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article imageQ&A: Augmented reality shows projects beyond the blueprint Special

By Tim Sandle     Mar 14, 2019 in Technology
Designing buildings can be enhanced through new technology, especially augmented reality. This enables architects and their clients to see ‘beyond the blueprint’. A leading example is WakingApp’s AR toolset.
Augmented reality is most commonly known for its proficiencies in entertainment, gaming. There are other applications, however, which are being adopted by business. As an example, MLM Group, an engineering, environmental and building control design consultancy, is using new technology to showcase their projects beyond the blueprint.
By using the platform WakingApp’s AR toolset, MLM Group have created an in-depth 3D models of their projects in as little as 30 minutes. These models are then presented from MLM’s mobile app and projected on top of the original blueprint, providing clients with a level of detail way beyond any drawings.
WakingApp CEO Matan Libis explains more.
Digital Journal: How is augmented reality being applied in general?
Matan Libis: AR technology may be commonly known for its proficiencies in gaming and entertainment, but more industries known for their traditional uses of technology are starting to leverage it. This includes some of the oldest professions, like construction, and oldest professional functions, like job training. For example, builders and architects now use AR to create interactive models of their designs, while manufacturers have tapped into the technology to create more efficient job training programs.
By applying AR technology to job training, there is no longer a need for new hires to read dense manuals or sit through day-long presentations, both of which can be expensive and wasteful. Instead, AR lets manufactures create highly-technical, on-the-job experiences that new hires can train with. In the example of new factory workers, they can become comfortable with the high-powered tools they’ll be using on the job without the risk of doing it wrong or injury.
DJ: How do augmented reality and virtual reality differ?
Libis: Augmented reality uses cameras to add a digital layer to real-world experiences while virtual reality takes the user to a completely separate, virtual world, using headsets and other hardware. For example, VR is able to create the sandy beaches of Hawaii so that you can experience them before booking a vacation, while AR provides you with directions to the nearest scoop of ice cream once you’re standing on those sandy beaches.
DJ: How was the AR system developed for the building sector?
Libis: There are multiple augmented reality use cases for the construction sector, but the most prominent way that builders, designers and architects are using the technology is to create AR experiences of their existing designs, instead of using outdated 2D drawings. This provides a greater level of detail, way beyond any blueprint, and makes the entire design and building process more efficient and thus, less costly.
Conventional blueprint of a factory.
Conventional blueprint of a factory.
DJ: What advantages does this provide?
Libis: Typical construction blueprints are outdated and hard to read, while miniature models are time consuming and monotonous to create. By contrast, AR experiences enable construction firms to present the final project as it would appear in the real world. With AR, there is no need to imagine the finished product because you can see it right in front of you. So, if you are building your dream home, you’ll never have to worry about the master bedroom being too small because you can experience the home before it is ever built! By presenting the models up front with a level of detail beyond any drawings, builders and their clients can pinpoint any possible issues before the build starts, ultimately closing the gap between design and completion.
DJ: How easy are the models to adapt?
Libis: While it depends on the level of detail, a construction company like the MLM Group typically creates AR experiences of their projects using WakingApp in as little as 30 minutes. Of course, more advanced cases require greater technical skills and training, but WakingApp was designed so that businesses across all industries can leverage and apply AR technology in their daily offering without requiring significant and expensive oversight.
DJ: Can AR be used in conjunction with 3D printing?
Libis: Definitely! Similar to how architects and builders create AR experiences of their projects before they start printing, models can be created during the pre-printing process to ensure the end product is printed to the right size and specs.
DJ: What type of training is required to use the AR?
Libis: WakingApp was created from the ground-up to meet the market's needs and provide businesses of all kinds with access to budding augmented reality technology. While there may be an initial learning curve that is dependent on the user’s technical skills, features like recently announced visual scripting enable the non-coding masses to create compelling AR scene. WakingApp was designed so that non-coders could create simple scenes in a matter of minutes once they have a general understanding of the app, while more experienced designers can lean on their understanding of 3D space, logic flows and development to create more complex AR scenes.
DJ: Are there any security concerns?
Libis: Like any cloud-based service today, there are always security concerns. WakingApp does offer an on-premise solution, which is a unique offering that can mitigate security concerns.
More about augmented reality, Virtual reality, Engineering, Design
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