Augmented reality could improve design and construction

The XR-10 with HoloLens2 meets OSHA regulations and could soon change construction processes on job sites. Photo courtesy of Microsoft.

During the unveiling of the HoloLens 2 at the Mobile World Congress on February 24, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talked about how the device will allow construction workers to create, view, and interact with holograms that appear as part of the physical world.

The HoloLens 2 is an augmented reality headset that Microsoft is developing primarily for use by businesses. Microsoft worked with Bentley Systems to develop the Synchro XR app and Trimble to develop the XR10, a version of HoloLens 2 that clips to a hardhat and meets OSHA regulations.

During the design phase, Bentley’s Synchro XR app lets multiple users in different locations collaborate on the same 4D BIM file for design reviews. The most exciting development is the ability of construction workers to use the XR10 to visualize upcoming construction activities. As construction workers analyze workflows and layouts, the ability to actually see what the finished product will look like should improve efficiency and quality of work (watch a video demonstration).

With widespread adoption, these tools could change design and construction processes and help improve the design solutions that design professionals develop. With improved solutions and coordination between design and construction, the hope is that the frequency of technical mistakes will decrease significantly.


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