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Extended Reality in Construction

Over the past five years, extended reality has rapidly grown. As a result, many industries now utilize its features to further enhance their processes. One such industry is the construction industry, which has embraced extended reality for several activities. To understand the role of extended reality in construction, it is important to understand what extend reality is all about.

Extended Reality

Extended reality is a relatively new technology that utilizes the real and the virtual environment to provide functionality and entertainment to a user via digital wearable devices. It reality is an umbrella term that refers to virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality. These technologies provide a user with a different degree of interaction between the virtual and the real world. Also, extended reality does not only cover these three technologies but includes all future technologies that will combine both the virtual and physical environments.

Uses of Extended Reality in the Construction Industry

All the currently available technologies of extended reality – virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality – are utilized within the construction industry. The definitions use, and benefits of each of the three types of technologies in construction are going to be discussed below.

Virtual Reality in Construction

Virtual reality is a type of extended reality technology that is composed of a completely virtual environment. It usually consists of wearable, visual, and audio devices that allow a user to experience a digital environment. With the help of virtual reality, architectural and engineering designs are given a completely new perspective. A client can experience a virtual version of the design before implementation. For example, a user can go through an entire virtual building. They can go into any room or hallway and interact as they would a real structure. Some of the benefits of virtual reality technology in the construction industry are:

  • It simplifies the client experience,
  • It makes for a more intuitive feedback system that allows the client to express their desires,
  • It reduces the cost of making physical drawings.

Augmented Reality in Construction

Augmented reality is simply an extended reality technology that allows for the superimposition of graphics on the physical real world. It uses a visual wearable device to bring digital options into the real world. Within construction, engineers can quickly go through designs within any site with just a click of a button. For example, an engineer can reference the measurements of a room using a wearable to ensure the right dimensions are implemented. Some of the benefits of augmented reality with the construction industry are highlighted below.

  • It simplifies the design referencing process,
  • It saves time and provides relevant information when required.

Mixed Reality in Construction

Mixed reality is another extended reality technology, which allows a user to interact with both the physical and digital environment. As a result, a user can interact with 3D objects, which are superimposed within the physical world. For example, a site engineer or an architect can import 3D buildings onto the physical world via wearable devices. Additionally, they can move and edit such objects until the desired result is achieved. Some of the benefits of mixed reality in the construction industry are:

  • It is excellent for site supervision,
  • It allows for easy identification of areas of concern or conflict.

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