Virtual and Augmented Reality Services

We stay on the cutting edge of new technology to ensure we’re using the best tools for each project to facilitate communication, shape expectations, and build understanding.

Agile Lens: Immersive Design is a sister company to FDA that we grew to utilize realtime technologies like virtual and augmented reality to help visualize the performing arts spaces we design. Since our first work in 2013 using the Oculus Rift Development Kit for the Xiqu Centre for Chinese Opera, we have found this technology a powerful design tool and a compelling way to communicate the qualities of a space to clients, collaborators, and donors.

FDA specializes in designing and developing a performance space’s geometry to deliver an environment that provides the most powerful and compelling relationship between a performer and audience possible. One key element in achieving this is ensuring that all seats have excellent views of the stage. This can be best understood by positioning oneself in a virtual reality environment that allows one to feel as if one is actually occupying the space; where every tilt of the head or lean of the body can reveal nuances about the experience of sitting in that particular seat.

Over the years we have continued to develop our capabilities for rigorous testing of a theater’s design and, beyond sightlines, we now explore design options regarding everything from photorealistic colors, materials, and lighting to testing productions that may take place on that future stage. We even allow for an ”inside-out” design approach where elements of a theater (e.g. the curve of a railing or the height of a balcony) may be adjusted directly from within VR. Being able to bring collaborators inside a space before it is ever built to examine design options also facilitates advanced presentations for donors and VIPs. We allow them to inhabit the space they are committing to, walk past their name on a donor wall, and see in realtime how their sponsorship impacts the project.

Augmented reality is particularly valuable when dealing with a renovation. Using anything from smartphones and iPads to more advanced devices such as the Magic Leap or Hololens headsets, we are able to overlay design elements onto the actual space. By sitting in the real seat of the existing space, one can explore how adjustments to, for example, plan geometry or the stage height, may affect an audience’s future experience. 

We stay on the cutting edge of new technology to ensure we’re using the best tools for each project to achieve clear and consistent communication of design intent. Looking around and moving through a space virtually through hands-on (and head-on) demonstrations with VR and AR devices has been a big step forward for our clients.

Our process of rapid iteration and visualization is an invaluable asset to developing theatre architecture. For architectural visualization, we can provide full-service rendering, from flat images, to panoramas, to WebVR experiences, to full realtime walkthroughs, complete with lighting and materials. We can provide a virtual environment that allows you to sit anywhere in the room and cycle through a variety of design options.

We custom develop for desktop and portable devices on the following platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, WebGL, A-Frame, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, Magic Leap, Hololens, Unreal Engine 4, Unity 3D, and more.

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