Augmented reality, also known as spatial computing, is a term that refers to the way that humans use digital devices to view an altered version of the physical world around them. While the technology began as a novelty for games and smart phone tricks, engineers and designers are now using it to change the way we look at the construction industry. In fact, the augmented reality market is on par to hit an estimated $60 billion by 2023.
For centuries, architects have made models of buildings before actually constructing them, but with augmented reality, those models can be built digitally, allowing architects, engineers, designers and city planners to zoom in and zoom out, look around themselves at the construction project as though it was actually completed. And they can do it on a scale that models never could: instead of looking at a model of a single building or group of buildings, now an entire city can be viewed at once, allowing views from the top down, or from the street up, or from the front door of the planned space.
This technology can be combined with other augmented reality concepts to revolutionize the construction process. Using Microsoft’s HoloLens headset, workers and foremen can turn their 2D blueprints into 3D models, allowing them to get a better grasp of how a building will look before it’s built—and giving a way to spot problems before they happen.
For more information about Augmented Reality in construction, check out this article from Interesting Engineering.