By now, pretty much everyone has seen or experienced some form of virtual reality. Whether in a video game or a science fiction movie, computer-generated visualizations of buildings, cities, and worlds are everywhere. Virtual reality is very cool, but how is it impacting your daily life?
I was recently at a trade show and saw a company demonstrating a virtual model they had created of a building. Guests were invited to wear a VR headset and walk around the model. If they opened the lid on the toilet, there was even a rubber duck swimming around. The issue is, beyond the wow factor, does this provide any real value to the owner or occupants of the actual building?
Here are some important questions you need to ask when evaluating the value of virtual models in construction
How do I get the greatest ROI and relevance from a virtual model?
The creation of virtual models can be very expensive and time-consuming. In order to provide a strong ROI, the model must fit within the existing workflow and provide value to as many people and businesses as possible, without undue burden.
How are your virtual models created?
Many models today are created by graphic artists or gaming platform developers which drive high cost. Information creation and collection should be done through existing processes, using the same tools already being used by designers, engineers, and artists, such as AutoCAD, Revit, SketchUp, etc.
What is the value of collecting and maintaining all the data in the virtual model?
Visual representation has limited value unless we also collect and maintain all the data and on-going history of the building. It is also important to collect and maintain everything possible within the virtual model itself, from communications about the building and businesses contained, to the work done by the occupants, maintenance, etc.
What is the value of making virtual models “smarter” or “self-aware?”
The “smarter” or more “self-aware” the model and information is, the more value it can provide. Virtual information and models are not constrained by our fallible memories, but may instead contain every communication, fact, and history relevant and available, for the entire life span of the building and businesses, and beyond.
ViZZ is a transformative virtualization platform that brings to life data from various sources, creating immersive, experiential models that allow contractors, developers, prospective buyers, and investors to walk through and interact as if they were actually on site.
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