Meta Quest (2): Arkio is a powerful tool for architecture and design
With Arkio, you can design rooms, buildings and entire cities alone or collaboratively. The VR app is free to try out.
Whether interior design, architecture, city planning or level design: Arkio is versatile. Up to 24 people can be in the same scene and collaborate, whether they use a Quest device, PC, tablet, or smartphones.
The VR version has a number of advantages. The 3D visuals and presence give you a better sense of space and scale, and support for passthrough mode lets you incorporate the physical environment into the VR design, or vice versa: add digital objects to physical spaces.
3D models can be imported from various programs (Unity, Rhino, Sketchup, Revit), edited and then re-exported. Arkio also supports Meta's new avatar system, which enables more realistic alter egos.
VR and AR: "Ultimate design medium"
Arkio appeared on App Lab just under a year ago and has now made the jump to the Oculus Store. In addition to architects, the VR app has been used by hobbyists, metaverse designers and universities for creative purposes, Arkio CEO Hilmar Gunnarsson says.
"VR and AR are the ultimate medium for architecture and design as three-dimensional space is the best place for three-dimensional work," Gunnarsson says. "People shouldn’t have to imagine what a building will look and feel like once built or how a new sofa will fit in their living room. Being able to work naturally in real time with other people regardless of where they’re located completely changes the design process and opens up new opportunities for designers all over the world."
Arkio: free version offers all important features
The start-up next wants to exploit the possibilities of the passthrough mode and is working on new features for this purpose. Also planned are improvements to the core tools, the ability to create and share your own 3D models and import larger scenes, and broader compatibility with other design tools and online platforms.
You can download and try Arkio for free from the Oculus Store. The free version includes all modeling tools, passthrough mode, and the collaboration feature. Sample projects and tutorials help you learn the program. Those who sign up for a monthly subscription for 8 euros per month can additionally import content from and into Unity.
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