Configura’s Collaboration with Yulio Lowers VR Cost for Designers
Livestream collaboration lets designers walk clients through their designsSweden-based Configura announces a collaboration with Toronto-based Yulio to bring a mobile virtual reality experience to thousands of interior designers and customers around the globe for the cost of a $15 VR headset and a simple subscription service. Yulio is a DIY virtual reality platform for those in the business of designing spaces. The technology enables 3D designs to be turned into rich, immersive 360-deree VR experiences with just a few clicks. The VR experiences can be shared directly to clients’ smartphones or other devices for viewing. Livestream collaboration functionality lets designers walk and talk clients through their designs. “Democratizing VR and ‘baking it into the workflow’ is an extremely inexpensive way to improve the client experience,” Yulio’s founder and Managing Director Rob Kendal said Configura – known for its CET Designer space-planning software used by such global office furniture giants as Steelcase, Haworth and Herman Miller – partnered with Yulio to democratize the use of virtual reality in interior design. Yulio’s “3D to VR software” plugin – available as a CET Designer Extension – takes what was once a pricey proposition and makes it an affordable, easy and agile experience. The collaborative technology recently launched with the release of CET Designer 7.5. The Yulio Extension in CET Designer is free. The Yulio subscription service is as low as $20 per month for a single user account, which can enable virtually unlimited usage for dealerships. Yulio offers a free 30-day trial in which users can sign up online, download the Extension and immediately begin using Yulio. “The technology makes it so cost-effective and simple to use that you can’t afford not to use it,” says Configura Chief Product Officer Nicklas Dagersten.
Democratizing designVirtual reality is nothing new to the gaming and entertainment world where it first took off commercially. But VR is now spreading into all kinds of industries – including the interior design profession and particularly in the contract furniture market where customers want to experience their workspace before purchasing products. Until recently, VR in commercial interior design has been costly, with high-end VR headsets hovering around $600 USD. Meanwhile, Google Cardboard and Homido MINI products can be sourced for around $15 USD per headset. Software such as CET Designer in combination with Yulio enable an immersive experience that includes specific products and details – brands, colors, materials, lighting, flooring and accessories. “For an architect or designer, viewing an image of a 3D space may be enough to fully visualize the space. Yet this isn’t the case for many of their clients,” Kendal says. “Yulio and Configura bridge this communication gap – placing the customer directly into the VR design and creating certainty in what was previously often a guessing game.”
How it works:
- An interior designer (or architect, specifier, salesperson, facilities manager, etc.) uses CET Designer to create a space in 3D, dragging and dropping actual office furniture products into place.
- When satisfied with the design, the designer renders the drawings using the Yulio Extension. The rendered output takes the form of a “cube map” and is automatically uploaded to the Yulio cloud.
- The designer shares the cube map with one click, directly to the client’s preferred viewing device – a smartphone, tablet or computer. The customer can view the space directly on the device as a 360-degree panoramic scene – what Yulio calls “fishbowl VR” – or enhance the experience with virtual reality by downloading the Yulio Viewer app (available for iOS, Android and Samsung Gear VR) to a smartphone, and then using the app in conjunction with a VR headset such as Google Cardboard or Homido MINI.
- The designer sees what the customer sees as they’re guided through the VR space. With remote collaboration functionality, designer and client can be anywhere in the world.