Having a wild imagination is a talent that not everyone has been blessed with. To be able to imagine a certain placement of an object and allow your eye to visually blend futuristic components of a certain space or building is considered a challenge to some people.
The concept of electrically displaying data that overlays onto real life was first thought about in 1901 by L Frank Baum, but it was not fully comprehended until 1990 by Thomas P. Caudell. Today, as the Internet and smartphone technology continues to make inroads across the world, the demand for augmented reality applications has risen.
What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented Reality is a technology that blends digital components into the real world, through computer-generated layers that overlay content on an existent environment. By merging the virtual reality world with the actual world, every person can see the actual surrounding environment combined with computer-generated imagery.
This innovation is considered a technological breakthrough in one of the oldest professions in the world. Even though that construction industry is on a slow pace for entering the digital mobilization world, it holds a steady position. Although Augmented Reality is still carving its path in almost every industry, its market valued $4.21 bln in 2017 and expected to reach $60.55 bln by 2023. The immersive experience of technology has already replaced paper, hardcopy of blueprints, sketches and design plans by drones, 3D models and interactive involvement with the project. Augmented Reality has successfully penetrated the real estate market and now is considered one of the most trends talked about in construction. Now, it became possible to generate 3D models directly on a 2D plan. AR is being used to increase efficiency, improve safety, enhance collaboration, manage costs and overall project phases.
Are you with or against Augmented Reality in construction?
At this point, we are presenting the benefits and drawbacks for implementing the AR technology in your project, leaving the decision to you.
- Project planning
This technology has allowed construction companies to build interactive models and present them to their clients at the very beginning of the project. The realistic overview of the project enhances accuracy and portrays the high sense of involvement while preventing costly overruns and schedule delays at later stages.
- Project modifying
Imagine being on a site and wanting to add a specific remark, or remove a wall, make measurements and compare them to the original plans, you can easily engage with what you see on site. With the ability to display interior and exterior perspectives of one structure, engineers are capable of locating components and relocating them only with a few taps on their devices.
- Streamline of information
Being on-site with an AR device gives you the power of viewing all information needed, including locations of pipes, outlets, walls, and ventilation systems. A project member can easily access the layers of the project, add the modification desired by contacting the contractor directly and oversee the process of completion.
- One for the team
This specific aspect of any project is vital to each one of the team members. Any construction site is famous for being a beehive workplace including developers, property managers, architects, project managers, contractors, civil engineers, and facility managers. A well-established collaboration between the team is always needed as it pushes towards completing the project successfully. AR allows you to detect an error or an issue and remotely contact the person responsible for it.
Everything in this world has its pro and cons, having discussed the pros lets portray the cons and imagine how can it be solved without having to compromise catching a seat on the train of emerging technologies.
- Internet connection
Being on a construction site means not having a stable internet connection by default, hence the possibility of not having access to real-time collaboration stands out as a bottleneck issue.
- Team’s wellbeing
Wearing a VR device does not allow a person to wear a hard hat while working, and that adds up to the state of worrisome of safety in the workplace.
- Up for changes?
Construction sites are well-known for being an environment that undergoes constant changes, making it difficult for Augmented Reality technologies to perform at its best as it requires a somehow static situation. However, such an emerging technology has lots of room for limitless possibilities for improvements and optimization.
AR technologies as trendsetters
Now, moving on to those who are willing to invest and dig deep in this technology, here are the most famous reliable examples of AR in the market
- Microsoft HoloLens
Considered the most famous platform used in construction. Microsoft HoloLens is a certified app presenting a new vision for computing, allowing business owners to communicate and collaborate more effectively.
- DAQRI smart helmet
The DAQRI smart helmet is built solely with the intention to increase workforce efficiency. The wearable device allows project members to visualize projects and 3D models as a large-scale 3D environment, where work can easily be compared and the workflow becomes in sync.
- Morpholio AR Sketchwalk
To bridge the gap between conceptual models and reality is what was occupying the minds of the creators of Morpholio AR Sketchwalk. Using AR allows designers to take a walk into their sketches and provide their clients with what is closest to the true reality of the project and how it will end up looking.
The E&C industry is moving rapidly, with technology making an impressive impact on the construction field and the workers in it, it presented a chance for more space of creativity and more room for improvements. Augmented Reality has penetrated one of the oldest professions in the world, allowing real estate professionals a unique experience.
TIME IS MONEY
And because of that famous saying, we tend to follow nowadays; AR is an innovation that pinpoints on two benefits that stand out more than the others. It saves time, avoids repetition and evades cost overruns, by validating the ‘real’ in real estate.