Architects, construction professionals, and other creatives in the construction industry can easily create visual images from descriptions and diagrams. Their clients, however, often lack the experience and personal vision to translate written or spoken explanations to mental imagery. Fortunately, developments in the augmented reality (AR) industry are changing how architects and other construction professionals communicate with their clients – as well as with investors and other interested parties.
A Step Up From Virtual Reality
A virtual reality environment immerses a person into a fictitious environment and allows him or her to interact with it. Augmented reality, on the other hand, combines a real, existing space with a digital model that augments its dimensions, components, and contents to create a forecasted view of its eventual completion, according to AutoDesk. This technology is where reality and fiction collide.
In the construction industry, experts can use AR technology to demonstrate their vision for clients. The best part is that it all starts with a simple photograph and a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet.
Augmented Reality Apps
Several augmented reality apps already exist, according to Architect magazine, including Visidraft and SmartReality. These apps serve as plugins for your design software that allows you to build a future reality onto an existing site or shell.
With some of the apps, users can scan in their two-dimensional plans and model them into three-dimensional images. The apps recognize the photograph of the space for the construction and generates a model that allows the user to view the completed space before actually breaking ground.
Helping Clients Visualize the Finished Product
Using AR technology, architects can show their clients how a space will look upon completion. They can take their clients on virtual tours from a 360-degree perspective, then take into account any proposed changes or adjustments.
Not only does this create a convenient way for architects and their clients to start projects on even footing, but it can also save considerable money. If clients can see how a structure will look before building begins, they can request alterations to materials, layouts, floor plans, door and window locations, and other details without spending a dime.
Exploring the Benefits of AR
In addition to the ability to provide three-dimensional models for clients, safety benefits also emerge from AR technology. Architects and construction professionals can use the models to identify potential security and safety risks that they want to avoid during construction.
Additionally, professionals can track a project’s progress over time, saving models and using them to inform future projects. Having these detailed records helps professionals grow in their craft and prevent career stagnation.
Innovative professionals who want to try new construction strategies or methods can experiment with structural details and other components in a virtual reality rather than the real world. This saves money, reduces liabilities, and encourages creative experimentation.
While the augmented reality technology is still considered new, it’s in use across the United States. Architects are employing it for their clients, investors, vendors, and other associates to make their projects a reality – even when the first reality is digital.
With these new developments in technology, there has never been a better time to start a rewarding career in construction. If you’re ready to obtain your contractor’s license, start your course now.