Right now, 3D prototypes in Building Information Models (BIM) are not actually 3D because these buildings are trapped on a screen.

Yes. It’s true. Screens are merely 2D.

HingePoint CEO and Founder Bryce Finnerty said that once virtual and augmented reality become mainstream in BIM, developers will be able to actually walk their customers around and inside a building.

“We make 3D models for our customers, like a real estate developer building a skyscraper,” Finnerty said. “Even though we have a 3D prototype where you can see inside and all around the building, we are still looking at these models on a screen. It’s technically two-dimensional.”

But Finnerty said—with Autodesk virtual reality software and hardware coming to market like DAQRI’s Smart Helmet and Microsfot’s HoloLens—virtual reality will change 3D models. Many developers and solution integrators will offer virtual reality as part of their BIM model.

“Developers will literally be able to walk their customers or investors around and inside the building,” Finnerty said. “It’s just a matter of time.”

Virtual and augmented reality are at a tipping point for many industries, especially the architecture, engineering and construction sector.


Check out our DAQRI Smart Helmet review from Autodesk University 2016.


It’s already popped up in video consoles like the PlayStation 4. There are even cheap headsets for smartphones. So many new technologies are intersecting, causing a “ripe” time for this new technology.

“This isn’t a conversation about incremental development. It’s a collision, a convergence of a number of different things,” Stacy Scopano, Autodesk senior construction industry strategy manager, told Construction Dive recently.

Autodesk offers a full spectrum of visualization tools for AEC professionals. Autodesk LIVE is the latest offering in the company’s LIVE Design family of visualization tools, which helps Revit users design fully-interactive 3D models.

In summer 2015, Autodesk unleashed the power of Stingray, Autodesk’s 3D game engine, and 3ds Max, to bring Revit building information models into the virtual reality world. This year, they moved Stingray to the cloud to make integration easier.

Although Stingray is a game engine, it can also be used to create “stunning virtual reality experiences.”

High-end Headsets are already available by Microsoft and Daqri.

“These headsets are going to change how developers sell real estate,” Finnerty said. “Instead of using renderings, developers can just send a headset to potential buyers, pre-loaded with 3D models of developments or units for sale.”

“It’s going to completely change how we sell and build,” he said.

Wide Price Range of Headsets Available


Samsung Gear, Virtual Reality, BIM, HingePoint

Samsung Gear VR

Price: $99.99

Operating software is a mobile phone and it has to be Samsung.

The performance and visual experience all depends on which Samsung cell phone you are using.


Oculus Rift, Virtual Reality, HingePoint, BIM

Oculus Rift

Price: $599.99

  • Uses a 2160 x 1200 resolution, working at 233 million pixels per second, with a 90Hz refresh rate (matches HTC Vive for refresh rate).
  • Don’t need a lot of floor space to use the product.
  • Easy setup-not a lot of cables
  • Comfortable and light weight
  • Has earphones-don’t have to use but option for “passive noise isolation”

HTC Vive

HTC Vive

Price: $799.99

  • Lots of space (floor space) is required to VR with HTC Vive
  • Plugs into PCs
  • 70 sensors to offer 360 Degree head-tracking as well as 90HZ refresh rate (stat is key to keeping down “motion sickness”)
  • Swappable foam inserts-for many people using
  • Adjustable straps-comfortable
  • Superb resolution but configured more for gaming

Microsoft HoloLens

Microsoft HoloLens

Price: $3,000

Blends virtual and augmented reality to make one of the most ambitious launches ever planed. The device merges real-world elements with virtual ‘holographic’ images, meaning you can look at your Minecraft world on your kitchen table, or walk around the surface of Mars in your living room.


HSBCAD Showcases Augmented Reality, HoloLens Demo


What is BIM, BIM, HingePoint, Autodesk, Revit, Integration

Download our BIM_Comparison Table here. See where you are on to the path to BIM. The idea is to be fully digital while printing on-demand, fully automated and able to collaborate with virtually anyone on a project.

Need help with BIM integration?

Check out our other BIM stories

4 Attributes of Companies that Use BIM Correctly

Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality Makes BIM Truly 3D

HingePoint’s Roadmap to Create Your Own BIM Model

BIM Won’t Save You, Unless You Address How You Work

BIM is the Holy Grail of building

An introduction to BIM: What does B stand for?

BIM Explained – From 3D Renderings to Construction and Marketing

HingePoint covers the AEC Industry and is the author of The AEC Industry 4.0 Report and the Autodesk Industry Report 2017. HingePoint helps construction and real estate development companies take control of their company’s information. We combine systems, software, and data so all company information can be seen and accessed from one screen, like a smartphone or computer.

HingePoint provides Procore, SharePoint and Salesforce consulting for Commercial Real Estate and Construction companies. HingePoint also helps the AEC industry with development & integration of AutoDesk and Procore products with enterprise systems. We are a trusted partner with over 25 years experience of systems development and integration work in the AEC industry. Our clients range from top hotel brands and restaurant chains to AEC firms and real estate developers and Facilities Management. We provide BIM with ROI. Results Guaranteed…Literally Guaranteed.