Why VR, Why Now Episode 1 Recap - Kohn Pedersen Fox

Posted by Jordan Lipton on Jun 10, 2020 7:00:00 AM

Recently we officially launched our new webinar series! In this series, we host professionals to discuss and showcase how they are employing VR to meet their business needs from collaboration and construction design review to product design and training use cases.

For our first webinar of the series, we brought VR Specialist Mike Koutsoubis from Kohn Pedersen Fox , or KPF, to join IrisVR CEO Shane Scranton. KPF is an international construction and architecture firm, made up of small teams who focus on the design process, which Koutsoubis helps integrate VR solutions into their projects, presentations, and design reviews. Click here to watch the full episode!

Here are some key takeaways from our conversation with Koutsoubis about how VR is helping KPF work from home and stay productive and on track. 

VR Is More Accessible Than Ever

A central theme that arose throughout the conversation between Koutsoubis and Scranton was how significant the evolution of VR technology has been over the years. Recounting his early years with VR, Koutsoubis says, “Starting out, everything was done step by step, and in the past few years the whole pipeline has really been optimized.” 

Another key development they discussed having lowered the barrier to entry for VR was the release of the Oculus Quest. Citing its low cost and ability to operate as a standalone headset, teams like KPF’s are adopting the Quest as their primary option. 

Additionally, Koutsoubis and Scranton discussed the Oculus Link and how it provides the versatility to operate as a standalone option, while also connecting to a computer for more processing power. Koutsoubis said, “I’m finding that I am using the Quest mostly, and with larger models I can easily plug in the Oculus Link cable.”

Meeting In VR Feels Personal

Koutsoubis emphasized how KPF has used other VR softwares in the past, but this year started using Prospect for the ability to host VR meetings with multiple participants.  “We have a client who lives in a different state, and we got a hand for what it’s like to meet up in VR once a week and use that as our main way to talk about design,” he said. 

Diving further into how VR Meetings still feel personal while working remotely, Koutsoubis said “There was a sudden and extreme shift from doing everything in person to doing everything remotely, and Prospect allows you to feel the presence of people in the space with you.” 

Another way that KPF has found success while working remotely is using video calling softwares like Zoom to broadcast design reviews to multiple people. Koutsoubis shared, “Whoever has the headset would go into VR, and the person using desktop mode will share their screen with the video call participants, so for example, we have had people on their phone in the airport participating in meaningful design review sessions” 

VR Trends + Future Predictions

When asked about the trends that he expects to see in the future, Koutsibis said, “Barriers to entry will continue to be removed, and the ability to one click solutions and customized VR experiences will continue to accelerate.” 

Koutsoubis and Scranton agreed that headsets will become more compact and convenient, and that all roads are pointing towards VR becoming an industry standard. Koutsoubis added, “I can see a future where it is the standard for everyone to have a headset for professional or personal reasons.” 

Q&A Takeaways

Here are a few key points based off of questions from our webinar participants: 

  • Trust can be built among clients, stakeholders, and partners through the VR experience, and spatial awareness that it provides.
  • Prospect is able to run VR Meetings through a cellular hotspot.
  • Avatars in VR Meetings convey emotion and point things out effectively, creating the feeling that you are in the same room.
  • To gain access to more VR resources, showcase the effectiveness VR capabilities to those at your firm with purchasing power. 

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