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Virtual Reality is Helping Transform the Construction Industry

virtual realityGone are the days of architects, foremen and project managers poring over a coffee-stained set of blueprints. Virtual reality (VR) is changing the construction industry in ways that companies only dreamed about 30 years ago. McCarthy Building Companies, a 150-year-old construction firm, is employing a new BIM (Building Information Modeling) suite called their BIM Cave to help clients visualize every element of a new construction build before even breaking ground. VR technology allows construction firms the ability to laser scan a select area via drone, upload the scan into a VR headset and give clients a full immersion experience in providing feedback for construction design and development.

The future of virtual reality in construction

Technology titans, such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft among others, are pushing forward in this recent arms-race of applied technology. Oculus Rift is a VR headset designer that Facebook purchased in March 2014 at the humble price of $2 billion. Magic Leap, a virtual reality startup based in Florida, single-handedly raised $793 million in a recent funding endeavor, all without having even one consumer product on market.

Information management service provider ARC Document Solutions conducted a recent survey of architecture, construction and engineering industry leaders on the topic of virtual reality. Survey results show that 65.3% of respondents believe virtual reality usage in the construction sector will be industry standard in the next five to 10 years. The primary area of emphasis for applied VR technology when it comes to construction is design. Construction firms are gaining the ability to provide “walk-throughs” via VR headsets to give clients the experience of touring their new facility and share feedback on best design features to optimize their daily operations.

New virtual reality technologies in construction

ViaTechnik compiled a list of 50 current or in-beta virtual reality technologies available for construction, architecture and engineering professionals. Augmented reality (AR) technologies combine the 3D graphics of BIM with GPS data to pinpoint a worker’s exact location and the proposed installation location of specific materials in relation to the worker’s current location. The worker can use either a headset or a tablet to see a 3D rendering of where the new material should be installed.

Arguably the most valuable benefit of VR or AR technologies in construction is avoiding unnecessary changes or even errors in construction. Using these technologies can better ensure human errors are prevented and the optimal experience is intact before beginning construction.

Construction camera systems are expected to adopt virtual reality technologies for a more comprehensive outlook on project progress. At TrueLook we’re eager to see the next wave of virtual reality influence how we provide on-site monitoring and greater customer satisfaction. A construction camera system gives project managers, construction firms, financial institutions and clients a “boots on the ground” experience to closely monitor and respond to project progress. Click here to learn more about TrueLook or you can contact our TrueLook team to start a conversation today.