As virtual reality continues to solidify its position as the next, big thing, many tech companies and startups are flocking to the virtual world in order to capitalize on this growing technology. At its core, architectural design and engineering are rather solitary pursuits, but one Seattle-based startup is looking to create a community of collaboration for designers using virtual reality technology. To foster this sense of unity, Visual Vocal has set out to make the concept of shareable VR an easy and social opportunity for all.
Recently going public, Visual Vocal is developing technology that will convert 3D renderings and visualizations into virtual reality experiences, and then share these with other developers and engineers through a cloud-based communication layer. The idea behind shareable virtual reality is to bypass constraints like geography and time in order to immediately share and collaborate on design and engineering projects with anyone around the world. This concept would help developers receive feedback on their work much faster than normally possible, and could open new avenues into the rapid advancement and expansion of virtual reality technology.
The whole idea around Visual Vocal is to create a tool that encourages input and collaboration. Users will have the ability to view the placement of different features in an engineering rendering or cycle through design elements in a virtual environment in order to get a 3D perspective of these visual elements before they’re produced. Visual Vocal’s program will track a user’s favorite features and designs so they don’t have to remember what looked best where. Users can access the Visual Vocal tool either through their smartphones or a VR headset like the Oculus Rift, making it a useful and portable tool for designers and engineers.
“We see an enormous opportunity around communication and collaboration technologies in VR,” said John SanGiovanni, co-founder and CEO of Visual Vocal. “So how do you use this new medium to essentially invent new communication patterns; to drive collaboration and conversation?” As of now, Visual Vocal is partnered exclusively with a Seattle-based architectural firm in order to fine-tune their cloud-based sharing platform. The company hopes to expand and open a beta option for urban planning, healthcare and corporate clients in the near future.