We have recently been scouring the net for the new and upcoming trends in concrete and construction both in Australia and abroad. Augmented Reality (AR) was a concept appearing continually that both impressed us and will lead us down the path of new product discovery! But what is augmented reality? And how exactly does it help from concrete to construction? Well, we ask the question…
In today’s world, no, reality is not always reality. In the sense, that it can be created and manipulated to visualize an idea, a concept, a movement -you name it! These visualisations can come in many shapes and forms but in the construction industry they can be used to create a clear vision of a large project easily.
In 2018, it was estimated that the “Augmented Reality market would jump past $50 billion by 2024, driven by adoption in retail, automotive, medical, and other industries looking to boost operational efficiency”.
This early adoption can be seen in a cascade of customer centric websites and apps that were developed to allow customers to merge their surroundings with potential buys (see IKEA). Wide spread adoption of this AR trend are becoming a reality despite only “1% of retailers [currently using it] in their customer buying experience” in 2020.
So, what’s the difference between augmented and virtual reality?
Well, the best explanation of these concepts is that VR is an “artificial digital environment that completely replaces the real environment” while AR is “layered on top of the real world” (Tech Innovations). Although seemingly basic, it is the difference between these types of reality that allows AR to flourish in the retail and design space as opposed to the entertainment space that VR does.
But how does this translate to construction?
Well, let’s use Pokémon Go as an example. The user downloads an app and walks around using their phone geo location to track hidden Pokémon and high stakes battlefields. The user simply moves their phone towards their surroundings and the screen blends reality with the gameplay.
But seriously, it’s a simpler notion for construction AR; Use an app to blend the current reality of a building site, with the future reality of a finished project. Still confused? Check out the video below.
But how does it benefit the construction industry?
The construction industry can employ AR to cut time on site and ensure staff safety. It can offer both visual representations and training modules that help the user learn or educate along the way on site and off. We have listed some other benefits of AR in construction below:
- A foreman, safety officer or other staff member can check for major safety violations or hazards with the span of a camera.
- Clear working standards can be captured and sent back to the office / administration to ensure standards are kept.
- A firm can augment the reality of an upcoming tender to win the project.
- Project progression can be accurately tracked with software that shows the improvements or next stage of works to be completed, over the current state of the project.
- Engineers can measure and check standards as they walk through the build, floor by floor.
- Potential problems with early plans can be discovered and changed before section is built.
- Staff at home have the opportunity to check on the progress of a build.
- Marketing in large corporations have the ability to integrate/generate real life viewing of a project to passerby’s or potential investors.
- Integration of BIM and AR tech will provide an accurate overview of the project from the office.
- Introduction of warning and order systems that allow the user to simply click the hazard or area and order the correct / recommended product.
The possibilities are truly infinite and as a supplier we would relish the opportunity to project our own products through AR catalogues for engineers and concreters alike. Just imagine your product being featured in a walk through as a necessity like the picture below.
So, What’s the hold up?
Historically the construction industry and therefore their suppliers, have been notorious for entering the technology trend last. This slow adoption is usually based on “Cost, scale, and a lack of existing-use cases”. But this also presents an opportunity. To be the first.
How could we implement AR into our business? By offering 3D models that can be downloaded and added into software or by holding PR events that showcase the build but take a deeper look to show our branded parts that hold the structure. It is truly endless.
While we may not be there yet, we are aware of the changes to the industry and are excited to watch them flourish. There is an unlimited digital future out there and we will always explore the possibilities. Make sure you check in to see our product lines evolving and changing before something becomes a trend!
View our products here: https://www.danterr.com/products/
Are you currently experimenting and researching what AR can do for your business? We would love to hear from you on our social media! Click the links below.