‘Industrial VR’ Is Like ‘Google Earth’ For Iconic Engineering Sites

by Jamie Feltham • December 20th, 2016

Google Earth VR has shown us the wonders of visiting real world locations as a towering giant in VR, and now Industrial VR looks to do the same.

This new experience from the development team of the same name recently passed a Steam Greenlight campaign. Using the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, users visit a series of iconic and gigantic industrial zones, like Hoover Dam, the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, and an oil rig and inspect them in minute detail. It’s a VR documentary of sorts in which you have control over what you see and learn about.

It almost looks as if someone has gone back into Google Earth and given some areas a bit of spit and polish. You’ll also be able to head inside of structures and inspect mechanical components up close, phasing behind walls and under floors to discover their inner workings. Producer Artem Kovalchuk told UploadVR that the team spent a long time studying technical documentation and references in order to pull off the level of detail seen here. The piece was developed in Unreal Engine 4.

He also revealed that the game consists of two modes. A story mode will teach you about each site, while a free mode lets you explore without restriction. Teleportation is used to navigate the sites.

The experience will be released episodically, with this first batch of locations falling under the umbrella of ‘Energy’. Going forward, the team plans to offer Aeronautics, Transportation and Military topics too. Future sites will also include the ISS Space Station, a location that’s pretty popular for VR experiences, though this will be the first time we’ve seen it like this.

Industrial VR is aiming for a release in early 2017. A price has not yet been revealed. Non-VR modes will be supported too.

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  • Steve Biegun

    Very cool, but I think the comparison to Google Earth is tenuous. Google uses real satellite imagery to recreate real environments while this program requires that every structure, machine, and dynamic be specifically modeled and programmed.

    That being said, the cutaway and overlay information is great! I look forward to trying this out when it is released in 2017.

    • dogtato

      Some content in Google Earth is hand-modeled, and is higher quality as a result. The models from this could conceivably be dropped in to Google.

      • IndustrialVR

        there also a lot of photogrammetry-based models which looks very nice from far away. But getting into details still not possible with these approach.

    • IndustrialVR

      you right! we hand model every piece we could find references for.

  • Clark Kent

    So I searched “Industrial VR” on Steam for HTC but it hasn’t come up. Is it still be pushed out?

  • Damon

    This is very cool indeed, well done! From a data security & safety perspective, I hope these 3D models of real spaces are not accurate in their interior design and system architecture. If so, that is a lot of sensitive information being shared.