Trimble Connect for Hololens utilises mixed reality for project coordination by providing precise alignment of holographic data on the construction site or in the factory, enabling workers to review their Tekla models overlaid in the context of the physical environment.
- Save time, be efficiently visualising, conveying and interacting with complex 3D data.
- Add context to structural data and geo-referenced assets by overlaying them onto the real world.
- Collaborate with remote stakeholders to more effectively communicate design intent.
- Increase engagement and buy-in among diverse stakeholders.
This new technology allows for completely new ways of working, many of which we probably haven’t even imagined yet. The ability of Trimble Connect to communicate complex 3D models such as Tekla Structures and the HoloLens ability to place that model in the real world means the potential applications, are many and varied. Today we see 3D design visualized earlier with rapid iteration on design ideas and effective collaboration with others immersed in the design. Design overlays on the real world help with clash detection and renovation visualisation.
In a fabrication environment, the Tekla Model seen through HoloLens can act as an “Instruction Guide” for actual production.
Mixed reality: What’s it all about?
Helping to enhance planning and project management, while ensuring projects are delivered on time and on budget, BIM’s use within construction is increasing year-on-year. However, the industry is now taking it to the next level by introducing mixed reality technology.
Mixed reality technology blends real world objects with digital content, interactively, and in real time. It helps users efficiently interpret physical and digital information, as well as the spatial relations between them. The user can interact with the projected holograms using gestures, gaze and voice commands to navigate and control the content.
Spanning the purely virtual and real environments, and in the context of the construction industry, this is the phase in which digital and real content co-exist –where designs collide with reality and where construction teams transform digital content into physical objects.
How is mixed reality different?
Virtual reality is a fully immersive technology that secludes the user, allowing them to visualise digital content only.
Whereas, augmented reality combines the physical and virtual worlds by overlaying digital information into the user’s environment.
Lastly, mixed reality – which can be seen as a more advanced augmented reality – recognises its surroundings and allows the digital content to interact with the real world.
What are the benefits of mixed reality?
Visualising digital content as holograms in the physical world bridges the gap between the virtual and reality, eliminating workflow inefficiencies that can occur.
For example, interpretation errors that are common during the design and construction stages and often result in poor quality, cost overruns and schedule delays. What’s more, while the physical world is finite, mixed reality presents the opportunity for an infinite environment in which additional data such as schedule, specifications and simulation can be overlaid, creating a hyper-reality environment.
Over the last few years, the transition from 2D documents to 3D models has been a natural one, improving team communication and coordination. However, mixed reality and holographic technology bring the 3D models out of the screen, providing users with the ability to engage and interact with design data much more intuitively.
By using the technology to visualize 3D design earlier and more effectively design teams can rapidly iterate on design ideas in 3D, collaborate with others (both collocated and remote) whilst immersed in the design. Designs can be overlayed on the real world for things such as clash detection and renovation visualization, and 3D models such as those created in Tekla Structures can be used as an “instruction guide” for actual production.
Why should you move to mixed reality?
This isn’t just about using technology to drive efficiency, shorten project schedules and bring down costs.
With the global workforce becoming less skilled and the complexity of projects increasing, mixed reality could eventually transform construction itself in a ‘what you see is what you build’ future where construction workers are shown precisely where to place elements without having to refer to documentation.