Who Uses VR in the Professional World?

With virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive now available to consumers and professionals, the applications for VR technology are rapidly increasing. And, because VR can place people in three-dimensional simulated environments, we’re beginning to see it used as a professional business tool to design, test, and educate.

Below are six fields that are beginning to adopt VR technology.

It comes as no surprise that the gaming industry has been a major driver of VR software and hardware development. Major gaming companies and independent developers have been scrambling to create VR headset-compatible games for an audience in search of an immersive experience. One of the biggest trends in game design now is collaborative VR, in which multiple headset users can interact in the same virtual space.

Static, hand-drawn building renderings may soon be a thing of the past. Architects and engineers are beginning to use game engines like Unreal Engine and Autodesk’s Stingray to develop three-dimensional realizations of buildings to share with clients and collaborators before breaking ground. The new Vectorworks software even allows architects to create a shareable VR panorama by uploading a 3D CAD model to the cloud. This new technology can be a useful communication tool, especially for clients who don’t fully understand scale and spatial relationships when looking at a 2D plan or 3D model. It also gives architects and engineers the opportunity to test environments (e.g. measuring how long it would take someone to exit a building in case of fire) before construction starts.

Real Estate
Some real estate brokerages are experimenting with VR as a way to show homes no matter what physical distance is between the potential buyer and the property. By capturing a 3D video or scan of a property, Realtors allow home buyers to go on a private virtual tour. This saves time and money on travel and could even allow Realtors to show a home to multiple potential buyers at the same time. However, because the cost for a 3D scan or 360-degree video is relatively high, VR in real estate has mostly been restricted to the luxury sphere so far.

In 2015, UCLA’s Department of Neurology integrated the Oculus Rift with a 3D surgery navigation device, allowing surgeons to enter a virtual replica of a patient’s brain. Surgeons and students can use this technology to practice sensitive surgeries and improve their precision without endangering lives.

Virtual reality is also finding a place in mental health services. For example, 3D computer generated environments have been used in immersion or exposure therapy for people with phobias or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Auto Manufacturing
Car makers can use VR software to test vehicle design and safety before manufacturing them. Ford is already using Oculus Rift in their Immersion Lab in Dearborn, Michigan. By putting on VR headsets, designers and engineers can inspect the interior and exterior of a 3D-rendered vehicle, giving them the opportunity to identify potentially costly problems before they arise.

The development of virtual product prototypes isn’t the only application for VR in business. VR can potentially be used to reduce business travel, host remote interviews, give tours of workspaces, and conduct meetings with participants from around the world. Some businesses are also finding customer-facing applications for VR. For example, The North Face used Oculus Rift to let shoppers at stores in South Korea experience a dog sledding adventure. Carnival Cruises ran a promotion at AT&T stores to let visitors explore some of its cruise ships and vacation spots through 360-degree video.

Does Your Business Use VR?
If your business uses VR technology or is thinking of experimenting with it, you need to make sure you have the right technology in place. You can peruse Boxx’s solutions for virtual reality software and contact us if you have any questions!

Why Small Size Matters for Your Workstation

Maybe you’re renting an office space that’s a little smaller than you’d like, or maybe your business has been growing, and you’ve been forced to get creative with your workspace layouts. And, if your business relies on engineers, architects, or other creative professionals, you also have to think about the size of the workstations your team uses to design or render.

When many people think about professional graphics workstations, they think of a giant monolith taking up valuable real estate on or under a desk. However, desktop workstations have been getting smaller and sleeker, which is ideal for offices with limited space. Even if you have a decent amount of space in your office, compact workstations can still be valuable, especially if you’re planning to scale up and will eventually need to pack more workstations into your facility.

As more and more people begin working from home at least part of the time, small workstations can also be a powerful addition to home office setups. With a compact workstation at home, creative professionals can use programs like Maya and SolidWorks without worrying about performance bottlenecks. Additionally, the smallest compact desktop workstations could easily be taken home or on-the-go and hooked up to most any monitors and desktop input setups.

While small size matters, no creative professional wants to compromise function for form. Fortunately, there are now high performance workstations available in a compact form factor. Within these smaller chassis workstations, a lot of power can be packed inside. Small form factor workstations can house high performance processors, two 2.5 inch drives or even smaller M.2 PCI Express solid state drives, powerful graphics cards, liquid cooling and much more.

Space constraints shouldn’t force you to slow down your workflow. Ultra-compact workstations like our tiniest powerhouse, the APEXX 1 can help you blow past performance bottlenecks without taking up a lot of room. The APEXX 1 is loaded with the latest powerful hardware components. The APEXX 1 is just 4.7 inches wide, 8.5 inches tall, and 9.0 inches deep. It weighs in at 7.6 pounds, making it easy to move around your office if the need arises. It may be a cliché, but it’s true that good things come in small packages. Learn more about our powerful compact workstation – the APEXX 1.

