What role can augmented reality play in the construction sector?
The art of building design and construction is one that has always been dictated by the technologies available at the time. Improvements to the materials, tools, vehicles and IT available have all had a significant impact in pushing the boundaries of what it is possible to build.
Today, increased use of smartphones and the introduction of formalised mobile strategies are delivering a host of benefits at every stage of a building project’s lifecycle. Better communications channels, as well as instant access to data, maps and cameras all have several uses when it comes to architecture and construction.
Experimenting with augmented reality
Augmented Reality (AR) is one such technology facilitated by mobile that is now delivering benefits for architects, construction workers, and even the maintenance teams responsible for looking after buildings following completion.
Once maligned as a consumer proposition with limited commercial applications, AR is providing the building design and construction industries with tools that increase agility and mobility, while simultaneously reducing inefficiencies.
At the design stage, architects are using AR to generate 3D models from 2D plans that can also demonstrate the effect that wind and other factors will have on completed buildings. In addition, some AR platforms can isolate specific elements of an overall design, allowing for closer inspection and even full scale presentation.
Using AR in this way makes sense as it removes much of the time and resource involved with producing physical models and prototypes. It also helps to more naturally represent the intended appearance of a design – end users can now take a tour of a building before a brick has been laid, as AR overlays a virtual representation at the proposed site.