2015 VR Pioneers – Joseph Larson Billeaud

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This has been an important year for virtual reality (VR). When InsiteVR first started approaching customers in March of 2015, the VR ecosystem was just taking off. Fast forward 9 months and GearVR ads are everywhere, Microsoft, Sony, and HTC have joined the race, and Facebook has even started integrating 360 VR content into the news feed. This has all been made possible by the efforts of countless developers, engineers, and early adopters.

We want to spend time giving credit to our customers, who are some of those early adopters making VR a reality.

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In the past month, we’ve seen an increase in requests to view and present content in VR, but 9 months ago InsiteVR early adopters had to take a huge leap of faith. They had to convince themselves, their colleagues, and their clients that these headsets would revolutionize the way they conducted business. It’s people like them that help ensure, this time, VR is here to stay.

Our customers have helped push the current wave of VR headsets into industries like architecture, manufacturing, home building, construction, event planning, and even yacht design. They have helped their colleagues and clients understand how VR can impact the way we communicate 3D spaces.  Powerpoint presentations in 2D will no longer suffice in an era when VR can transport you into your future office or boat.

For the remaining weeks of 2015, we will be highlighting some of our customers who play an integral role in pioneering VR adoption in the enterprise and who have had great success integrating VR into their workflows.

Today’s VR pioneer is Joseph Billeaud, Associate Architect at JAHN.

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Joseph Larson Billeaud, Associate Architect

JAHN

VR Pioneer Joseph Billeaud

What kind of work does JAHN do?
JAHN is a professional group of architects and designers working with the best engineers and consultants from around the world to practice a form of architecture that integrates technology and architectural design to create responsible, authentic, and forward thinking buildings that will both serve and inspire throughout their lifecycle.

What was your VR “aha” moment?
I had been keeping quiet about my forays into VR until I had some viable examples to show to my colleagues. From the minute that I installed the InsiteVR software and began walking around our model with the remote control, my colleagues began showing up at my desk, curious and wanting to try it out. By the end of the day, the president and all the team leaders agreed that we needed to go in the direction of VR as soon as possible.

You could say that our office had a collective “aha” moment that not only would this technology make the design process smoother, but it would constitute a departure from the way we’ve always planned for client presentations in the past. VR is essentially a replacement for most physical models in a way that simple renderings never could be.

With a good model and the VR headset [creating multiple representations of a building] becomes unnecessary, leaving more time for design.

What VR technology are you most excited for in 2016?
For architects, I think the eventual merging of walkthrough models with interactive graphics and fixed point photorealistic images is where we want to go next. The experience of scale and space is there, now we need to supplement the primary experience with the incorporation of graphic data overlays and photorealistic stopping points where we can think about materials and lighting.

JAHN using InsiteVR with a client

How has VR helped your interaction with clients?

Clients rarely have an understanding of scale, and often have a hard time integrating plan information and even rendered images into a real understanding of the building. Most of the work we do, therefore, in preparation for a client meeting is to create multiple representations of the building that we hope the client will begin to creatively merge into an understanding of the whole.

With a good model and the VR headset this becomes unnecessary, leaving more time for design. Any layman understands the building once they are walking through it in their own time and they are given the chance to explore.

VR has the potential to not only reduce errors and clashes but to make design visualization so easy and fun, that one can expect any project that employs the technology to have a much higher chance of success both technically and aesthetically.

Do you you have a funny or inspiring story about using VR with a customer or colleague?
During our last round of meetings for a baseball stadium we are working on in Mexico City, we allowed the industrial signage consultant to try out the walkthrough. He was very excited and as he carefully walked around seemingly taking in every detail and surface I realized, and I imagine he was realizing it too, that a tool like this would make his difficult task easier to the point of elation.

Instead of pouring through sections and plans trying to figure out the need for and placing of wayfinding signage for every user and every destination, he merely would have to walk through himself and decide on locations for signage very intuitively as he began to understand the building himself.

For consultants, architects, and engineers alike, VR has the potential to not only reduce errors and clashes but to make design visualization so easy and fun, that one can expect any project that employs the technology to have a much higher chance of success both technically and aesthetically. If that’s not inspiring (for a building design professional), I don’t know what is.

What do you love about InsiteVR?
The software is intuitive enough that it takes very little instruction before the user is comfortably moving around, turning it from being a potentially tedious affair into an actual experience, both stimulating and informative.


To learn more about Joseph’s work at JAHN visit their website: http://jahn-us.com/

Stay tuned for more InsiteVR 2015 VR Pioneers this week and see the complete list here: https://blog.insitevr.com/2015-vr-pioneers/