AR (augmented reality) is beginning to grow in popularity for a number of industries including construction. Add to that the fact that technology providers are coming out with new solutions, and the opportunities for businesses are vast.

Gartner places AR (augmented reality) on its recent five distinct emerging technology trends list. It falls within the category of sensing and mobility, which combines sensor technologies with AI to enable businesses to gain a better understanding of the world around them. Mordor Intelligence also gives AR some pretty significant growth predictions, with the market experiencing a growth rate of 151.93% between 2019 and 2024.

The big takeaway here is that if you aren’t using AR already, you likely will be using it in the future, as the technology will become more prevalent among businesses. Technology providers are responding too, coming to market will new industry-specific solutions that could be a game changer.

As one example, in mid-September, Trimble introduced its Trimble SiteVision system, which is an outdoor AR solution that enables users to visualize 2D and 3D data on virtually any project site with cellular or Internet connectivity. The result is more efficient planning, collaboration, and reporting.

The system includes both the software—SiteVision—and hardware—Trimble SiteVision Integrated Positioning System integrates the Trimble Catalyst DA1 Antenna, Electronic Distance Measurement rangefinder and power management into a handheld device that connects to a user’s Android mobile phone.

With the combined hardware and software, users can view 3D models and assets in a real-world environment at a one-to-one scale, from any angle or position. The technology also enables users to visualize digital models from a wide range of data collection, design, and constructible modeling tools in an open industry-standard formats, including IFC and LandXML.

Using Trimble Connect cloud-based hosting, SiteVision can access models from all stages of the lifecycle of infrastructure and buildings—from initial concepts of roads or buildings through the operations and maintenance phase of the assets. The benefit here is it can help increase collaboration, enhance work accuracy, and ultimately improve operations and utilization.

Let’s take a look at an example, because this is where it gets really cool. City planners can visualize a new building design in the exact spot it is going to be built. Here a work crew can identify position of underground cables or pipes before they even start digging. Also, an electric utility can confirm the placement of the poles and lines with customers or crews, while the construction supervisor can assess the progress of heavy equipment by visualizing actual work performed against the site plan.

The opportunities for AR in the construction industry are really endless. The bottomline is construction companies can tap into the technology to understand complex projects in a visual way—and the technology is here today. Are you going to embrace it?

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Laura Black
Laura Blackeditor