If architecture is the thoughtful making of spaces, then the more an architect can interact with those spaces in real-time, the more thoughtful the process can be. Every construction project is a unique, site-specific translation of a design that leaves little room for error. Misinterpretation of design data can lead to costly mistakes, quality issues, and schedule delays. Today’s architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry must improve communication methods and integrate workflows by embracing technological advancements.
Building Information Modeling (BIM) solutions and 3D modeling capabilities have already enhanced information sharing and dynamic workflows in AEC, but the most forward-thinking AEC firms are leveraging technologies like Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and the newest kid-on-the-block, Mixed Reality. Of the three, Mixed Reality for AEC is truly a match made in heaven.
AR, VR, MR: Decoding Realities
To fully grasp the ways in which Mixed Reality can revolutionize the AEC industry, it’s important to understand where MR stands on the virtuality continuum. While most AEC professionals are already comfortable using immersive Virtual Reality tools like the Oculus Rift, VR is mostly useful during the design stage. Because VR users are fully immersed in a virtual environment completely detached from the physical world, there are no interactions between the real world and virtual objects. This limits understanding of the design in context to its eventual real-world placement.
Mixed reality allows users to move digital objects onto physical spaces, and interact with the data using real world gestures, gaze and voice commands.
Augmented reality moves us a little closer to the middle of the spectrum between real and virtual worlds by overlaying digital objects and information with the environment around you. By using Augmented Reality on devices as simple as your own mobile phone, AR is a great on-the-go and inexpensive solution for visualizing 3D models onsite. However, limited interactions between the virtual and the actual in AR stifles any possibility of real-time problem solving.
Mixed reality is the only technology in which real and virtual content truly coexist on the same plane. Mixed reality allows users to actually move digital objects onto physical spaces, and interact intuitively with design data using real world gestures, gaze and voice commands.
Build Smarter with MR
Interpretation errors are common during design and construction phases — MR resolves these issues by bringing 3D data off the screen and into the real world where AEC professionals and their clients can intuitively interact with it. It’s unrealistic to expect non-professionals to easily understand how 2D data works in a 3D space, so MR helps them to interpret real-world spacial relationships alongside digital information.
Back at the the drawing board, MR helps AEC professionals make better decisions by understanding design consequences in realtime. Certainly, all AEC pros can sympathize with the headache of an undiscovered design flaw presenting itself during construction. With MR, every manipulation can be checked against the overall plan to resolve inconsistencies or feasibility issues before construction begins.
A New Generation of Tools
In 2012, excited by the possibilities presented by new immersive 3D technologies, Hervé Jobbé Duval, a major urban projects developer, joined forces with a group of software engineers to develop a simple idea: a way for anyone, anywhere to simply and intuitively explore 3D models on smartphones and computers. Four years on, €5 million invested into research and development, and several registered patents later, Kubity has become the go-to 3D communication tool for Autodesk Revit and SketchUp users; allowing instant visualization across multiple devices: desktop computers, smartphones, tablets, augmented reality gear, and virtual reality glasses.
Powered by a proprietary 3D crystallization engine known as “Paragone”, Kubity takes constrained information from a 3D file and runs it through the “BlockWave” algorithm; a multiphase optimization algorithm that combines 3D design, data compression, decimation and rendering optimization, web and mobile transfer, and mixed reality headset integration to create a crystallized universal format of the original file. The resulting crystallized file is unconstrained, and playable anywhere with real-time rendering.
Introducing instantaneous and fluid 3D navigation for AEC professionals and their clients facilitates pre-construction design and construction site problem-solving while enhancing communications and workflow of any project from conception to completion.
AEC firms quick to embrace the game-changing technology of Mixed Reality and instant visualization across the multiplex will reap the rewards of smarter building.
Kubity is free to try. Get it here at www.kubity.com