A new app will enable builders and their buyers to view homes and remodeling jobs in virtual reality without a headset--all before the project is built.

The Chief Architect 3D Viewer is a free app that runs on mobile devices and allows the user to experience exterior, interior and cross section views using Chief Architect’s Sojourn virtual reality navigation tools to walk or fly through designs.

“Virtual reality has become the next tool to help clients or homeowners visualize and immerse themselves in a design. This can be a very important aspect of not only selling a project to an apprehensive client, but also to make sure the project is exactly what they want before construction begins," says Scott Harris, Chief Architect vice president. VR headsets can be expensive and create a discomfort for the user, he adds, so the software company came up with a unique way to display VR on a tablet or phone – a device most clients already own.

Designers can publish their preliminary or completed projects created in Chief Architect’s desktop software (PC or Mac version) to a cloud account hosted by Chief Architect. Once on the cloud, the model can be shared with clients by simply sending them a Share invitation. The client only needs to download the app from Apple’s iTunes or Google’s Play store and then using the share code, they can view and interact with the model. Using the virtual reality navigation controls, they can fly or physically walk through the model, go up and down stairs and even look outside using the background camera and see the model on their lot.