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How DIRTT Is Using Video Game Software to Help Design Hospitals

Back in June 2014, SpaceTrak was at the DIRTT Chicago Showroom as part of NeoCon 14. If there’s one thing, they know how to throw a party. There was an ice cream parlor from Savannah, Georgia with a special DIRTT ice cream flavor. There was a rocking blues band that dished out a few sets. There was Sushi Mike, a sushi chef who single-handedly fed basically every person at that party.

There was also a booth across from us that had a couple of large display monitors and Oculus Rift headsets. Along with everyone else, we were curious. Once some volunteers manned the headsets, though, we figured out what was going on. The monitors displayed 3-D layouts of hospitals you could navigate through, like a video game. If you’re familiar with Oculus Rift, the headsets immersed you into this world. It really felt like you were in a hospital, navigating through its layout.

Oculus Rift Space Management Design Software Oculus Rift 2 Space Design Software

Now The Washington Post has reported that DIRTT actually incorporated open-source software from the wildly successful ’90s video game, Doom. If you’re less familiar with Doom, it’s a first-person shooter in which you fight demons from hell. Now instead of wandering through sinister landscapes, you get to assess the layout and space planning of hospitals. The Washington Post explains as such:

“The software takes traditional blueprints and turns them into a 3-D image, allowing contractors that provide plumbing, wiring and so on to coordinate on virtual walls right from the start of a project. The idea — appealing to anyone who has ever renovated a kitchen — is to eliminate the costs and delays that come when diverse crews run into unexpected problems.”

Hopefully DIRTT won’t toss in any easter eggs with demons hiding behind corners. But as DIRTT hopes, “the same Doom-based system will also help hospitals that want to reconfigure a room’s wall panel quickly for patients with different needs or to accommodate new technology.”

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