How to use a Google Cardboard VR device with BIMx mobile

by Brieuc Tassel and Dániel Alexander Kovács · updated: 08.02.2017

From November 2016, BIMx and BIMx PRO (iOS – 2016.3.530 & Android – 2016.3.561) allow the usage of Google Cardboard VR devices.

Google Cardboard is a virtual reality (VR) platform developed by Google for use with a head mount for a smartphone. The viewer is used by placing a smartphone into the back of it and viewing through the lenses in the front.

Check-out our YouTube video on how to use a Google Cardboard with BIMx.

Make sure you have the latest BIMx or BIMx PRO installed on your mobile device (phone only), Google Cardboard v2.0, and follow the below instructions to start enjoying the immersive virtual reality in BIMx.

Requirements:

  • Latest BIMx / BIMx PRO versions
  • BIMx Hyper-model – Only published hyper-models are compatible with the Cardboard VR feature (Not compatible with the legacy 3D model-only format)
  • Google Cardboard v2.0 compatible viewer (Physical screen-touch button on the top side)
  • Smartphone (tablets excluded) – System Requirements
  • Gyroscope – Google Cardboard app cannot run without a gyroscope (sensor which uses the Earth’s gravity to determine the orientation)

picture-google-cardboard-device

Interface Elements

The VR mode proposes several icons which will help you navigating through your building in a smooth way.

BIMx_cardboard_icons

  1. Walking mode
  2. Bookmarks (Favorites + Gallery)
  3. Home
  4. Exit
  5. Step back
  6. Slow walk
  7. Fast walk
  8. Very fast walk

Workflow

Start

  • From the Navigation bar press the Cardboard icon, while in a BIMx 3D view (Located under the 3 dots menu)
  • You are now in the cardboard VR viewer mode

Exit

  • Press the back arrow on the top left corner of the cardboard VR viewer app to exit this mode

Calibration

While on the VR mode you can find the Setting wheel on the lower center part of the screen – From there you can scan the QR code of the cardboard you are going to use, this will pair and calibrate the cardboard device with BIMx (the QR code is located on the cardboard box).

Cursor usage

The blue 3D cursor will get bigger (double size) when placed on an item or a menu, at the same time the item or menu will also get bigger, to emphasize that it has been selected.

Access the main menu

  • Access the VR mode by pressing the cardboard icon (while in a BIMx 3D view)
  • Press the physical button on the top of the cardboard to open the menu interface
  • Place the 3D cursor on the desired mode (two options):
    • Walking mode
    • Bookmark (Favorites and Gallery items)
  • Press the physical button on the cardboard to validate selection
  • This will activate the desired command

Walking mode

  • Press the physical button on the top of the cardboard
  • Select the walking mode icon
    • You will now start navigating within your model
  • Press the physical button to stop walking
  • You are then offered with 3 options
    • Walking speed – You can choose within 3 speeds to walk in your model
    • Step back – 2 steps (~1 meter)
    • Exit walking mode
  • If you do not select any of these 3 options with the 3D cursor, you can go on with walking (by pressing the 3D cursor anywhere else than the 3 options)
  • Pressing the Exit walking mode button will send you back to the main menu

Bookmark menu

  • Press the physical button on the top of the cardboard
  • Select the Bookmark icon
    • You will now see all your Favorites and Gallery items
  • Press the physical button to select an item – The upper left item (Menu icon) will send you back to the “Home” camera view of your model
    • To exit the Bookmark page and go back to your on-going camera view, press the 3D cursor anywhere outside the Bookmark window
  • BIMx then teleports you to the 3D location of the item you selected

cardboard_vr_bookmark

{i} Note: You can mirror the contents of the device’s screen to an external screen (TV or computer), so you can guide the wearer through the building. On iOS, you can do that by mirroring the picture to an Apple TV, or connect the phone to a Mac, and use QuickTime to see the contents. On Android you need 3rd party apps/devices for this.