IrisVR’s smartphone app offers AEC professionals an inexpensive, readily accessible way to share immersive panoramas of their designs. IrisVR launched two software solutions recently: Prospect desktop software, which creates navigable VR experiences for users who have access to dedicated VR hardware, and the Scope mobile app for use with smartphones and Cardboard-type viewers, like the Google Cardboard platform.

Available for iOS and Android devices, Scope turns panoramas of designs into 360-degree VR experiences. It works with panoramas that have been rendered in V-Ray, Lumion, Autodesk A360, and other applications.

Users can turn in place and look all around themselves, including up at the ceiling and down at the floor; the app tracks the user’s head movements, and updates the view accordingly. Unlike Prospect experiences, Scope visualizations are not fully navigable; the user cannot move through the space, walk into other rooms, etc. Users can present more than one room or space, however, by assembling a portfolio of individual panoramas (a “panoset”).

Although it might be frustrating, especially to users who are accustomed to freely moving through the digital landscape when playing video games, the limitation on movement in the Scope panoramas does have a benefit. Because users do not feel as if they are moving, but are simply pivoting while fixed in place, stationary panorama viewing is less likely to cause nausea or other symptoms that sometimes cast a pall over VR experiences. Users of smartphone-based viewers can also run afoul of these issues if the smartphone’s processing power is not up to the task of displaying a VR experience, and the view skips or lags instead of panning smoothly in sync with the user’s head movements. To help deliver as smooth a viewing experience as possible, Scope runs at a rate of 60 frames per second.

Scope processes rendered panoramas into twinned imagery, so that each eye has its own perspective. When the panorama is displayed in a Cardboard-type viewer, this results in a 3D effect that helps users feel that they are standing inside the rendered room. A button on the viewer activates the gear icon pictured at top, enabling the user to select different panoramas while the app is in use.
Scope processes rendered panoramas into twinned imagery, so that each eye has its own perspective. When the panorama is displayed in a Cardboard-type viewer, this results in a 3D effect that helps users feel that they are standing inside the rendered room. A button on the viewer activates the gear icon pictured at top, enabling the user to select different panoramas while the app is in use. (Source: Cadalyst)

>> Read more by Cyrena Respini-Irwin, Cadalyst, December 31, 2016

Scope App Demonstrates Potential of Low-Cost Virtual Reality for AEC