At Wight & Company, our multi-disciplinary team collaborates on projects in real time and space with the help of highly immersive visualization technologies.
Through the virtual world of Building Information Modeling (BIM), which includes using 3D-software programs such as Revit, Bentley, and SketchUp, the architecture, engineering, and construction industries have greatly improved the way they interact with one another. At Wight & Company, we’ve taken 3D visualization a step further through the use of cutting-edge, immersive technologies that enhance the client experience. Supported by digital and physical tools, we offer our clients the most innovative visualization opportunities, bringing their projects to life through virtual reality, augmented reality, gaming technologies, and various interactive models. These technologies allow our design teams to accurately depict the true experience of a building, realistically communicating the final design before a project ever breaks ground.
Specific visualization tools and technologies used at Wight & Company include:
Revizto™ Editor Software / Gaming Technology
Revizto (a software application developed by Vizerra, a leading 3D software company) uses 3D gaming technologies to solve real-world problems in architecture, engineering, construction, and facility management. Revizto Editor allows BIM and CAD models to be converted, edited, and published as lightweight navigable 3D environments that can be shared with anyone for viewing and real-time collaboration. Wight & Company is using this software, combined with a traditional gaming controller/joystick (such as one made by Xbox or Logitech), to allow clients to navigate a Wight-designed environment as if it were a video game. This user controlled experience enhances the client’s understanding of the proposed design and encourages feedback while the project is still in early/conceptual stages. Wight & Company recently used this technology to showcase the design of UNO Soccer Academy High School.
Oculus VR® Rift Headset / Virtual Reality
The Oculus Rift is a new virtual reality headset that was created to allow video game players to step inside their favorite games and virtual worlds. Wight & Company is using this same technology to allow our clients to seamlessly experience virtual environments created by Wight. A digital 3D model from Revit is converted using a gaming engine created by Unity Technologies to allow the space represented through the model to be experienced through the headset. As an example, Wight & Company’s recent design concept for the atrium/public concourse area of a proposed new 275,000-square-foot building for New Trier Township High School District can be experienced using this technology. Every subtle movement of the user’s head is tracked in real-time, creating a natural and intuitive experience. The visualization technology utilized to express design intent for the New Trier Township High School project was supplemented by development of a 3D-printed model, which allows the client to absorb the nuances of site, scale, adjacency, and unique design features through a small, but detailed, physical model.
iPano® App / Augmented Reality
iPano is an iPhone/iPad app developed by WaterSoft™ that allows users to view panoramic images in an Augmented Reality (AR) style. AR is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics, or GPS data. When used on an iPad, the iPano app creates a user experience that is similar to holding ‘a window into another world.’ Wight & Company is using this technology on projects including Joliet Central High School Student Center Addition and Northbrook School District 28’s Westmoor School to immerse our clients into a proposed built environment through navigation of a 360-degree photo-realistic panoramic image. As the user moves the mobile device, the view through the ‘window’ changes accordingly.