Augmented Reality On Construction Sites

The augmented reality HoloLens device has found its way onto construction sites; Gilbane Building Company has been trying it out.

(MIT Technology Review Construction Project AR)

I tried Gilbaneís HoloLens at the Dearborn STEM Academy site. After strapping on and adjusting the headset (which required another personís assistance), I pinched my fingers in the air to move a 3-D image of the schoolís mechanical room from its virtual perch on a table to the floor. Then I tapped a button on a virtual control panel to increase the modelís size to 100 percent. That let me walk inside it and look at details of the construction as if it were actually built. Using a virtual control panel, I could also toggle different views on and off to see either a simple architectural image of the room, a more detailed structural image, or one that just showed its mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.

I think that Larry Niven and Steven Barnes had some of this idea in their 1992 novel The California Voodoo Game by doing the augmented reality routine with scleral contact lenses:

To Nigel Bishop, the walls had become blue glass. He saw and evaluated holographic projection equipment, fiber optics, electrical and plumbing, communications...

His eyes no longer resembled human eyes...

"Scleral lenses?" she asked. "You've got DreamTime technology in contact lenses? That's not available to the public!"

Puckishly, I'd also recommend that it might not be important for the construction workers to see the final plan - but the bricks should certainly know where to go. Intrigued? See the entry for the Bambakias Hotel from Bruce Sterling's excellent 1998 novel Distraction.

Via Technology Review.

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