Augmented reality is one of the most talked about technology trends in construction in recent years. By blurring the line between the physical worksite and digital information, AR is making construction teams more efficient, productive, cost-effective, and safer.
The global AR market is expected to grow by $90 billion by 2020. As the technology continues to break ground and gain increased adoption among construction companies, it will become a standard tool for building projects.
How Does Augmented Reality Work?
Although AR shares similarities with virtual reality, VR is an all-digital experience. Augmented reality, on the other hand, projects 3D images over a person’s physical surroundings, fusing the benefits of both views.
An AR headset or enabled-tablet uses GPS and cameras to display real-time data geospatially to where the user is located. Information such as schedules, structural plans, and logistics are easily accessible on the worksite, automating building projects and making them more efficient.
How is AR Changing Construction?
With the power to provide real-time information over the real world, AR can overall boost the quality of building projects. Here are six areas where AR is revolutionizing in 2019 and beyond.
1. Project Planning and Previewing
Builder planners often use 3D software to produce interactive models of their building plans. An AR-enabled device can allow users to superimpose 3D models over these 2D sketches and bring them to life, allowing contractors, builders, and designers to share previews with clients and make any detailed changes to the plans before a project gets started.
2. Building Measurements
When working on a job site, contractors can use an AR device to digitally and accurately measure the space’s dimensions with a simple tap. This information can be referenced with building plans on the site, allowing builders to iron out project inconsistencies and plan for the right resources. 3. Project Modifications
AR grants users the ability to view digital information over the real world. By displaying virtual views of a building against its actual physical dimensions, builders can easily troubleshoot projects and make modify or update virtual plans with only a few taps.
4. On-site Information
With an AR device, contractors can bring up all the information and specifications of a construction site in virtual “layers”, such as the planned locations for pipes, outlets, switches, and drill holes. The ability to access and overlay information over the physical building increases project accuracy and prevents any builders from missing any steps.
5. Collaboration Among Teams
A construction project typically involves multiple teams, including the designers, builders, planner, managers, and clients. It takes time for all these teams to regroup and review blueprints in the event of a project delay. Using AR, building teams can take notes and videos of a building project in real time and directly send them to other team members for review. This speeds up the time and reduces the cost for teams to reach a decision on a building project. 6. Safety Training
Safety is another area of construction experiencing new trends to make worker safety. With the help of an AR headset, workers can see virtual drills, safety scenarios, and instructions directly on the worksite and experience real-life scenarios.