Immersive technologies are blurring the boundaries between the virtual and physical worlds.
The scope for the application of these technologies in fields from architecture to education is vast and ever-expanding.
“This is a fully-equipped VR headset with plenty of applications (based) around training and development, around education, around gaming.
Daniel explained to me one of the locations the headset took us to:
“We are in Vive Sync, a virtual environment for meetings, presentations and demonstrations.
“I can bring a different element to the meeting room, whether it’s a PowerPoint presentation or video and I can even bring 3D models.
“So (as) we’ve seen in engineering, people are able to bring heavy machinery (and) expensive equipment into a virtual environment, where it’s 100% safe.
“You can redesign everything in a much (more) cost-effective way.”
He told me there was relevance and opportunity to integrate the technology into education, enriching and redefining the learning experiences:
“Whether it’s using applications like Google Tilt Brush to allow students to create impossible works of art (such as) painting with fire, or taking science students inside the human body to learn about biology from the inside out, (to) taking students back in time to learn about the past.
“You can break down the walls of the classroom and take students to anywhere in the world.
“It’s spatial computing. And it is a monumental shift from iPads and touchscreen tablets to VR headsets, spatial computing and immersive technology.”
In the realm of architecture, immersive technology is reshaping the entire process from inception to construction.
“You can now look and feel and understand proportions and scale and the shape of your project design in a very efficient and more practical way.
“You can use materials; you can shuffle and change between the material design immediately.
“You can feel it and you can understand more about the right lighting and the right light texture.”
Michael says the white mode – where colour can be removed from the VR landscape – can be particularly useful:
“This is very good for architects, because they can look into the pure design, shapes and geometries – rather than the finishes and the materials – of the project.”
“If we look at the digital transformation of our built environment using things like VR to create buildings and BIM (Building Information Modelling) in 3D space, it’s the digital twin of the final product that’s built.
“Floor by floor, this is your digital asset. This is a real building that you could never lift apart and examine (in real life).
“In the digital environment, you can stack it and you can slice it in any way you want.
“And you can extract any information about that particular floor place at any one time.”
The smart integration of information will also start to play an increasingly large part in how we manage our cities and their energy, water needs and transport needs; all the human needs that we take for granted every day.