DIRTT has launched a virtual reality (VR) app that turns the design phase of a construction project into a portable and multi-user experience. Leveraging the virtual reality capabilities of Apple’s iOS11, and the real-time interactive ICE® software platform developed at DIRTT, the ICEreality™ app changes how regular people experience and understand design and construction. The app supports real-time design changes with updated visuals, data and pricing. No VR headsets required.
ICEreality™ is built on DIRTT’s ICE® software, a BIM tool that captures material, pricing, engineering, manufacturing and installation information for every aspect of an interior construction project. The ICEreality app takes that functionality and blends it into a social, mobile and immersive virtual reality world that mirrors the ICE design file.
“ICEreality is the first time ICE VR has been a shared experience available to people in the palm of their own hand,” says DIRTT co-founder and chief technology officer, Barrie Loberg. “This app embodies an essential human element that’s oftentimes missing in traditional virtual reality — the shared social experience of exploring a space. ICEreality turns the design phase of a construction project into an incredibly powerful, useful, and now portable, social experience.”
When linked with an ICE software design file, an iPhone running ICEreality becomes a VR viewer into the connected file. Multiple users check out their space in VR at the same time from their own mobile devices. They’re transformed into avatars to walk through their construction project together before it’s built.
The collaborative experience inspires conversations and allows people to easily see, modify and evaluate their environment. Changes to the design can be made on the spot within ICE itself as the user explores the VR version of the space. Simultaneously, those changes alter the VR world to match visually and with all backend data including pricing.
The app is a new level of accessibility for DIRTT’s already robust virtual reality offering. “It’s portable virtual reality in your pocket. You can take it anywhere and put someone right into their space,” said one beta tester experiencing the ICEreality app for the first time. Although users will be required to run an ICE software program and have an ICE license, the virtual reality extension requires no special equipment.
ICEreality is available on the App Store and is compatible with iPhone 6s or newer, running iOS11. Users without a connection to DIRTT’s ICE software can explore the app’s pre-loaded DIRTT timber frame demo file. For the full experience with ICE software, contact your local DIRTT team and try it in person.