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Imagine a world where you can bring blueprints of building projects to life just by glancing at a 3D model your phone, using projection screen technology to broadcast ideas around you, or putting on a headset to fully immerse yourself in the digital world.

It sounds like something straight out of a movie, and in fact, virtual reality has been a facet in movies and television for years, however, it was often fabricated using green screen or computer-generated imagery. Today, virtual reality is starting to come to life in video games, phones and even programs to help architects construct buildings. For them, planning, managing, and constructing projects just got a whole lot easier.

In an interview with Builder Online, the American Society of Landscape Architects calls virtual reality a powerful tool for landscapers, designers, city planners, architects, planners and developers. Not only does it assist the professionals, but it also assists the clients as well because they can see what things will look like in real life before plans are put into motion.

I love learning about virtual reality and its uses in the building and designing world, so finding out more information about the different technologies available is fascinating to me. Below are a few software options that builders and architects can use to enhance their business and user experience.  

Invent Dev

Designing a home for a client can be tricky if the client can’t visualize the wooden finishes on the floors, colors of the walls, or patterns on a set of curtains. Invent Dev can solve that problem by allowing potential home buyers to easily view the home with customizable options before buying. Buyers can swap out finish options, preview upgrades, and experience living in the home using a virtual reality headset all before signing on the dotted line.

SimFernInventDev

Augment

This type of virtual reality software really puts the “augment” into augmented reality. Designed for use with a smartphone or tablet, designers and architects can view their space before it’s built by uploading their hand drawn models or photos of the jobsite to the app. These can be brought to life on the screen with 3D rendering technology that will literally make it seem like you’re peeking into a small, 3D world on your device.

SimFernAugment

Oculus Rift

With virtual reality goggles, users can explore all kinds of buildings and structures around the world — even ones that haven’t been built yet. As for architects, they can easily be pulled into a different world of dimensions, scales, and feelings to accurately and uniquely create a building that’s never been built before.

SimFernOculusRift

Sim Fern is the founder of Upbeat Designs, a Brooklyn-based provider of custom furniture, upholstery, and millwork services for luxury residential and commercial spaces. Sim has always had a passion for furniture, as he’s been working in the business since he was a teenager. What started out as a side job turned into a career for Sim — he’s now transitioned from small projects for homeowners to a wide range of clientele with Upbeat Designs. You can connect with Sim Fern online.