The AEC industry has been experimenting with the use of virtual reality (VR) for well over 20 years, and while the medium has successfully provided value and return on investment for many projects, the form factor, technical requirements and user friction for delivering walkthroughs has prevented VR from realizing its potential as an accessible and broadly-used communication and collaboration tool.
Now, the new generation of standalone, six degree-of-freedom (6DOF) headsets is ushering in a new era of VR utility in the AEC industry. It's allowing for the simultaneous and low-friction application of VR environments for larger groups of people to walk through sizable spaces. This pushes the technology from a primarily individual visualization tool to a collaborative meeting and walkthrough tool. Various hardware and software improvements, such as inside-out positioning, hand tracking and the portability of headsets, are facilitating comfort and reducing fiction for users.