Arkio is a Collaborative Tool for Architecture Design & Review, Available Now on Quest, PC, & More

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Arkio is a collaborative VR tool built for quickly sketching architectural ideas and for reviewing designs with a group. In addition to a focus on speed, Arkio also aims to be cross-platform and easy to use, with the ability for VR and non-VR users to collaborate together. The 1.0 version of the tool is available starting this week across Quest, Rift, SteamVR, iOS, Android, and Windows.

Built by a self-funded Iceland-based startup, Arkio aims to bring intuitive, fully-featured architectural sketching to VR. But not just on powerful PCs; the team says it built its own modeling kernel to make rapid modeling and complex operations like booleans work even on Quest. And with support for Quest, Oculus PC, SteamVR, Windows, and smartphones, almost anyone can jump in to collaborate in real-time.

After a year in beta, Arkio 1.0 launched this week and its full version with all features will be free through September 1st. Following that, a free tier will allow for continued use of full modeling tools, though some other features will be reserved for paid tiers starting at  $55 per month.

Speaking with Road to VR, the Arkio team says it has a clear focus on real architecture workflows. Rather than sketching out its own proprietary geometry, Arkio is designed to also be able to import existing 3D models from industry standard tools like Revit, Rhino, Sketchup, and BIM 360. And when you’re done sketching, you can sync your work back to the same applications.

Image courtesy Arkio

Of course, you might run into performance issues with heavier models on Quest. The team says the Quest version of Ariko can currently support models up to some 400,000 polygons, though they’re hoping to be able to handle larger models in the future.

As for collaborating with others, the team says upwards of 10 users can be modeling at the same time. For review sessions (touring, discussing, and annotating models), they say you could have some 20 users in a single session.

Image courtesy Arkio

Those users could be spread out across VR and non-VR platforms alike. While the VR apps have the easiest to use and most feature-rich modeling capabilities, the Arkio smartphone apps retain a surprising range of capabilities, including being able to annotate, measure, model, and edit. There’s even AR support for easily navigating large models.

Arkio running in AR mode on an iPad | Image courtesy Arkio

Another goal for the Arkio team was to make collaboration easy. And they’ve gotten a long way there thanks to a no-account approach and the ability for someone on any supported device to join any session as long as you’ve got the room name and password.

While Arkio is presently designed primarily around sketching and concepting larger structures and even campuses, the team says it hopes to improve the app’s modeling capabilities so that users can just as easily design smaller spaces like homes and even individual rooms.

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  • mappo

    Very cool! But $55/month is haha money. Creative Cloud isn’t even trying to milk it that hard.

    • Hilmar Gunnarsson

      Thanks for your feedback and great to hear you think Arkio is cool :)

      Just to clarify regarding the pricing, the prices for the Pro and Enterprise plans are for floating licenses, i.e. max number of concurrent users, a popular pricing model in the AEC industry.

      Our goal is to make Arkio available to as many people as possible, hence the Free plan that will be available alongside our paid plans for professional users and larger design studios.

      Please let us know what you think if you get a chance to try Arkio, all the features are completely free until September 1.

  • kakek

    You know, sketchup has a very well made VR plugin called VR sketch.
    It pretty much does all that, except better, and cheaper.
    Allows you to work directly on your Sketchup model in VR, doing collaborative work with other people in VR or on computer, remote or local, support cloud, very well made interface …
    Exists with a free license for students.

    • benz145

      Good tip! Check it out here: https://vrsketch.eu/

    • Available on mobile? (quest)

      • kakek

        Yes.

        Though I must say, it is a a Sketchup plugin, not a complete tool by itself.

        So when you have the plugin installed, on PC you can clic extension -> VR Sketch -> send to VR on Quest. You then get a 6 digit number.

        On quest, in the VRSketch app, you enter those 6 digits and it opens the model, edition and collaborative work enabled.
        The Quest do not not need to be linked to to the PC, or even on the same network. The model will be running independantly on the quest.

        BUT as far as I can tell the model need to be opened first on a PC.

        It is possible to upload the model to the cloud from the PC, and then open it anytime from the quest, but then it’s view only.

  • This looks like a great application!