HTC Partners With Autodesk to Bring Professional Design into VR

by Jamie Feltham • November 16th, 2016

The 2016 Autodesk University event kicked off in Las Vegas yesterday, and the design software company wasted no time in making some big announcements for the VR industry.

For those that don’t know, Autodesk creates software for various industries, allowing designers to make 3D models and environments for professional use. Its services already support VR viewing, but now the company is going one step further. Forge, the company’s cloud-based developer platform, is now coming to the HTC Vive via the Viveport platform. The service will let designers and creators build products in VR, show them with others.

Autodesk CTO Jeff Kowalski spoke of the importance of VR to the company’s work during his keynote speech at Autodesk University. “When you’re in VR, you’re more connected to your data,” he said. “It’s more detailed, it’s more emotional and meaning full.” He talked about interacting with data at “human scale”, designing chairs or even buildings at their correct scales.

“Of course, the ultimate step is actually designing in VR,” Kowalski continued. “And we’re working on new tools that let you model and simulate in a VR environment from the start.” An example of what’s possible with Forge in VR is being shown at the event this week.

With Forge, HTC and Autodesk are looking to build the dominant platform for VR product design, architecture and more. A release date for Forge on Viveport hasn’t been announced, though its pricing model is likely to follow the one already established: $500 a month with a free 12 month trial period with limit cloud data storage. We’re not sure if Forge integration is exclusive to Vive or could coming to the Oculus Rift and Touch later down the line, though we’ve reached out to the company to find out.

IT’s not the only VR announcement made at this week’s event, with IrisVR also launching its own VR products.

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