Use of Augmented Reality in Construction Industry

“Simply put, we believe augmented reality is going to change the way we use technology forever. We’re already seeing things that will transform the way you work, play, connect and learn.” — Tim Cook

Many technology leaders in the world believe in the power of augmented reality and how it can change the way people perceive things around them. For many who don’t know, Augmented reality (AR) adds digital elements to a live view often by using the camera on a smartphone or any other technology. While virtual reality implies complete immersion through shutting out the outside world, augmented reality opens it to new experiences. With AR being effectively used by social media platforms like Snapchat, it is on its way to prove its worth in various other industries. One of these industries is the zillion-dollar worth construction industry.

Recently, construction companies have been adopting augmented reality technologies as well as BIM (Building Information Modeling) because combined — they reduce the troubles during the construction process. Augmented reality gives a more accurate view of the building structure because it provides a more precise 3-D view of the 2-D drawings, which are very complex to interpret and understand.

Augmented reality in construction makes it possible to combine virtual architectural designs with the physical reality of a job site. This amazing technology increases accuracy and efficiency by reducing errors related to managing time, money, and resources. There are several ways augmented reality can boost a construction project. A few of them are covered below.

Image Source: BDC Network

Design Analysis: Using AR, project designers can accurately analyze the design because they can walk through the proposed project, catch any design flaws and make any adjustments in just a few taps.

Accuracy: Before the project is executed, AR provides teams with a walkthrough of the entire project — including its details and exact measurements. Augmented reality gear and wearables like DAQRI’s smart glasses and Microsoft’s Halolens can measure a space’s physical elements, including depth, height, and width. By incorporating BIM with augmented reality, companies can use models to accurately determine the dimensions and comprehensively view how the project will appear.

On-site revision: The best benefit of using augmented reality is the ability to see how features fit on the site. It gives project managers the visibility to see how everything fits on-site to scale before materials are ordered or the amount of labor needed for installation. Workers will be able to tap and automatically measure built pieces and compare them to the specified measurements from a model when wearing wearables on-site.

Team Collaboration: Construction projects require a great deal of collaboration between multiple teams, including carpenters, electricians, plumbers, welders, designers, and managers. A successful collaboration ensures that a project is completed on time and according to the proposed budget.

However, all the workers involved in a project are not always present on a job site. Any errors that arise must wait for all the parties involved to assemble and review blueprints and make any changes. AR allows users to take notes and share video views of any errors or design issues in question and send the information to any remote teams in real time. On-site and remote team members are able to consult with each other and work with the information needed, greatly lowering the time and costs needed to make a decision among teams.

Underground Excavation: In the excavation process, there is always a risk of potentially hitting a gas line or wrecking underground utilities. One wrong knick of an excavator’s bucket can cause catastrophic explosions or harm. AugView from Augmented Technology is a mobile product that enables users to see things that are underground, such as trenches or buried cables. Augview uses map views from google maps to let users see hidden underground cables or layers.

Augmented reality is one of the best technological advancements to happen in the construction industry because it streamlines every process involved in the project. In the planning stages of construction, AR can showcase to the client what is going to be built to ensure their requirements will be fulfilled. With the rise of technology in our digital world, augmented reality is important to keep up with.