Today we’re excited to introduce the Immerse Framework, a toolkit of building blocks for creating interactive and multi-user virtual environments. New users can quickly bring their projects to life with interactivity without writing a single line of code, while advanced users can easily extend Immerse with a limitless range of functionality. Immerse can save developers thousands of dollars and months of time they would otherwise spend building these same elements from scratch.
We had the opportunity to share those views with C|NET, Wired, The Street, The Wire and Yahoo! News, thanks to some quick thinking by Wonacott Communications. Very few of the reporters we spoke with could believe just how many non-game applications we’ve completed since the prototype developer kit was released last year.
Almost three decades before Building Information Modeling (BIM) would go mainstream, the term “Virtual Building” was used in the earliest implementation of BIM through Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD debut in 1987. Since then, the concept hasn’t changed, but visualization technology has advanced to the point where designers, engineers, contractors, and building owners can become so immersed in the virtual building model that they feel as if they’re actually there. Technologies like the Unity3D game engine and the new $300 Oculus Rift virtual reality headset are making it possible.
These are just a few areas we’ve discovered to be opportunities we need to continue working on while developing architectural visualization projects for the Oculus Rift.
Unity3D has proven to be a truly powerful and game-changing technology in architectural visualization. This tutorial eBook is designed to introduce you to many of the concepts, tools and best practices recommended for creating real-time applications.
Most of what we have been exploring with Virtual Cities initiative, starting with Virtual Dubuque, has been about how 3D city replicas can be used to understand cities in a deeply immersive way – rather than the abstract experience of Google Earth, or the photos from Street View, we wanted to make the virtual city experience more accessible, customizable, data-rich environments that convey a more holistic understanding of what it’s like to actually be in the city.
I’ve been experimenting with a wide variety of design concepts for Oculus Rift environments, and wanted to share one of my test builds. You can download it here.