There are a few head-mounted displays (HMD) that exist in the market today, but one of the most well known and popular HMD’s is the HTC Vive. With HTC Vive recently dropping their price to £599 GBP and other various deals for their virtual reality (VR) platform, including the Vivepost Winter Sale, it’s clear that HTC Vive have an interest in the videogame market but are also extremely invested in the growth of VR applications in different sectors, such as art and design. VRFocus spoke with Graham Breen, Head of Vive Content in Europe, about their latest VR app TrueScale, which allows companies and consumers to design and build virtual rooms and buildings.
TrueScale is an interior design tool that can simultaneously create 2D floor plans, 3D mockups and full room-scale environments in VR. Not only can you design your house, office or apartments in minutes, you can virtually experience your designs first-hand in real scale through VR. Create, edit and explore 2D, 3D in a real scale; when creating a floor plan you watch the application generate a 3D environment as a dollhouse-type model. This allows for users to immediately understand their designs and gain a sense of scale and depth that could traditionally not be achieved through paper or graphic renders. Furthermore, HTC Vive’s roomscale technology enables users the freedom to walk around and explore a design space whilst making changes in real time.
Breen explains that TrueScale solves a lot of problems on a business level by allowing designers, architects and all those involved to address problems before the mistakes are made. Breen explains that Vive want to help create great content that not only help the VR market but help grow the VR ecosystem, and as such are working with a lot of companies over a range of sectors looking at how VR can help solve problems traditional media can not. From small things such as designing one’s house to training surgeons in VR.
Most recently Vive released their standalone VR HMD Vive Focus in China, of which Breen says is an ‘enormous’ step forward.
“The cool thing is, in China we’re seeing a lot of innovation on both sides. A lot of hardware innovation but also a lot of software innovation and probably the most important part of that, consumers are getting really really engaged. It’s become a thing, especially out of home experiences, arcades we are doing a lot of VR education work in China. It’s absolutely booming.”
Breen explains that for TrueScale the hand controllers and precision needed for designing and scaling rooms can be done in a much more professional and precise manner with the HTC Vive due to its roomscale and hand controller capabilities. It’s clear that Breen believes that one has to look at what application and circumstance an experience or tool is being used for. The highest end of VR should use the HTC Vive, whilst when one wants to bring a portable device the Vive Focus is fit for purpose.
Vive have not only been working on interior design but on other sectors such as art as well, most recently they opened a VR exhibition inside Tate Modern’s Modigliani’s exhibition in London. The VR piece called The Ochre Atelier puts the user in Modigliani’s studio in Paris 1919, where you are taken on a nine to ten minute guided seated experience that inform the user on various aspects of his life. The Vive Arts program will make VR more visible to art lovers around the world.
Breen explains that Vive’s focus has always been to be the best in class experience for VR. “If we deliver [the best in class experience] then everything else flows from it, but it’s really about creating the best in class experience and that’s still going to remain our focus heading forwards as well. Vive should really stand for the best in VR.”
TrueScale is available on Viveport and was also produced by Vive Studios for $19.99 USD. To find out more watch the video below.