4 ways Augmented Reality has revolutionised the construction industry
People used to say that money was what made the world go round but, in today’s day and age, that no longer seems to hold true. Today, money has been replaced by technology as the focus of business growth; in essence, without implementing technological advances into your work, you’ll only end up shooting yourself in the foot.
The construction industry is no exception to the rule either and, as time has moved on, the processes involved with construction have become more and more centred around technology.
Augmented and Virtual Reality have been largely responsible for this growing movement, helping train new and existing workers on how to not only stay safe but also work more efficiently. But, how exactly have these forms of technology made a difference?
In this article, we take a detailed look at how Augmented Reality, in particular, has impacted the construction industry. Join us as we go through the four key uses that this technological advance now offers workers.
First things first, if you don’t know what Augmented Reality (AR) actually is, you’re going to need to get clued up.
Augmented Reality works by overlaying computer-generated video onto a camera-captured video, making it appear in the exact location the camera is being pointed at. As the camera then moves through the real-world visuals, the overlaid computer graphics portray a 3D model of how the work is going to look after it’s been done.
As a result of this, AR can help with a wide range of areas within the construction industry, especially when it comes to project planning. After all, AR displays both the environmental and social impacts involved with a project. This, in turn, provides planning teams with a visual overview of how a project should look upon completion, alerting them to any potential environmental or societal issues in advance.
While on the subject of making construction-related changes, one of the best benefits of using AR in construction is having the ability to visibly see how everything fits before any materials are ordered or labour costs are worked out. This, in turn, can prevent high costs mounting up later on down the line, as issues can be discovered and rectified before the work has even started.
Likewise, as a result of this, any potential architectural inconsistencies can also be quickly identified and changed using only a few clicks of a button. Say a building team is fitting a loft conversion at a family home, for instance. Using AR, that team can quickly identify any practical issues before they get started with the work.
Ensuring correct safety practices on worksites has been such a common challenge within the industry over the years.
However, AR has since changed that for the better. Wearables like smart glasses can now be used as safety equipment to perform AR-based inspections. By conducting inspections in this way, this not only saves time, cuts costs and improves safety, but it also makes complications and serious concerns easier to recognise.
New wearables with Augmented Reality embedded into them – such as DAQRI’s smart glasses and Microsoft’s Halolens – have significantly improved the ability for construction worker’s to measure spaces more accurately.
As a result of this, companies can now use models to precisely determine the dimensions of a project before and during work. This, in turn, provides them with the opportunity to comprehensively view how the project will appear, highlighting measurements like height, depth and width in scrutinising detail.
The ordering process for the materials required then becomes more efficient as well since having more accurate measurements reduces the likelihood of there being as much waste material.
Thanks to the continual rise of AR technology, the world is fast becoming a more interconnected and safer place to live than ever before. This is especially true of the construction industry, where the technology has revolutionised many of the processes involved with building work.
From planning projects to ordering materials to staying safe on the worksite, AR looks set to continue revolutionising the construction industry over the coming years as well, not only improving the overall safety of workers but increasing their working efficiency too.