“Where should we put the kitchen sink?”
“Does this hallway need another window?”
“Is the new assembly line going to leave enough room for extra equipment on the factory floor?”
We make major decisions about our homes and offices by squinting at floor plans and 3D renderings. But this week, Microsoft announced an app for its VR headsets and “mixed reality” Hololens platform that could fix that. Called Microsoft Layout, it allows you to place large, holographic objects around a floor plan as you experience it virtually. In the company’s proof of concept, a designer moves machinery around a warehouse virtually–and then checks how the design would work in the real-life space thanks to HoloLens. It’s easy to imagine an architect using Layout to change the details of a proposed structure, or alter the layout of furniture, lighting, or glazing inside an existing building.