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Innovation Advent Day 2 – ‘2016 – The year VR was thrust into the mainstream’

What’s on your Christmas list this year?comparison-among-rift-vive-ps-vr-review

Mine was decided way back in March 2016 when Tideway hosted our second ‘innovation expo’. Hobbs 3d Reprographics brought the HTC Vive into Tideway (plus their supercomputer) for a live technology demonstration. Not just content with playing with TiltBrush, but we paid Hobbs to translate our latest Tunnel BIM model into a VR compatible format for our colleagues to experience for the first time.

Suffice to say, as a technology for explaining the concept and scale of a project and allowing people to safely experience it, it has to be said this took my breath away (and I’ve been around the block)! Looking over the parapet of a riverwall in Chambers Wharf to see our completed tunnel 60 metres beneath the Thames in 1:1 scale is an experience I’ll never forget.

2016 truly is the year of VR. Despite the computing power and expense of HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, Sony have also got in on the act and designed a VR headset for PlayStation 4. It lacks the higher resolution of the others, however at half the price and twice the refresh rate it holds it own as a genuine way for the masses to experience VR in the living room. Once you’ve played a game in VR you will know there’s no other experience like it, so I hope Santa remembers that my PS4 Pro is looking for a new buddy on Christmas day 🙂


Tideway has already experienced VR (see above), but we are keen to see where this technology can head in 2017. I know others are already saying Mixed Reality (Magic Leap etc) are the future but without the ambition of lone engineers in their shed building prototype VR headsets (now multi $billionaires) I doubt we would be where we are today, on the cusp of a huge revolution in how we see and interact with the world.

Happy Christmas,


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