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Augmented reality in the construction industry: Will it work?

By Dan Vo - Design and Marketing Coordinator at Performance Based Group

Augmented reality is a huge topic of conversation in the tech world. It utilises a real-world, physical environmental view (usually through wearable technology or a camera) and integrates a digital component, simulating how that the digital component might exist in the real world. It gives users to opportunity to access new information in the context of their world and surroundings, and has been applied to everything from ski goggles, to Pokemon.

We’ve seen the entertainment industry provide audiences with a new method of interaction with digital medium through VR, but in many industries, such as professional services and construction, the technology has gone largely untouched. So, what’s stopping us from making the most of these advancements?

Lack of knowledge is one. Construction workers and consultants have huge amounts of subject matter expertise, but not many receive any formalised training in advancing and new technologies. AR not only requires an understanding of the software, and your workflow, but it also an understanding of the various hardware that can accompany it.  So, if a company wants to adopt AR and integrate it into their work flows, they’re not just confused about the process, but where they would even start.

 
 Bringing these plans off the page and into the real world prior to investing money in a build could be an incredibly power, cost and time saving tool.

Bringing these plans off the page and into the real world prior to investing money in a build could be an incredibly power, cost and time saving tool.

 

Another factor is cost. Currently, early adopters of AR (and those designing AR products) are incurring a huge fee. When we compound that by the massive time investment required, it’s no wonder that new technologies like AR can be off-putting to even consider. However, when we think about some of the things that AR can achieve, we might think it’s a worthwhile investment.

For example, the ability to show a design as a 3D representation model in the real world within context is an incredibly powerful tool to represent the sense of scale. A computer model now becomes more valuable and more accessible as a person can understand and interact with the information from the 3D model within the building or site.

The untapped potential of AR in the construction industry cannot be overstated. However, with the high cost and time intensive nature of developing, training and implementing both the software and hardware aspects, as well as the lack of knowledge within the industry, it may be considered a gamble to invest in. There’s no doubt that without those investments, AR will never get off the ground. So, the question of whether AR will work in the construction industry can really only be answered by you. Will its entry barriers keep you from investing? Or will you be one of the pioneers to mainstream AR into the industry?

What do you think about AR? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so join the conversation here.


 
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Dan Vo is a design and Marketing Coordinator for Performance Based Group