Aecom pioneers “blended reality” headsets on site

Aecom has become the first construction firm to adopt Microsoft’s HoloLens, a "mixed-reality" technology that blends the real and virtual world, allowing physical and digital 3D objects to co-exist.

The HoloLens allows designers and engineers to "view a complex structure as if it were a 3D model placed on a table, or zoom in for a 1:1 view that simulates what it would be like to move through its structural framework".

This means that users can "physically point out potential difficulties or unforeseen conflicts in an evolving design" and also "log observations and create a group action plan during the session".

Aecom is collaborating with Trimble, a company best known for its GPS products, on the introduction of the HoloLens.

Stephen Kadenacy, Aecom’s president, said: "With this technology we can gain greater clarity earlier in the design review process than with 2D drawings or 3D models on screen, and team members in different locations, each wearing a headset, can simultaneously explore the same holographic projections."

The firm is road testing it on schemes in London, Hong Kong and Denver. The London scheme will be the Serpentine Galleries’ annual architecture programme, which this year includes four summer houses with complex and unconventional structures.

Image via Aecom

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