Construction is a rapidly-evolving sector that’s not only adapting to new technologies but also fosters their creation. Virtual reality (VR), a term that refers to the simultaneous presence of an image with the user and an immersive environment, has already made its mark in construction by providing designers with more realistic 3D renderings and faster site planning. Augmented reality (AR) is the next logical step in this evolution, and it’s already being integrated into construction projects to streamline planning processes, improve communication between different disciplines, and cut costs. With so many beneficial use cases emerging from AR integration in construction projects, it’s important for contractors and suppliers to understand how AR will impact their industry.
What is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality is a live view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input, which can be visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory, etc. Basically, augmented reality is a technology that allows one to view digital elements integrated into the real world. These images could be text, graphics, video, or 3D models and simulations. The most common use of augmented reality is in smartphones when companies like Apple or Google use AR to let you view the name of an object through your camera. For example, if you want to know what that plant is, you can use your camera and the app will show you what it is. AR is gaining popularity in everyday uses, especially in e-commerce and entertainment. Traditionally, augmented reality has been used in marketing and engineering, but a new form of augmented reality is making its mark in various industries, including the construction field.
Why Does AR Matter in Construction?
Augmented reality has many applications in the construction industry like Nsflow. One of the biggest benefits of using AR in construction is that it can help to eliminate the need for paper files and reduce the number of hours spent on administrative tasks. This can have a significant impact on productivity, and allow employees to focus their time on more important and demanding work. AR can also help to improve communication between project teams by serving as a digital meeting room. These benefits are not only limited to team members who are physically on-site. These benefits are not only limited to team members who are physically on-site. Project stakeholders who are distributed across distant locations can share information, video conferences, and access project documents in real-time, making it easier for teams to collaborate. This means that the project team can access important information from anywhere, including team members who are at a different office, or even on vacation, viewing content on their smartphones or tablets.
How to Use AR in Construction?
VR and AR are often confused, as they both have similar uses and technology. However, they also have some significant differences. The key difference between the two technologies is that VR is fully immersive, while AR is not. In other words, VR places users in an entirely created environment, and AR places computer-generated images into the real world. In construction, VR can be used for site planning, 3D modeling, and walkthroughs. On the other hand, AR can be used for visualization, communication, and measurement.
The introduction of the newest technology helps the industry maintain the highest standards and work safety. Equipping frontline workers with AR devices improves easy access to project documentation and detailed instructions. Additionally, wearable technology frees workers’ hands, contributing to on-site safety.
How AR Can Save Money on Construction Projects
Although many construction companies are just beginning to see the value of AR, the technology can have a significant impact on many different aspects of the construction project process. However, these companies can only benefit from AR if they use it properly.
The following are a few ways that using AR can save money on construction projects.
Improved Coordination. By using AR to view design plans, schedule details, and other project information, contractors can more easily coordinate with all project stakeholders, including designers, suppliers, subcontractors, and project owners. – Faster Onsite Identification – AR can also be used onsite to identify materials and equipment, including equipment and machinery that is being delivered to the project site.
Updated 3D Models. with the progress of construction and changes in the project site, it may be necessary to update design plans. With AR, design plans can be quickly updated in real-time to reflect the latest information.
Reduced Risks. AR can help to reduce risks during construction projects by providing real-time information, such as water flow, soil types, and equipment performance.
Final Words: Should You Be Worried About AR in Construction?
In short, construction companies are increasingly using augmented reality to improve the efficiency of their projects. While augmented reality has been around since the 1990s, it is only now that the technology has become accessible enough to be used on construction sites. Augmented reality is not just a gimmick; it has real benefits for the industry. With AR, construction project teams can better collaborate with each other, enjoy real-time access to important information, and make smarter decisions based on reliable data. Overall, AR has the potential to transform construction projects and boost project success rates. What is important, implementing AR in professional processes doesn’t need to equal redundancies. Ceding some tasks to technology allows moving employees to other tasks, where their potential will be better allocated.