If you’re buying a new house that is being built from the ground up, chances are you’ve visited a model home, glanced over blueprints and mock-ups and daydreamt about your new palace. If it’s up to the guys at Virtual Reality startup Bricks & Goggles, all of that will be a thing of the past. Soon, people will wander around their new house in real time immersive virtual reality.
After playing around with the Oculus Rift DK2, founders Gertjan Leemans and Ingmar Vroege had the idea to visualize yet to build projects. After an enthusiastic architect jumped on board, the VR-startup was born. “Virtual reality is going to be a household name in designing new projects,” says Vroege. “Next to that I think Virtual Reality has a great future in education as well.”
As of yet, Bricks & Goggles has not yet received funding – the founders financed the company themselves with capital from earlier ventures Digitalisma – an app development company – and Safeguard, an app that tracks available first aid workers in a company. Quite an eclectic resume, to say the least.
The VR-startup based in The Netherlands converts blueprints to a deeply engaging virtual reality environment that is custom made for the Oculus, HTC Vive, Gear VR and Cardboard. Their focus is not limited to new real estate, however, as the startup is also attending the Monaco Yacht Show to expand business in the yachting market – a market where bespoke, custom creations with high demands is standard procedure. And this is where Virtual Reality can add a great deal of value: not only can owners see how 2D designs translate into reality, it also reduces a lot of risks and extra costs because they can take an early look at the designs before costly constructions have actually started.
What happens when somebody wants to create a VR model of a blueprint?
“It all starts with the 3D model, when the export parameters are set we import it in the Unity Engine. We use our toolset to reduce polygons, reach a level of reality and add custom elements if needed. We then sent back the project and the client is good to go.”
Are there any hurdles you need to overcome? Any lessons learned so far?
“Yeah lots, the industry needs to know the differences between 360 degrees photography, film and full immersive Virtual Reality. Next to that we’re always working on our proposition.”
Where do you want to be in five years?
“Hard for me to say, first thing to do is creating predictable revenue in a market where we can grow. We really believe in changing the yachting industry with Virtual Reality. Lets say that in five years we are the house hold name for Designing with virtual reality in the yachting industry.”