Aniwaa Launches VR and AR Comparison Engine
Jeffrey Heimgartner posted on July 30, 2018 |

While augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) can be traced all the way back to the 1950s and 1960s and Morton Heilig—now often referred to as the “father of virtual reality”—these technologies have only recently made their way into the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. The high cost of software applications, equipment and training, along with a lack of expertise, are a few of the factors contributing to the slow adoption of AR and VR in AEC.

In addition to the factors already mentioned, many companies find it difficult to implement AR and VR due to the vast number of choices combined with the low availability of unbiased and detailed information about available AR and VR options. Finding the best fit of software and equipment for a given application can be extremely difficult, not to mention the subsequent challenge of justifying return on investment (ROI). The best AR or VR solution won’t do much good if it negatively affects profitability.

Aniwaa is working to change all that. Thanks to a recent round of funding, the startup has built what it considers the most complete database yet, which is devoted to virtual, augmented and mixed reality head-mounted displays (HMDs). Aniwaa also just announced a major update to its website and branding. Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Singapore, Aniwaa provides information about emerging technologies such as 3D printing, 3D scanning, and virtual and augmented reality. Its goal is to help those interested in these technologies find the right products by providing the information and guidance needed for consumers to make informed decisions about them. Aniwaa is able to accomplish this by providing comparison tools, in-depth articles and product reviews.

Aniwaa's comparison engine helps users compare 3D printers, 3D scanners, VR headsets and AR glasses. Image courtesy of Aniwaa.)
Aniwaa's comparison engine helps users compare 3D printers, 3D scanners, VR headsets and AR glasses. Image courtesy of Aniwaa.)

The company has even developed its own rating system, called a metascore, and which is meant to provide a fair and balanced assessment of the products it covers. The metascore is an index based on ratings from trusted sources, as well as fair and unbiased evaluations of these hardware products. Aniwaa also tests and reviews all the products in-house and follows its own independent testing protocol to make the process as fair and balanced as possible. Its website states that “Because researching and comparing the latest tech devices can be a daunting task, we do the heavy lifting for our users so they can focus on what really matters: choosing the best product.”

A snapshot of Aniwaa's VR/AR Headset Comparison Engine. (Image courtesy of Aniwaa.)
A snapshot of Aniwaa's VR/AR Headset Comparison Engine. (Image courtesy of Aniwaa.)

“There are many overlaps between VR/AR and 3D printing, so it was a logical choice for us,” commented Pierre-Antoine Arrighi, Aniwaa’s cofounder and technical advisor. “New hardware is being announced almost every week now, which is great, but it’s also creating a very fragmented space. The number of headsets more than doubled since we started discussing this project at the beginning of the year, and this is where we can make a difference.”

The Aniwaa product database currently includes 1,400 3D printers, 250 3D scanners, and over 100 VR/AR headsets—numbers that are growing all the time. The database allows potential AR and VR consumers to compare hundreds of VR headsets and AR glasses with Aniwaa’s comparison engines, while at the same time, they can gather more information from unbiased and in-depth product reviews. Aniwaa also has guides that can help users navigate these complex emerging technologies so that they can understand the products’ different applications and make the best choices based on their needs and budget.

Aniwaa’s website and comparison engine will potentially be a big help to those in the AEC industry looking to adopt and implement AR and VR solutions. The site covers all extended reality categories (virtual, mixed and augmented): tethered (or PC) VR, stand-alone VR, smartphone VR, mixed reality headsets and AR glasses (smart glasses), enabling users to search and compare by price, technology, technical specs, reviews and ratings. Being able to easily compare multiple options while evaluating ROI potential will allow companies to make the best choices based on applications and budgets.


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