Watch virtual buildings come to life before your very eyes


It’s a marriage made in mixed reality heaven

 Franck Boston/Shutterstock
3D rendering of a house project draft. Franck Boston/Shutterstock

Microsoft Hololens, that future-bending virtual reality headset whose applications are growing day by day, can now be used to view designs generated through 3D modeling software SketchUp.

This can be done through the SketchUp Viewer app, made available for download last week on Windows Store. Developed by Trimble, the Sketchup Viewer allows professionals in the architecture, engineering, construction and operations (AECO) industries to get an “experiential review” of a property development.

SketchUp Viewer is available in different modes, one of which anchors the 3D model on the table so you can scrutinise it from different angles. An immersive mode, on the other hand, puts the building to scale, making virtual walkthroughs possible.

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“SketchUp Viewer on HoloLens allows people to inhabit their designs in the most natural way possible – either as a holographic scale model on a tabletop, or through an immersive experience from within a digital building model,” said Lorraine Bardeen, Microsoft GM for Hololens and Windows Experiences, in a blog post. “Viewing models in this way will enable designers to better understand the choices and tradeoffs in their projects, which can help shorten the cycle between design iterations.”

Architect Greg Lynn tried the SketchUp Viewer earlier this year at the 2016 Venice Biennale exhibition, where he visualised a hologram of his redesign of an abandoned Packard Plant in Detroit.

Other early adopters of the Microsoft Hololens and SketchUp Viewer combo include AECOM, CallisonRTKL, Gensler, and Hensel Phelps, Bardeen revealed in her blog.

Get a glimpse of the Sketchup-Hololens experience in the video below:

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