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Is VR better than the real thing?

Is VR better than the real thing? That is the question we looked to answer by creating an exact virtual replica of Float’s VR Lab Space. It’s fascinating to see people put on a headset and not realize they are now looking at a virtual environment, because everything appears exactly as it was without the headset.

Watch as we add furniture, blow away walls, change the outside scenery, and morph the entire environment to take the viewer on a virtual journey.

Built in the latest versions of Unity for Vive, Oculus, iOS, and Android, Float was able to take advantage of the latest rendering and tracking techniques to optimize the experience for each platform. Float's experience with real-time rendering and computer vision made the process of building in VR smooth and easy.

We started with a dimensionally accurate 3D scan of the space and built a library of physically based material shaders. We then created a 360 HDR lighting model to give the experience the most realistic sense of real-time lighting possible. The model of the space was then rigged to transform from the familiar VR Lab into a much larger space with new furniture, surfaces, and lighting schemes.

For Vive and Oculus, we took advantage of Room-Scale and the Touch controllers to give users haptic, tactile feedback when touching surfaces, picking up objects, or operating switches and buttons.

VR's ability to completely immerse the user in a convincing, heightened reality has applications across industries, from entertainment, to architecture, to marketing. As manufacturers from Google to HTC continue to introduce untethered, standalone headsets, the number of reality enhancing VR applications will continue to grow.

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