officially supported, but they work through the same SteamVR system as Vive, and the Varjo folks have told us that if a solution works with SteamVR, there is compatibility.
Looking forward, Paez is most excited about where the future is with Tours. “You are going to see this year some exciting new ways for people inside of a Tours feature to communicate with each other,” he adds. “There are so many cool ideas our team is working on right now, but all of them are in service of making your ideas look really good. This is about opening up the idea of the designer or architect as a storyteller, not just a designer.”
This idea of storytelling in AEC precedes the Covid crisis, but the pandemic places more pressure on its emergence now. Paez notes that 2020 will be defined in many ways, including the year of video conferencing. But Zoom only takes you so far—it’s not built for collaboration workflows.
“We want to create a solution for collaboration workflows for the next ten years of your workplace,” he says. “You are going to have remote employees; you are going to have remote clients who are not comfortable with travel like they used to be; you are going to need to have access to the job site. The expectation around speed around collaboration has changed overnight. And that’s where the Wild steps in.”
As we finished up this feature for Xpresso #25, The Wild announced it was acquiring IrisVR, one of the standout VR software technology leaders in the industry, an award-winning solution. We have more details here in our news coverage and a brief interview with the IrisVR CEO in our Curated (emTech) section.