NBBJ recently announced a new business partnership with startup Visual Vocal to incubate and develop a breakthrough virtual reality productivity platform. The new tool will allow distributed project stakeholders to immerse themselves into unbuilt environments and provide instantaneous feedback to inform a collaborative design process.
Visual Vocal will launch the beta version of its platform as an NBBJ exclusive later in 2016, and the firm will pilot the software on design projects for healthcare, corporate and urban planning clients. Ultimately the tool will then become available to the greater architecture, engineering and construction industry.
Distributed teams are now designing buildings using 3-D modeling software. But when it comes time to share those designs with clients, traditional communication methods such as email often result in time-consuming and inconclusive rounds of feedback. By combining VR with mobile and cloud-based communications platforms, the new tool has the potential to transform workflows. Project stakeholders can provide immediate feedback to designers via their mobile device.
“Visual Vocal is building a platform for distributed conversation, collaboration and decision-making through the power of immersive computing technologies,” said Visual Vocal Co-Founder John SanGiovanni. “For the past year, we have worked closely with NBBJ’s technical, creative and project leadership to understand the complexities of distributed collaboration. Together, we have forged a new VR framework aimed at making 3-D decision-making more accessible, enjoyable and efficient.”
External venture financing for Visual Vocal is now underway, with strong initial support from several prominent angel and super angel investors. The company has seven employees based in NBBJ’s Seattle, Washington office, with technical backgrounds from Google, Microsoft and other companies. For details, visit nbbj.com.