Innovision brings a VR view to land development

Innovision, which is based in Strandhill, Co Sligo, has created innovative virtual reality (VR) visualisations, using real location imagery, for proposed developments.

In recent weeks we reported how with Innovision’s technology, by using VR headsets stakeholders can immerse themselves in a full 360-degree view of the current landscape before switching to a visualisation of the same landscape with the proposed project in place.

“3D Visualisation is the process of bringing 2D design drawings to life by creating a 3D model and combining this with photography to show stakeholders how a development will look if built,” explained Innovision founder John Flanagan.

“From working in the industry over the years, I always got the feeling there was a better way of doing things to allow people to really understand the visual impact a proposed development”

“Innovision is taking this one step further to allow people to easier understand and interpret these visualisations by using virtual reality to immerse the viewer in the environment they are looking at. 

How Innovision works

Man demonstrating workings of a camera to a female colleague.

Innovision’s Elaina Sugrue and John Flanagan in action.

Innovision is a cutting-edge 3D visualisation and mapping consultancy based in the north-west of Ireland.

“We provide high quality photomontages, visualisations, mapping and GIS services for planning applications and Environmental Impact Assessments.

“Innovision strives to become a leader in the visualisation of proposed developments and how they are displayed and viewed by planners, local authorities and the public alike. We aim to go beyond the standard approach, offering new and exciting visualisation techniques which enable interested parties to better comprehend and interpret the impact a development may have on the landscape.”

In 2018, Innovision brought a new innovative service to the market using virtual reality headsets to display proposed developments to local authorities and the public in an immersive and user friendly way.

“This service helps developers (our clients) by providing the public and key decision makers with a better understanding of how a proposed development will look in its surrounding environment,” Flanagan explained.

“This ultimately helps our clients to achieve planning permission with the least number of objections possible. There are also additional applications for this service including as a sales and marketing tool for residential, retail and office developments.

“There is currently no one in Ireland or abroad using VR to showcase high quality photo montages displaying proposed developments within their existing environment. Innovision hopes to lead the way in this respect and build our market share and already increasing client base in the process.”

A visionary founder

Man looking through camera in front of a mountain.

Innovision founder John Flanagan

Innovision was founded by John Flanagan in 2016. He holds an Honours degree in Geographic Science and has more than 10 years’ experience in the photomontage and 3D visualisation industry. He has played a key role in the provision of visualisations and mapping for some of Ireland’s largest infrastructure projects and has worked overseas in the UK, Europe, USA and Africa.

“The idea of setting up Innovision came to me while I was in New Zealand and I realised I loved my work but wanted to do it a little differently”

“I had quit my job in Dublin prior to the arrival of our first daughter (causing much shock and horror to my parents!) to spend time with her and my wife Siobhan during the precious early months. We ended up travelling around New Zealand in a camper van with baby Saoirse.

“The idea of setting up Innovision came to me while I was in New Zealand and I realised I loved my work but wanted to do it a little differently. From working in the industry over the years, I always got the feeling there was a better way of doing things to allow people to really understand the visual impact a proposed development. Many people find it hard to interpret and comprehend the scale of some developments. Innovision strives to assist people with this, be it through online panoramic viewers, visibility mapping or indeed our latest virtual reality service.

The virtual realities of start-up life

Being at the coalface of change is never easy and already Flanagan has learnt some valuable lessons.

“I feel the start-up ecosystem in Ireland is great and there are good supports available if you get out there and do a bit of research on what is available. You need to be hungry for it and make sure the right people hear your ideas.

“People are seldom interested in change for the sake of change. They really have to see added value in what you are offering. This can sometimes take a lot of convincing. “

His advice for fellow founders is to stick to straight talking. “Over the past nearly four years in business I have realised that clients/investors really invest in people just as much as a cool new product or service. If you’re straight talking and up front with people, it goes a long way in building client relationships. It also helps hugely to love what you do and have a desire to make things work better.”

Already Flanagan and his team are looking at the next wave of tech beyond VR.

“Our team are always looking forward at what technologies in software and hardware are being released to see how they could help us maintain our position as a cutting edge service provider. Some of these technologies include virtual reality headset technology and augmented reality (AR).”

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 30 March, 2020