How Realistic Is Augmented Reality for Construction?

If you stay up-to-date with industry innovations, you may have heard some exciting claims about augmented reality in the construction industry. Proponents of AR suggest that this technology can streamline workflows, minimize rework and increase overall productivity. However, because augmented reality and similar systems like virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR) are still in the early stages of development and implementation, you might struggle to understand how they would benefit your construction business.

Is AR the future of construction? And if so, how will AR tools realistically function on the job? Let’s take a closer look at the answers to these questions.

Is Augmented Reality the Future of Construction?

AR has many practical applications outside of entertainment. This technology — which allows users to experience digital images and information superimposed over a real environment — can be put to creative use in industries including education, healthcare and construction.

The technology that makes AR possible is still evolving, becoming more advanced and more useful. Mixed reality, for example, combines AR and VR concepts by fully integrating digital objects with the real environment. In this way, MR allows users to view digital objects from different angles and interact with the virtual world more realistically.

Smartphones and tablets can be inconvenient and vulnerable to damage on a construction site, whether they’re used to access 2D plans or AR models. However, new augmented reality devices like the Trimble XR10 for Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 incorporate headsets into standard, ANSI-compliant hardhats. These devices make access to virtual information through AR much more realistic for construction professionals.

Though it’s impossible to say exactly what the future of the construction industry will look like, there’s a strong chance that augmented, virtual and mixed reality tools will play a role.

Real-World Applications for Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality in the Construction Industry

People are already using AR, VR and MR to improve construction processes. Here are some of the real-world applications for these technologies:

  • Quality control: When integrated with 3D modeling software like AutoCAD, AR technology can allow construction workers to easily identify design-to-build discrepancies and issues with prefabricated component quality.
  • Remodel visualization: When working on building remodels, workers can use AR or MR to easily compare the existing layout to new plans and reveal the locations of various systems that are hidden by walls and other structures.
  • Worker training: Companies can use AR tools to train workers on safety procedures before they set foot on an active worksite. Training in augmented or virtual reality can benefit both new and existing employees.
  • Client walk-through: To limit the need for redesign late into a project, companies use AR and VR to give clients a realistic sense of building plans. With a virtual walk-through, clients can request changes before the project begins, saving you time and money.

Learn More With BuildingPoint Southeast

Augmented reality has become a more viable option for construction firms in recent years. As the technology continues to improve, industry adoption is likely to increase. To learn more about applying augmented reality to your construction operations, reach out to BuildingPoint Southeast today. Our knowledgeable representatives would be happy to answer any questions you may have about the future of AR, VR and MR technology.

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