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Augmented Reality in Construction

27th April 2016

It’s safe to say that most people in this day and age have heard of virtual reality; but have you heard about augmented reality, and how it has brought promising opportunities along with it?

What is Augmented Reality?

In basic terms, augmented reality is a live view of the real world (such as through the camera on your phone) that has been changed and added to by some sort of computer software. Virtual reality replaces the real world with a computer-simulation, whereas augmented reality takes the real world and adds things to it, such as showing you what it would look like having a mirror on a wall in your home or changing a 2D plan into a 3D model.

What does it Mean for the Construction Industry?

So how does augmented reality affect the construction industry and what opportunities does it open up? Similarly to Building Information Modelling (BIM), augmented reality allows you to have access to extremely detailed 3D designs of projects that are still early in the planning stage. Although it takes it one step further, as not only does it give you access to these 3D models, augmented reality allows you to see how it will look in front of you in real life. This could be as small as a birdhouse in the tree of your back garden, or as large as a full skyscraper that will be added to a city’s skyline. If you have a 2D plan of a building, you can use augmented reality to give you a 3D visualisation of that plan, allowing you to see how it actually looks in real life.

Many people find it difficult to properly visualize a 2D plan in 3D. Through the use of both BIM and augmented reality, anyone is able to have an easy and simple way to visual a detailed 3D model that accounts for every material needed in the project, all with the ability to see the project in the real world. The use of BIM along with augmented reality works towards saving a fortune in rework costs, giving the opportunity to change any part or stage of a full project before it has even left the planning stage.

Watch this short video below to see a basic demo of how augmented reality works.

Augmented reality is the future of planning and constructing a project no matter how small or large, opening up many opportunities for simplicity in planning and potentially saving millions in planning and rework costs.

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