SketchUp developer Trimble has launched SketchUp Viewer, a new virtual and mixed reality app for the Microsoft HoloLens that will allow users to inhabit and experience their 3D designs in a completely new way. Using the holographic capabilities of the HoloLens, SketchUp Viewer creates hologram versions of models that can be placed in real-world environments –allowing architects to study and analyze how their buildings will react to their context while still in the design stage.
At today’s Trimble Dimensions keynote, architect Greg Lynn presented SketchUp Viewer for the first time, demonstrating the technology using his re-imagining of the Packard Plant in Detroit, commissioned as part of the “Architectural Imagination,” the U.S. Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale exhibition.
"Trimble mixed-reality technology and Microsoft HoloLens bring the design to life and bridge the gap between the digital and physical. Using this technology I can make decisions at the moment of inception, shorten the design cycle and improve communication with my clients,” said Lynn.
SketchUp Viewer uses the newly launched AR|VR Extension for SketchUp Desktop, and is compatible with models from Trimble’s 3D Warehouse and the cloud-based collaboration platform Trimble Connect. Once in Tabletop mode, models can be scaled as needed to fit into an available space or to zoom into specific design details. Models can be moved, rotated, anchored and re-anchored in physical space, giving users the ability to walk around the project and examine it from any vantage point.
“What truly differentiates SketchUp Viewer from any other product on the market is the ability for users to transition seamlessly to an immersive experience,” explained Trimble. “Mixed reality enables unique opportunities to overlay physical models in real world environments; and as a completely untethered device, HoloLens allows users to move freely as they inhabit their digital surrounds.”
In addition to its visualization capabilities, SketchUp Viewer will also contain remote collaboration technology, allowing designers and consultants from around the world to review and cooperate on projects in real time.
“Empowering people to design and communicate better in 3D is part of our DNA. Across the SketchUp platform, we are dedicated to the idea that technology should get out of the way of our users,” said Chris Keating, general manager of Trimble’s SketchUp. “With SketchUp Viewer, we are taking another big step toward delivering the ultimate experience for designers and their clients—the experience of inhabiting their own work.”
More information on the SketchUp Viewer can be found here. The AR|VR extension for SketchUp Desktop can be found in SketchUp’s Extension Warehouse. Microsoft HoloLens devices are available for purchase from the Microsoft Store, here.
News via Trimble.