AR, VR, and 3D Imaging Have Changed the Landscape of the Construction Industry

By Seth Hird | Posted on November 13, 2019

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Augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and 3D imaging are changing the ways we live and work. Emergency responders, education, medical training, and video gaming are only a few areas that have been innovated by these technologies. The construction industry is now experiencing these exciting and radical technological innovations.

FARO – Creating AR Products to Partner with Construction Ingenuity

FARO is a technology company that has been making innovative products since 1981. However, in 1991 the company expanded their product line to incorporate the manufacturing industry. Recognized by Forbes in 2008, as one of the top 25 fastest-growing tech companies in America, FARO is now a staple of technology in the manufacturing industry.

The Focus Laser Scanner Series is among the most impactful products that FARO has created for the construction industry. These cameras operate by using point cloud data in combination with software systems to develop a digital 3D reality. These laser scanners can be used in industries ranging from construction to oil and gas.

The FARO BuildIT Construction is the first integrated building software that combines quality assurance and quality control during the building process. FARO Focus Laser Scanners, Laser Trackers and Tracer Laser Projectors combined with BuildIT Construction will monitor the build in real time. Real-time verification that the project is being build to engineer specifications, can reduce rework expenses. Avoiding rework expenses, could result in a 50% decrease in building costs.

JLL – Using AR and VR to Change People’s Perspectives

Many companies have made great products. Many companies have been able to distribute great products. However, very few companies have been able to change a customer’s perspective in order to ensure that they are getting exactly what they want.

“We have introduced 3D scanning, where we can map an existing building, and then create a virtual environment to place in that building.” – Ryan D’Arcy

Ryan D’Arcy is the Senior Director at JLL. In this short YouTube video, he and his staff, outline some ways that JLL allows their customers to view and modify the space they want to create. Walking through an office space and simultaneously changing the color of walls and floors, are just a few perks that this technology offers. This will give the user ultimate control to design the perfect environment, they want constructed.

3M and Google – Confronting the Need for Construction Industry Safety

Unfortunately, the construction industry in considered one of the most dangerous in America. In an article by USA Today, from January 2019 which ranked the top 25 most dangerous jobs in the American workforce, construction equipment operators jobs are #19, construction laborers are ranked #16, and construction helpers are ranked #13. In light of these sobering numbers, companies like 3M and Google are taking on the challenge of construction industry safety.

In 2019, 3M has debuted several different VR modules to aid in construction industry training. These training modules cover topics like PPE, height awareness, harness safety, and welding demonstrations. Well-trained employees are able to become proficient operators before ever stepping out onto the construction zone. For a full list of 3M products, visit their website here.

However, not all construction companies have the time or resources to effectively train their employees before they begin working on the job site. Larsen & Toubro, an Indian construction company, realized this problem and took action.

By combining Google Cardboard with Android smartphone apps, Larsen & Toubro began training their employees to improve job site safety. Not only was this a cost-effective option to traditional safety training, but it was able to have dramatic benefits to the entire company. As a result of implementing this technology into their training program, safety awareness increase by 90% and safety cost decreased by 60%. For a full listing of Google Cardboard products click here. And to read more examples of how AR and VR are being used globally, read an IMMOTEF article here.

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