WHAT IS IT?
TrueScale is a virtual reality (VR) app which places the user inside a room which they are able to design and manipulate in real time.
The tool, developed by Immersion, allows you to determine the dimensions of a room, meaning a virtual representation of any room in your home can be put together with ease.
You are then able to add windows, doors, wallpaper, carpets, furniture, and decorations.
These include 3D renderings of real items which are available to purchase, allowing you to visualise how the item will look in any given space before committing to a purchase.
Currently a range of items from furniture retailer Wayfair are available to purchase through the app, with more brands expected to be in the pipeline.
TrueScale can be downloaded through Viveport and Steam by any consumer from home.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
When you place the headset on you are thrown into an office. There is a virtual drawing board in front of you, and a table to your right. Both have a grid on them to determine scale.
With the controllers, you can then drag a square on the board in front of you, this will represent the dimensions of your room.
You can then edit this to create multiple rooms and complex floor plans.
A small 3D version of the 2D floor plan you have drawn will appear on the table to your right. You can then scroll through a menu of items, including structural additions like windows and doors, alongside things like real life furniture and place it in the small 3D model of your room.
The fun comes when you point the controller at a spot on the floor of your model room, and press the teleport button. You are then transported into the room you have designed and can experience it in real time and scale.
You are able to walk around the space, pick up any items inside it and move them around, place new items inside and edit things like wallpapers and textures.
Teleport with the remote pointing at the ceiling and you’ll return to the office with a birds-eye-view of the room you’ve just explored.
HOW WELL DOES IT WORK?
Immersion aimed to make this app accessible to everyone, especially those who may not be experienced with VR.
In many ways they have succeeded. Creating the initial space is intuitive and the menu tool which allows you to scroll through different items can be navigated seamlessly.
The issues come when you attempt to interact with objects. Placing items in the correct location as you’re overseeing the room can seem a little fiddly and can take some work to get it placed exactly where you want it. Of course, once you teleport into the room and objects are real-world scale, this becomes much easier to judge.
The teleportation tool, which means the size of your virtual space is not limited to the real space you are using the headset in as you can travel without moving, can be slightly disorientating. Although its an essential tool for the purpose, it’s quite hard to pinpoint exactly where you’re jumping to and this can be confusing.
However, these issues are likely to be overcome fairly easily with practice. It’s likely users comfortable using VR headsets will find these much less of an issue.
Graphically TrueScape is impressive. Detailed textures and complex shapes have dogged VR since its inception, but Immersion have done a good job. The furniture looks stunning and creates a visceral representation of the product, something that is likely to attract other brands to make their 3D renders of their products available.
SHOULD I TRY IT?
Even if you are not using TrueScape to design a house or test some new furniture before you buy it, the app is lots of fun.
At $19.99 its certainly worth downloading if you have a headset and room available. What will be really interesting is when other retailers start uploading 3D models of their goods.
It means TrueScape holds the potential to become a platform for retailers to showcase their goods in a new and interactive way. Although only Wayfair have so far made the jump, 3D modelling is becoming more commonplace in the retail world.