In the last few years, no technology has been more hyped up or promising than Virtual Reality (VR). Everyone from large tech companies to scrappy startups are investing in the technology. Virtual Reality is able to transport the viewer to any entirely new experience or area in the world! Every walk of life, from gaming and corporate training to advertising and medical procedures, are being changed by the technology. Architecture is no exception! Let’s look at a just a few of the ways that Virtual Reality is changing architecture.
It may sound strange, but the first multimedia virtual reality device was created in 1957. Known as the ‘Sensorama’, the device featured a viewing screen inside an enclosed booth fitted with a rotating chair, fans, audio speakers, and a machine used to create smells. These functions helped to create a fully immersive experience. Fast forward to today, virtual reality devices are much smaller and much more popular. Companies such as Google and Sony have helped make them more accessible for the average person. While consumers purchased millions of devices last year, a lot of companies still wonder whether virtual reality can be an effective solution for their business. Let’s take a look at both the commercial and entertainment applications of virtual reality, and how they can benefit almost any business.
The roots of “AR”, or augmented reality, has its roots in the golden days of virtual reality gaming in the early 1990s. Since those days the technology has progressed and can now be found in use in everything from entertainment to education, with no shortage of applications in the advertising and commercial spheres, not to mention the military applications that are in development. With the introduction of smart phones that rival the power of desktop computers, Google Glass™ and many other small yet powerful portable systems, AR is finding its way into many more aspects of life than I had imagined when I first previewed some of the early tech back in 2001. However, what has come to be is nothing compared to what is to come. In this article we are going to take a brief look at where AR has been and just how this new reality may impact our lives in the future. So strap on your goggles, fire up your computer and let’s see what we can find in the new augmented reality.