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Toolbox: 3 Augmented Reality Apps for the Jobsite

Posted by Dan Dolinar on Thu, Oct 20, 2016 @ 07:10 AM
Dan Dolinar
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Augmented Reality (AR) continues to refine and enhance the way jobsite teams work. The benefits of this technology are felt throughout design and construction phases. In this post, we concentrate on utilizing AR during the physical construction phase. Field teams are using AR to overlay project drawings, models, or images onto a physical space. Computer-generated input allows for visual comparison, real-time collaboration, and onsite problem solving. Simply put, AR enables visualization of design as it relates to physical construction environment.

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Software developers are working toward creating AR and virtual reality (VR) environments that can be accessed through smartphones, tablets, VR headsets, smart hardhats, cloud-based ocular systems, and gesture tools. The idea is to create a space where project teams can immerse themselves and their clients in their new building. The following lists three AR applications making a difference on a jobsite near you:

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SmartReality+ By JBKnowledge

iOS | Android

Cost: Free*

SmartReality works with 3D software programs like Revit. The app brings both VR and AR capabilities allowing the user to capture 2D plans to create interactive 3D models. *Download and demo is free. You Pay to view your BIM models.

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Augment

iOS | Android

Cost: Free* 

Augment is like SmartReality without the virtual reality. Users are able to upload 3D models to its library activating a AR environment when scanned through the app. The app allows users to understand and experience their models from a different perspective. A 3D model emerges from an uploaded floor plan gives you the 3D experience. What makes this tool unique is the capability to experience the model as you move your device around it, which then changes your view of it accordingly.

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Pair

iOS

Cost: Free* 

Formerly known as Visidraft, Pair is an app that is compatible with industry software such as AutoCAD, Revit, 3DS Max, Sketchup, Vectorworks, and ArchiCAD. It differs from Augment and SmartReality in that no 2D information is scanned. Instead, 3D models are created through the camera of a phone/tablet allowing for real-time viewing of objects within an existing space. This gives you the power to show an existing space and virtually apply the finishes and furniture through the app while at the same time exploring the space from multiple angles.

AR is just a visualization tool. Imagine how you can apply this tool to jobsite activities. For example, if you are in the middle of a constructability review, imagine yourself using AR to collaborate on changes between the design and construction phases. Or, think about how AR may help you with the prefabrication of building components. When you use the technology, take a step back to think about how visualization can help your daily work activities.

The power of the technology is truly guided by individual ingenuity.

Are you using a reliable augmented reality app on the jobsite? Share the app and your experience with us in the comments section!

Topics: Augmented Reality, Construction Technology