In It for the Long Haul

How a 3-year-old BOXX workstation is faster than your brand new Dell or HP.

 “Kaby Lake” is the latest processor from Intel, introduced in early 2017, and features a top clock speed of 4.2GHz. That sounds impressive, until you realize that BOXX offered safely overclocked 4.3GHz workstations as far back as late 2013. While Dell and HP brag about their new 4.2GHz machines, BOXX offers expertly-engineered solutions – with speeds up to 4.9GHz currently – to boost 3D design & modeling performance.

Taking this concept a step further, BOXX has also introduced overclocked multi-core systems that bridge the gap between single-threaded and multi-threaded tasks. Thanks to Intel’s new line of Extreme-series processors, safe overclocking of multi-core CPUs is now possible. Imagine how much faster you can compile a 3D scene using the speed of a single, high-speed overclocked core, and then render your scene in record time with additional overclocked CPU cores. Now your creativity doesn’t have to wait on your hardware!

BOXX workstations are built to last, and they will likely be the most relevant piece of hardware your organization uses for years to come. While cheap, throw-away PCs are just now catching up, BOXX is introducing systems that will outpace those other systems for another 3 or 4 years, and maybe longer. Some BOXXers have even reported using their BOXX workstation for up to 12 years before needing to upgrade. Talk about return on your investment!

Miroslav Dimitrov of Bentley Motors Reviews BOXX renderPRO


Many people make the wrong assumptions that all designers and creative people work on Mac computers – Totally Wrong! Despite their “Pro” name, MacBookPros and MacPros are just good looking consumer grade computers ideal for photographers, graphic designers and home enthusiasts. When it comes to demanding professional work however, we are talking about BOXX, Lenovo ThinkStation, HP Z series and DELL Precision series. Workstations like these are designed to be fast, very reliable and run under heavy loads for many hours, even days! BOXX needs little introduction to the creative professionals. They are computer specialist making some of the finest and fastest workstations for creative professionals.

What is renderPRO then? RenderPRO is a product made from BOXX computers designed to help the creative professionals doing a lot of 3D rendering while simultaneously working on their main workstation, in other words it’s a personal render farm/slave. If you’re familiar with certain BOXX products already you will find that the unit is cleverly designed to sits on top of your Apexx 4 or 5 workstation. It comes in the same black grained exterior colour to match your workstation too. It’s really good to look at and it feels solid! Unlike the mainstream computer vendors, all BOXX products feel solid and made with high quality and durable materials so no surprise here.

One thing to consider, this little beast is not meant to be used as a main workstation or stand alone computer, although it can be. The main purpose of this little but powerful unit is to sit on top of your workstation and render large 3D scenes while you’re working on your computer.



While Apple Commits to U.S. Manufacturing, BOXX has been Made in the U.S.A. for over 20 years!

According to the Austin Business Journal, Apple CEO Tim Cook, when speaking to the shareholders at the company’s annual meeting, said that the tech giant remains committed to U.S. manufacturing, reminding those assembled that two-thirds of Apple employees work in the United States. Of course, that also means that a third of Apple’s workforce is located overseas. Although that sounds much less positive, the good news for our local economy is that 6000 residents of Austin, Texas, earn a paycheck from Apple.

BOXX employs but a fraction of that labor force, but then again, the core of our business is building professional grade computer workstations, not smart phones. Nevertheless, since Apple was once committed to the media &entertainment market we serve, it must be said that our state-of-the-art hardware solutions (including the custom chassis), are designed, built, tested, sold, and supported in the USA. For VFX artists, animators, and motion media pros, as well as engineers, product designers, architects, and others, that’s the value-add in choosing BOXX.

Without fail, U.S. political or economic news these days includes politicians and corporations talking about bringing American manufacturing back home. Talk is cheap. Apple manufactures in China. HP does too (along with Mexico). Dell is in Mexico as well, in addition to Asia, South America. . .you get the idea. I wish all these multi-national commodity computer manufacturers would bring those jobs and dollars back to our shores, but I would also ask that when you see these stories, keep in mind that BOXX never left.

For 21 years, industry publications, benchmark tests, and (of course) the recommendations of customers worldwide—from high profile corporations, firms, and studios, to small businesses and independent operators, have heralded the power and performance of BOXX workstations and rendering systems. But if you delve deeper, you’ll also discover what “Made in the USA” means to our customers. To them, it’s more than a slogan. The same goes for us.

The expert BOXX performance specialist who listens to your workflow issues and provides you with the specific solution, the engineers at BOXXlabs who design and thoroughly test your BOXX solution, the skilled production techs who build it, and the professionals of legendary BOXX Technical Support who can solve any problem you may encounter, can be found at BOXX headquarters in Austin, Texas. And the revenue? It stays here too.

No other U.S.-based computer company can make that claim.