Augmented Reality

Earlier in the year we had the Building Point guys come to our office to show off a HoloLens – An Augmented Reality head set. It was most interesting.

We hear a lot about AR and VR and many may wonder what’s the difference and how does it affect us as Steel Detailers? We the difference simply is this:

  • AR (Augmented Reality) – Is placing a digital environment over the top of the environment you are currently in
  • VR (Virtual Reality) – Is immersing One’s self into a digital environment

The HoloLens essentially, through the use of the headset, dumped a model into our office. We used one of our own projects and looked at it in 1:1 and 1:20. It was quite interesting but there wasn’t a great deal of use that could be had but the ideas of its potential soon started to sprout – for instance;

  • Architects could use AR or VR to sell a project to a client by giving them a realistic 1:1 impression of the finished product.
  • Builders should use AR on site to visualise the build.
  • Fabricators could use AR to assist in fabricating something complex, where it is difficult to show detail on a 2D drawing.

I really can’t see any use of AR or VR in Steel Detailing, however it is certain that our models would be invaluable to those downstream in fabrication and Construction when used by those guys.

Technology is really pushing ahead at a rapid pace and it’s difficult to see where the AEC industry will be in 10 years’ time. I do see tools like HoloLens becoming something of importance as the projects get more complex, there is a greater need for visualisation. In so many cases, providing 2D documentation to convey a message isn’t enough anymore.

Here are some reference links: