When you envision Virtual Reality or Augmented Reality, images of video games, movies and virtual tours of faraway places emerges in your mind. You probably see yourself wearing those fancy eyeglasses that facilitate such experiences.
However, the relevance of these technologies has gone far beyond mere recreational entertainment and has now entered unexpected fields. The latest one being construction of actual buildings. Architects and engineers are employing these technologies with great aplomb in their works and reaping rich rewards for doing so.
Difference Between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality.
Virtual reality refers to a scenario where everything you see, or experience is non-existent. So, a house which hasn’t been built can be rendered into a 3D digital form and explored virtually without its actual existence.
Augmented reality, on the other hands, is based on existing and real pictures, and modifies them by adding elements that were previously not there. The key is doing so in a way that makes the additions seem absolutely real.
Virtual Reality in Construction
Virtual reality is very useful for luring customers as you can give them a feel of being in the house you are constructing even before its finished. But VR is equally useful to architects as well. When they are planning to build a house, its important that they too get to see whether its being developed as per their expectations.
By using virtual reality, the architects can quickly walk through the house as it would look once it has been planned and spot any imperfections or areas which require more work. This would be very difficult if the house is in the advanced stage of development but if these lacunae are spotted before the plants are implemented, the house can be developed in the most beautiful and impressive manner.
Augmented Reality in Construction
If VR is useful for engineers and architects, augmented reality is even more helpful. It allows engineers to look at existing structures and see the impact of proposed changes on them. They can, in fact, take the whole blueprint and superimpose it upon the structure to see what would become of the building if these were to be implemented.
Glasses powered with AR technology are being provided to workers also so that they can know exactly where and what they are supposed to repair or add. These augmented reality glasses are also helpful to keep a larger perspective of the house visible rather than confining your vision to the room or sector in which you are working.
Augmented Reality in Maintenance
Augmented reality’s usefulness does not end with the completion of the maintenance work. It remains useful after that as well thanks to its ability of assisting maintenance work. AR allows the workers to understand the placement and structure of pipes and wires throughout the building.
These networks can be easily traced by them and the location of the problem point discovered without much difficulty. The value of AR in maintenance becomes even more pronounced in places where quick and efficient repair is required.
Places such as hospitals and factories are best suited for this technology. Workers can go about their work without causing much inconvenience to the occupants of the various parts of the building. They can quickly establish the precise location of the problem and deal with it locally without causing inconvenience to the other areas.
Other Important Uses of AR And VR In Construction
The usefulness of these two modern technologies remains profound in many other ways also. Let’s enumerate them as well.
Viewing the Future
Most buildings are expected to improve with the progress of time. If you also have similar plans, then AR can be of great help as it can help the engineers get a preview of how things would look once the renovations and additions are put in place. Once again, this gives an invaluable opportunity for engineers and architects to check whether their plans are correct or not. A sure shot manner of checking out your plans and their feasibility.
Help with Complex Tasks
As intimidating as the construction work looks, the complexity of such work would pale in comparison to intricacies that are part of laying cables, pipelines, etc. in the whole building. For this purpose, also, AR helmets come handy because they allow the workers to know exactly where everything is going to fit and won’t cause them any hardship in putting these essential parts of the buildings in place.
One very important part of the whole exercise of constructing a building is ensuring that it stands up to accidents and natural calamities. While AR and VR can’t possibly keep the buildings safe from such disasters, they can be a handful in assisting rescue or reconstruction when something terrible happens.
While VR can simulate the damage and therefore give a clearer idea about the kind of destruction that has been wrought, AR can also contribute by helping the rescue workers figure out the exact location of the different components of the buildings.
If there is a decision to reconstruct the whole structure, then also VR and AR will play a leading role in ensuring that the construction follows the exact same pattern that was previously employed.
The importance of VR and AR has become widely evident, both to builders and software developers as well. The result has been a massive growth in the industry of VR and AR software and apps.
From making and implementing the most accurate measurements to letting both your customers and government representatives check out your buildings, virtual reality and augmented reality has been making life easier for builders and engineers.
The new challenge in front of the builders is to procure the software as well as the hardware at the best available price and train their staff and workers to utilize them efficiently. This being done, their work will become smoother and more efficient.