New app for HoloLens is designed for architects

For $1,500, architects get a way to view building models in augmented reality

mshololens mixedrealityspace 08516 3x2 rgb

A Microsoft rendering shows simulated HoloLens apps.

Credit: Microsoft

Architects have a new reason to pick up Microsoft's HoloLens. A new app can help them explore 3D models of buildings.

Trimble on Monday launched its SketchUp Viewer app for Microsoft's headset, which will allow people to use the HoloLens's augmented reality capabilities for viewing models created in SketchUp. The app will have two modes: one that allows people to view a scaled-down version of the model using the HoloLens, and another that allows them to view what a building modeled in SketchUp would look like from the inside.

Deploying a HoloLens with SketchUp Viewer will cost businesses a pretty penny. The app costs $1,500, on top of the HoloLens's whopping $3,000 price tag. Still, it's a new and different way for people to visualize models in a way they couldn't before.

What will be interesting to see is the impact that SketchUp Viewer's launch will have on the HoloLens overall. Software available for the device is still in its nascent stages, compared to the ecosystems around other hardware platforms.

SketchUp Viewer could serve as a bellwether for commercial HoloLens software overall. If Trimble succeeds at getting significant adoption of its software, that could spur other companies to follow suit when it comes to developing HoloLens applications.

SketchUp Viewer isn't the only 3D modeling app coming to the HoloLens, either. Microsoft has also partnered with Autodesk on bringing its Fusion 360 modeling software to mixed reality as well.

Monday's news comes roughly a month after Microsoft opened preorders for HoloLens headsets in six new countries around the world: Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand and the UK.

To express your thoughts on Computerworld content, visit Computerworld's Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter stream.
Windows 10 annoyances and solutions
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.