Virtual reality can make a big impact on many different industries. As of right now, various companies are experimenting with VR as a way to design and build next-generation jails. It is a very different way of designing high-security buildings, although one that will attract a lot of attention.
Designing Jails in Virtual Reality
During the American Jail Association’s annual conference, virtual reality took center stage at one time. Vanir Construction management has showcased how they are designing the next generation of jails using virtual reality technology. Moreover, they also use the same technology to provide “guided tours” of these facilities, which allows people to view the buildings prior to them being built.
Although this may seem like a rather strange business model, it seems there is a lot of merit to this particular idea. America has a prison system which direly needs an overhaul sooner rather than later. Doing so is much easier said than done, and it seems using virtual reality can play an integral role in this process. The state of California, for example, has allocated billions to jail construction, yet a lot more work remains to be done.
Vanir Construction Management’s Bob Fletcher comments:
“We had walked into this one station [in virtual reality] and it became pretty clear the window design wouldn’t work. This is one of the locations in the facility where women and men [are together] so the line of sight was important. We made some design changes that would have [been extremely costly if spotted at a later stage].”
Being able to design jails from the ground up is only part of why VR matters in this regard. It can also be designed to erode the negative image of jails, as they are often seen as locations of punishment, rather than rehabilitation. Whether or not VR can make a positive impact in this regard, remains unclear, but every opportunity deserves to be explored regardless.
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