Technology is changing many industries right now, and we have seen the construction industry seemingly skip other technologies and instead embrace the latest tech of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). We’ll look at some areas of design and construction that are already taking advantage of these technologies.
First, let’s take a look at a mind blowing Augmented Reality video.
Once you go through the door and look back to the parking garage, it is hard to tell which is real.
Why does AR and VR work so well in construction?
BIM blows away the old way way of drawing buildings and machinery because it is based on 3 dimensional drawings rather than 2 dimensional drawings. Since BIM models are 3d like the real world, you can merge views for real and virtual 3d environments.
Once you have these 3d BIM environments, it is much easier to do the following…
- Visualize the end result with virtual reality. Seeing a 3d rendering on screen does not compare to wearing a VR headset and having a virtual walk-through.
- Visualize the end result of an idea in the real world with augmented reality. (This is big right now ,see microsoft hololens video below.)
- Identify the differences between the design and the actual real world, by placing the design into the real world with augmented reality. This is especially helpful when adding to existing structures.
- Share views and allow remote troubleshooting (a video is worth a thousand words?). The remote person can superimpose into the viewport of the viewer. See DAQRI video below.
Who is benefiting most from AR/VR in construction
Architects and designers have always been ahead of the curve in respect to technology, so mosts architects are aware of AR/VR, but some may be surprised at how useful these technologies are.
Most of the larger construction companies have been using BIM (building information modelling) for many years to help in all aspects of building, from beginning to end (especially project management). The virtual and augmented reality technologies have really taken off when combined with BIM.
Construction Development companies can now let buyers do a virtual walkthrough of developments long before they are built.
These walkthroughs can even help with getting approval from local government, or to allow builders to see their creations.
Follow this link to see the Suffolk Construction VR walkthroughs in Miami http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/real-estate-news/article207348989.html
Remote assistance using Augmented Reality for urgent tech support.
Support staff can see via remote video, and even superimpose onto the viewport of the clients VR headset. By using this technology both the client and the provider can save time and money by not having to physically send a technician to a site.
See the DAQRI video below.
Training of safety using virtual reality. See the video here: https://www.forconstructionpros.com/business/construction-safety/blog/21000365/can-virtual-reality-make-construction-safer
View some of the applications of Mixed Reality in the videos below.
Microsoft hololens augmented reality video using their Microsoft Layout program.
DAQRI application of AR/VR using software
Of course video games