Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been used in the entertainment industry for many decades. However, these technologies aren’t only used in those situations. In fact, AR and VR are becoming popular for many construction operations.
There are many uses for these technologies, such as advanced simulators to mimic physics and real-world conditions or displays to show supervisors the virtual site.
The pandemic restrictions have made AR and VR in construction even more popular since there were fears of having too many people in one area. However, the adoption isn’t likely to decline now that it’s here. In fact, new hardware and software appear each day. Plus, those new tools help companies improve upon safety, accuracy, and more.
Ultimately, AR and VR can help with these applications in construction:
AR can help employees share information with off-site experts. In a sense, these industry professionals can be in two places at once. They can wear augmented reality goggles or a headset to see what’s happening, allowing employees at the site to get guidance from the experts.
This can ultimately save companies time and reduce errors. Workers can fix the issue themselves without bringing in an expert, staying within budget, and completing the task on time.
Most construction jobs use heavy machinery, and this is dangerous without training. However, it’s often impractical for them to go to the site and actually use the equipment. With that, it might be unsafe, and there might not be enough time because the machine is used daily.
With the use of AR and VR, training simulators are born. People can wear virtual reality goggles and get an idea of how to use the machines safely in a controlled environment.
New York crane operators now can simulate how to use them. CM Labs created the simulator, allowing everyone the opportunity to learn about these machines before climbing into one.
While social distancing from COVID-19 is the norm now, it’s likely to ebb in the following years as vaccines become readily available. Still, no one is sure how long social distancing is here.
This limits on-site personnel because most cities still aren’t allowing full capacity. Construction work must still continue, so utilizing AR and VR in construction is a logical step.
With 3D cameras and VR technology, inspectors and supervisors can walk through the site, regardless of where they are. As long as they have a smart device, they’ve got the flexibility to cover more job sites in less time.
Designers and architects have the perfect jobs for AR and VR in construction. With virtual reality, they can see the project in the environment before erecting the building. In a sense, they’re standing inside the completed building before work even starts!
This also helps with bidding on projects. You can show stakeholders what you intend to do in an immersive virtual environment.
Collaboration efforts have been challenging since all employees can’t be available for meetings. Virtual collaboration tools use VR and AR extensively to show faces and more. However, if you extend that just a bit, engineering teams can collaborate on projects no matter where they are.
It’s easier to see project designs and plans with a VR headset. That way, everyone’s on the same page, even if they’re not in the same location.
While AR and VR are still in their infancy in the construction sector, there’s significant potential here. In a short period of time, both have proven to be crucial for construction. With that, technology continues to expand and grow, so their use is sure to continue as things start getting back to normal.