The Impact of Augmented Reality on the Construction Industry

Although virtual reality is often praised for its contributions to construction, its lesser popular counterpart, augmented reality is beginning to make an impact. Augmented reality is a copied view of a physical environment, with its elements supplemented by computer-generated images. In comparison, virtual reality replaces the real world with a simulated environment, whereas augmented reality takes what is already existing in the real world and enhances it. Although the two concepts are related, there is a clear distinction between them. For construction specifically, augmented reality has the potential to impact a wide range of professionals, from architects, engineers, project managers and many more. In this article, discover the benefits and advantages that augmented reality has on the construction industry, and find out how your company can utilize this emerging technology.
Despite its recent introduction into the construction industry, virtual reality is growing in accessibility. Augmented reality is capable of integrating with mobile apps, making it available on smartphones, tablets and laptops. As its popularity grows, more ways for accessing augmented reality will be introduced. By creating a 3D model of a proposed design onto existing space, real estate developers, architects and designers can better transform their vision into reality. More importantly, if used more widely, augmented reality can be used as a sales tool for both largescale commercial or residential developments and even smaller home renovations. Those who leverage augmented reality sooner rather than later will have an advantage over their competitors.
As augmented reality is taken more seriously, its impact will begin to be seen in the accuracy of construction projects. By having access to specific measurements and project details, project managers, engineers and architects are provided with more data that can be used to ensure speed and accuracy. Furthermore, looking at an augmented reality image allows you to look at, and navigate all phases of project, making it easier to catch any errors or mistakes before it presents itself.
For designers and architects, augmented reality can be tremendously impactful for design analysis. By being able to virtually walk through, or go through a proposed project, you will be able to pick up any structural or design features that you may want to change. Traditionally, this inspection is done after a building is already constructed, eliminating any possibility of making big changes.
In terms of the actual construction of a building, processes may be accelerated with augmented reality. By gaining access to virtual models, construction companies can take greater advantage of prefabricated parts or components and have these built ahead of time. This may help facilitate the progress of any project, achieved by utilizing multiple technological features that are new to construction.
Augmented reality also removes the guesswork from construction. Rather than relying on architectural drawings and manually recorded measurements, augmented reality images create an accurate recreation of any physical space. Save time and effort by planning more efficiently, and use augmented reality to view multiple design options without ever having to build it. Augmented reality has the potential to save construction companies money by ensuring greater accuracy and through the use of virtual models to better plan new projects.
Although augmented reality’s presence is more pronounced in the entertainment and video game industries, its application has plenty of benefits for other industries. More construction companies however, have begun implementing mobile technology, smartphones and tablets to improve communication and streamline business processes. Considering its benefits, as well as its current uses,  adopting augmented reality sooner rather than later may be the next big development in construction.