Modern Home Builder - Fall 2017 - 8
New technologies give contractors a chance to differentiate themselves.
BY DR. EUNSEOK PARK
Having long been set in its traditional ways of manual
processes, the building construction industry is quietly undergoing a revolution by adopting innovative technologies to enhance jobsite safety and efficiency. This includes drones, IoT,
and augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR). The result is
a big opportunity for construction companies to differentiate
themselves through their application of disruptive technology.
A panel discussion among construction professionals and
project managers at the Groundbreak 2017 conference in Austin, Texas, explored the rising trend of AR and VR. In many
ways, the outlook for AR and VR in construction matches the
current trajectory of these technologies overall. Although neither technology has reached mass adoption just yet, VR has
been first to enter mainstream consciousness, but AR has more
long-term potential. And just like other industries, there's a
reason for this in construction.
Construction companies are currently adopting VR more
widely than AR largely due to the hardware development of
the two technologies. Groundbreak panelists explained that
the primary use of VR for construction today is to create immersive walkthroughs to better understand simulations of
physical spaces. Users can interact with virtual environments,
move equipment or materials around, test project plans, and
more. This is where eye-tracking, hand-tracking and positional
tracking capabilities can come into play.
The idea for VR in construction is to create a 4-D model and