Contruction Today - July/August 2017 - 24
aving long been set in its traditional ways of manual processes, the building construction
industry is quietly undergoing a
revolution by adopting innovative technologies to enhance jobsite safety and efficiency.
This includes drones, IoT, and augmented
and virtual reality (AR and VR). The result is
a big opportunity for construction companies to differentiate themselves through
their application of disruptive technology.
A panel discussion among construction
professionals and project managers at
the Groundbreak 2017 conference in Austin
explored the rising trend of AR and VR. In
many ways, the outlook for AR and VR in
construction matches the current trajectory
of these technologies overall.
Although neither technology has reached
CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM JULY/AUGUST 2017
mass adoption just yet, VR has been first to enter mainstream consciousness, but AR has more long-term potential. And just like other
industries, there's a reason for this in construction.
Construction companies are currently adopting VR more
widely than AR largely because of the hardware development of
the two technologies. Groundbreak panelists explained that the
primary use of VR for construction today is to create immersive
walkthroughs to better understand simulations of physical spaces.
Users can interact with virtual environments, move equipment
or materials around, test project plans, and more. This is where
eye-tracking, hand-tracking and positional tracking capabilities
can come into play.
The idea for VR in construction is to create a 4-D model and go
inside of it to help customers make more informed decisions earlier
in the bidding process, which saves both time and money. This also
allows companies to support their customers more collaboratively.
Customers can feel more confident in their decisions during the
mockup process and participate more actively in the planning stages.
VR can do a lot in this regard, so it's been easy for companies to adopt.