Virtual Reality applications are booming thanks to the onset of VR/AR headsets like Oculus, PlayStation VR, HTC Vive and Samsung Gear VR. Those companies allowed others to develop software that immerses you in a different reality where you can explore and (in some cases) interact with 3D renderings of just about anything.

Outside of gaming, more VR dev companies are turning their attention to other industries, such as architectural and product design, with developers catering to them using new software platforms that allow their clients to view their models in a 3D environment.

One of those emerging companies is New York-based InsiteVR that recently received $1.5 Million in Seed Round of funding from several investors to continue developing their VR application. The company’s software is capable of rendering 3D models direct to VR using modeling software such as Sketchup, Revit, 3DS Max and Navisworks. The models can then be viewed and explored wearing any number of VR headsets with 360 degree video available for mobile devices.

Once the 3D model or 360 image is uploaded to the InsiteVR app, it’s instantly viewable in a VR environment with viewer able to explore and presenter able to control the show and navigate using several methods, including mouse/keyboard combo, game controller or touchscreen. The presenter can also invite others to view their designs remotely and even point out different facets of their designs using a virtual laser pointer.

The InsiteVR Desktop Mode interface. Image: InsiteVR
The InsiteVR Desktop Mode interface. Image: InsiteVR

Views can also be streamed wirelessly using multiple different headsets, which can be synced together via the app. The VR worlds that InsiteVR uses are high-rez photorealistic 360 images, so the uploaded models can be placed in any number settings such as cities, fields, various rooms or just a generic 3-dimensional space, for you to better understand what the model looks like in the real world.

Of course, InsiteVR isn’t the only game in town for rendering models in a VR setting as others such as ARCH Virtual, Blue Marble 3D and IrisVR have similar strengths using slightly different appraoches. In fact, IrisVR is nearly identical to InsiteVR, but develops two distinct VR applications–Scope and Prospect–which allow you to drag and drop a 3D model file onto the app interface, instead of uploading them. What’s more, you can manipulate everything from lighting to backgrounds, insert annotations, and even draw in that virtual space.

Unlike InsiteVR’s all-inclusive platform, IrisVR is split into two apps with Prospect handling everything VR and Scope providing the ability to take 360 panoramic photos and implement them in a VR setting using mobile devices.

If choosing between the two is primarily what you is looking for: for simplicity and ease of use without a lot of bells and whistles, InsiteVR is phenomenal. If increased manipulation of models and settings is your preference then go with IrisVR’s Prospect. Regardless of VR platform you choose, both of them provide free and pay to play versions, which require a simple signup and download to get going.



The one-man ace engineering wrecking crew - If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find me, maybe you can hire... the Cabe-team.