This summer we are on a journey, looking at technologies that will completely transform how the construction industry does business. Today, let’s look at three big ones: AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), and MR (mixed reality).
These immersive technologies offer construction professionals the opportunity to visualize construction projects in new and different ways, ultimately speeding construction processes, heightening safety, and creating new business opportunities. Let’s break each technology down—and the growth projections we can expect in the years ahead.
At its core, VR is an entire virtual environment where a person can be immersed within that environment. The defining concept of it is immersion, so you can’t see the outside world around you. One example in construction is using virtual reality to train workers on tasks that are potentially dangerous such as electrical or large pieces of equipment. It can also be used in conjunction with VDC (virtual, design, and construction) and BIM (building information modeling).
Technavio suggests the VR market is estimated to grow a significant 60.65% through 2027, with a big trend being the introduction of 360-degree videos. These can be used to create virtual reality content, which can then be turned into digital simulations.
Some hurdles still holding back widespread adoption include the ability for high-speed internet and computation power. Without this, system downtime can decrease productivity in the workplace. Also, the market is fragmented, and it is only expected the degree of fragmentation will continue during the forecast period.
Still, Technavio suggests even amid the challenges that still exist the use of virtual reality in both personal and professional settings with continue to grow during the next five years.
AR is technology that augments the world around us. Looking through technology, it augments the environment that already exists around us today. It is placing digital content within the context of the physical world. It can be used in conjunction with BIM, giving contractors the ability to see the pipe through a wall, as one example.
In some respects, AR has already seen fast adoption in the past decade because everyone already has an AR device in their pocket. With the rise of smartphones also came the rise of augmented reality.
Looking to the future, Fortune Business Insights suggests this market will grow roughly 50.7% through 2030. Integration of apps is expected to boost market growth in the years ahead. Additionally, the rise in collaboration of key market players with the 5G players will reduce latency, which will also fuel market growth.
The analyst firm suggests the technology can be used for training, maintenance, assistance, and monitoring. For construction, it specifically points to the advantages of walkthroughs, which can help customers imagine future designs. Certainly, as Peggy Smedley always says, the opportunities are endless.
Introduced in a paper back in 1994, MR is blending the physical world and the digital world—and it has different definitions depending on who you ask. One common example in construction is Microsoft HoloLens, where there is digital imagery that is being projected onto lens that you can see through. With this technology, construction professionals can mitigate risks earlier in the construction cycle while also speeding up construction processes.
Market research firm SkyQuest predicts this market will grow 44.5% through 2030. One sector where it is gaining a lot of traction is healthcare, but there are also opportunities in construction as well. The technology enables improved productivity, better decisionmaking, and enhanced customer engagement.
Interestingly, 47% of survey respondents are using or piloting smart glasses for educational or training purposes, with another 21% planning to do so within the next year. In the years ahead, we will likely continue to see the rise of MR in construction to meet various needs that exist in the industry.
Next week, we will take this concept one step further, and we will look at the role the metaverse will play in the construction industry in the future—and how soon companies might engage in this immersive environment.
Do you have AV, VR, or MR hardware or software created for the construction industry? Tell us about it! Submit your technology for our 2024 Constructech Top Products award program.
Want to tweet about this article? Use hashtags #construction #IoT #sustainability #AI #5G #cloud #edge #futureofwork #infrastructure