Every year seems to bring new innovations that improve how architects and their customers can experience the design process. Virtual and augmented reality technologies have moved to the forefront, and are set to be a permanent part of the architectural business for years to come. New innovations for architects are rolled out regularly, causing many of our architect clients wondering where to begin.

You need to be wary with new technology – for every successful development, you get plenty of false starts. Remember the days of the LaserDisc, the MiniDisk, and the Zip Drive? All of those technologies came and went in a few short years. Architects want to know what technology will become a permanent fixture, that can be a backbone of client interaction and design development for years to come.

That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 12 pieces of technology for architects to differentiate your firm from the competition in 2018. In the studio and on the construction site, these will put your team head and shoulders above the rest.

Creating an Experience

Imagine, your architectural firm has been asked to come present your services to a prospective client. Your nerves are high with excitement, anxiety, and pure belief that this meeting will propel your architectural firm into the future. This client could drive your firm’s growth for years to come.

You show up with a statement of qualifications, CAD drawings, and pictures of the tricked out projects your firm is so dearly proud of completing. You also arrive with the industry’s cutting edge technology to give your prospective client the experience of a lifetime.

You immerse them into the project and capture all of their senses. You not only hear their excitement as they “ooo” and “aah” but you engage with them as you direct them through the experience. You can respond immediately to changes and requests. Alter designs and concepts as your client navigates through their project, with real-time input and rendering. These 12 products are the right innovations to master in order to create an experience that separates your firm from the pack!

Technology for Architects

1. MUSION HOLOGRAMS

The product’s launch was propelled into the world spotlight when they digitally resurrected the late rapper Tupac Shakur and sparked 15 million YouTube views in 48 hours. They followed this up with a Mariah Carey hologram that launched in five cities throughout Europe at once.

How can you use MUSION in your architectural firm?

MUSION can immerse your clients through a 3D model and holographic setting. This gives stakeholders an opportunity to visualize a project before it is constructed. This cutting edge technology for architects creates spectacular multi-media presentations using 3D holographic images. These images are so real they can hardly be distinguished from the presenters and live performers appearing next to them.

Technology for Architects in 2018 - Hologram for Architects

2.  TOUCHABLE HOLOGRAMS

Born out of Japan, touchable holograms are working their way through production and refinement. Touchable holograms are technology for architects to keep their eyes on, as there is nothing quite like this on the market yet. Imagine being able to not only see the project, but feel it as well – selecting different wood grains, wall textures, or furniture fabrics. Instead of needing an SUV to tote around spec books, samples, and all your materials, clients can get the look and feel projected from your computer.

Technology for Architects in 2018 - Hologram for Architects

3. JAUNT VR

Jaunt Virtual Reality Technology uses a camera system that simultaneously records 3D stereoscopic video in all directions. The video is coupled with 3D sound-field microphones to record sound. The Jaunt technology gives you the ability to reconstruct a complete visual and auditory experience.

Plot this device in the middle of your job site or even inside a completed project and capture 360 degree footage for your clients to enjoy later. Compatible with most VR lenses, this cutting edge technology for architects allows users to experience and explore their projects on a whole new level!

Architect Technology - Virtual Reality

4. SHAPESPARK

Shapespark Technology is a technology for architects that creates real-time web-based visualizations with physically accurate lighting. Shapespark supports the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, providing users with a stereoscopic 3D view.

One of the most appetizing features of Shapespark is that it utilizes WebGL web technology. This technology is supported by default by all modern operating systems and browsers, meaning that the visualizations can be shared via links. Unlike a static renderer, it allows the viewers to roam the visualization freely. This technology encourages collaboration and provides clients the sense of ownership and involvement they yearn for.

 

Shapespark - Architect Technology

 

5. BRISKEYE

Its one thing to explore video through web-based players and VR headsets, which Briskeye has been doing for years. It’s a whole new level when you can enable live streaming of 360-degree video, which is what the new Briskeye 360 camera does. It’s the first camera of its size with this capability. When integrated with MOG’s video cloud services and central ingest systems, the captured content can be delivered to VR headsets and second screens quickly.

Briskeye for architects - Technology for Architects

6. GOOGLE CARDBOARD

For the budget conscious architecture firm, Google Cardboard is a great way to impress your clients. Through pairing Google Cardboard with a compatible smart phone, one can experience ‘3D models’ in a similar way to the Oculus Headset. Get it, fold it and look inside to enter the world of Cardboard. It’s a VR experience starting with a simple viewer anyone can build or buy. This technology for architects is an inexpensive way to provide a virtual reality experience to your clients.

Google Cardboard for Architects - Technology for Architects

7. THE CUBE

Client meetings don’t always happen in an office or conference room. Be prepared to go digital and display your ideas and works on the go with The Cube. The Cube is a miniature, mobile projector that transforms any screen into a ‘cinematic experience’ at the touch of a button. This item is fantastic to take on job sites or for presentations in a client’s office rather than your own.

The Cube - Must Have Technology For Architects8. LEAP MOTION

3D environments are generally not interactive, but that’s changing, and the Leap Motion Controller is leading the charge. Leap Motion provides hand tracking technology so that users can see their hands inside virtual or augmented reality. Converting hand and finger movements into 3D input, users can interact naturally with virtual objects. They can move objects, create shapes, pan, zoom, and much more. It’s easy to integrate too, as the unit simply plugs in to the USB ports of any Mac or PC computer. The controller works with many of the main BIM programs in use, including AutoCAD, Revit, Maya, and more, and has an available developer’s kit to integrate into other applications.

Leap Motion for Architects - Must Have Technology For Architects9. ROTO

Winner of the best product at the VR & AR World Expo in London, Roto is an interactive Virtual Reality chair that allows individuals to explore in various directions in a VR environment. Have your design concepts built in before sending your client for the ride of a lifetime through their new environment, or their upcoming project. This technology for architects is sure to wow your customers and separate yourself from the competition.

Roto VR Chair - Technology For Architects10. ENSCAPE

Not so much its own technology as it is a handy way to integrate virtual reality with an existing program, Enscape is a plugin for the extremely popular Revit Building Information Modeling (BIM) program. Using the data, this plugin creates an instant VR walkthrough. As it is directly linked with your Revit project, you can change materials, geometry, and more during the simulation. Best of all, no new program to learn or new hardware to invest in!

 

11. MATTERPORT

A thorough suite of equipment, Matterport combines a 3D camera with an iPad-supported app to capture existing space. Able to scan up to 1,000 square feet in a half-hour, it is speedy yet accurate. It’s more than just imaging though, as Matterport provides the Matterport Cloud management and distribution platform. This allows management and distribution of 3D models, allowing collaborators to explore the 3D spaces on a desktop or mobile device. This is the perfect tool for clients looking to reimagine an existing building.

 

With all of these innovations, architects need to constantly be learning and developing. They need to be keeping up to date, and working with clients. That’s why Brantley is here to tackle the other projects your business needs, from website design through website maintenance and marketing for your architectural firm. Letting us take care of your online presence and digital marketing needs allows you to spend more time integrating these innovations to improve your client experience.

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