Augmented Reality in Architecture
Augmented reality (AR) is a growing field of study and application in the world of architecture. This useful tool can help us visualize architectural designs by superimposing them onto real-world scenes. However, not many of us know what AR really is and how we can use it in architecture firms.
In this article, we will discuss some of the major applications of augmented reality in the field of architecture and predict what the future holds for this concept.
What Is Augmented Reality?
Augmented reality is the integration of digital information with a person’s perception of the real world. To put it simply, if you’re able to perceive something in your field of vision, then you can use AR to superimpose digital data or graphics onto what you see.
This technology allows us to mix virtual and physical worlds to create a hybrid environment where physical and digital objects coexist and interact seamlessly. The result is a richer experience for all users, which is why we call it augmented reality.
Differences Between Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality
Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer-simulated environment that reproduces a physical presence in a real or imagined world. In other words, it’s a digital experience of the environment, which provides you with the sensation of your physical body being there.
As you probably know, virtual reality is an immersive experience that is created using headsets and other equipment. It makes you feel like you’re actually in the environment depicted by the VR program or video game. And since it’s such a highly immersive experience, it often leads to discomfort and motion sickness.
In contrast to VR, AR doesn’t require a headset to either view or interact with environments and objects. Rather than viewing scenes in a different setting, AR projects images onto objects and scenes in front of you and enables you to interact with them via touch or your voice.
Applications of Augmented Reality in Architecture
Augmented reality has a variety of applications in the field of architecture, and we will explore some of the most prominent ones.
First of all, AR can be practical for architects who are designing buildings or structures. Augmented reality programs overlay images onto the physical world around you that you see through your phone screen or other digital devices. Therefore, architects can use this technology to plan projects and examine how they look in real-life settings.
Another important application of AR in architecture relates to the ability of this technology to provide accurate measurements of real-life spaces. Namely, with augmented reality tools such as Microsoft’s HoloLens, you can measure different physical elements with surgical precision.
Finally, augmented reality allows us to revise our project on-site and make necessary changes before it’s too late. For example, AR gear could help us detect certain inconsistencies between our draft and the actual project. And although this type of revision was always a part of architecture, AR technology has made it easier and more efficient.
Benefits of Augmented Reality for Architects
We have already seen how AR can be used in the field of architecture, but there are also many benefits it can provide. For one, AR gives you a realistic idea of what a design will look like before it is built or constructed. This not only saves money on materials or labor, but it also takes much less time than any traditional procedure. Augmented reality allows architects to accurately predict construction costs and timeframes for their projects, which is another thing that traditional methods cannot do that well.
Armed with information about the cost and time of construction, architects can negotiate with clients to improve design plans or alter project goals if necessary. These negotiations may result in greater satisfaction among both parties, even though they alter the original plan.
Augmented reality also has applications outside of just visualization. Architectural firms use this technology for training and data management purposes, as well.
Future of Augmented Reality in Architecture
In the future, augmented reality may have even more applications in the field of architecture. For example, it could be used to assess safety hazards in construction sites by combining data from drones and sensors with 3D models of buildings. This would allow architects to quickly identify any safety risks at construction sites and take steps to correct them before they become dangerous or unmanageable.
Furthermore, with programs such as AUGmentecture, both architects and their clients will be able to fully visualize every tiny detail of an AutoCAD Architecture model. This visualization will then allow them to work together and come up with a solution that is satisfactory to both parties. And even though cooperation between clients and architects was always there, AR technology will bring it to another level.
Ultimately, nobody can tell for sure what the future of augmented reality in relation to architecture will bring. In fact, this technology, which was considered science fiction a decade ago, has been evolving so rapidly that it’s hard to predict where it can lead us. However, it’s certain that architecture will reach new heights thanks to AR.
Augmented reality is a useful tool in the world of architecture as it can help architects to visualize their designs in a real-world setting. This allows them to get a more accurate idea of how an architectural design will look when it’s completed, and also provides a better understanding of what adjustments need to be made before construction starts. And with every passing day, AR evolves in ways that push the field of architecture forwards. Therefore, if you want to help your firm grow, make sure to incorporate this technology as soon as possible.
By Sofia Jaramillo
Sofia Jaramillo is an Account Executive with Microsol Resources who manages a large profile of architecture, engineering and construction clients across the U.S. with Autodesk, Rhino, V-Ray and Enscape software. Born and raised in Colombia, she moved to New York in 2016 and has found a new passion within the field of design and construction.