• Maret Thatcher

Using AR on the Jobsite

Updated: 5 days ago

This 5 part Construction Augmented Reality series has been fun to write and it has been amazing getting to know you all in your questions.


Bringing it all together, it's time for Use Cases for Augmented Reality as Jobsite Holograms. We'll discuss what is possible when you bring your BIM off the screen and into the real world as holograms.




What are the use cases for Augmented Reality in Construction?


What aren’t the use cases? This deserves an entire series as we keep finding new and clever things but here’s the story of how it all started: just a humble little concrete pour.


Before this job, I didn't realize that the inside of concrete floors are full of components you’d never know are there--unless you’re in the know. The floor has structural embeds that require precise placement, and penetrations or "holes" where you'll need plumbing and electrical to run.


So when your job is to pour literal tons of gelatinous-ish concrete in just the right spots, and allow it to secure the structure without letting it invade the (many) places where no concrete should NOT be, you've got your work cut out for you. Now imagine that spinning concrete truck arriving on site and opening its load--WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG?

Errors happen. No matter how good the model is on screen, it has to be built in the real world. When a placement error happens it’s a large problem.


That's when Argyle came in. Someone on the jobsite asked, "Hey--we are making 3D models and there is all this AR stuff--why can’t we see these structural models in AR before we pour the concrete?"


So that's what we did. Argyle allows you to see your models in context of the jobsite. With augmented reality it's easy to see the job play out in context, correct errors on the fly, and save yourself a concrete ton of rework.


At Argyle, we’re excited about AR that enhances the physical world and workflows with in-context data.


From visualization of unbuilt spaces, clash detection and coordination, to using your Hololens as X-Ray glasses and looking through to the guts of the building. We’re seeing AR for layout and punch list and remote assistance.


We’re just scratching the surface of how this technology will transform the building industry.


What is it like to use AR on the jobsite?


AR on the jobsite feels obvious and natural. With augmented reality holograms of your BIM, you see what will be there. What isn't there yet, but what you're building. It's a guide. It's a gut check. It's the fastest way to understand anything that might be coming up on the construction site or to check back at what is there.


I mean --Can I see? Is it safe?


Yes you can see and... No. Construction was never safe. This job is one of the toughest and hardest around, and you'll never be truly "safe" on an active construction site. For a safe job, I suggest writing blogs on your computer. No one has hovered tons of steel over my head today writing this post. And for that, I am grateful.


That said, Hololens is certified as safety glasses for construction, and you're used to using your iPad on the jobsite by now. Flip up the face of the goggles on the HL2 if you want to walk around. Put your phone in your pocket. To improve safety, the software that runs on these devices should be designed to not detract from, say, walking safely. It could, however alert workers to potential safety hazards, improperly placed safety elements, or teach new concepts and processes.


As always with new tools--Train your workforce. Be smart--and invisible holograms are the least dangerous part of the jobsite.


Argyle is designed to reduce the number of elements visible in AR to just the task at hand. We have tried AR that felt like it occluded our vision too much. Make sure you test the solution.

Is your team ready to embrace AR?


Do you have a firm culture of innovators or are you feeling like you’re already behind? Have you forgotten how fun construction can be?


AR offers some good news here for the tech savvy and the luddite-- It’s a leveler.


The cool thing about AR is that it fits in nicely into an existing culture of accessing data in context--typically through mobile device use on the job. Good BIM plus good Augmented Reality techniques means you no longer have to be an expert at construction OR in tech to make meaningful project contributions.


Thank you for joining us, we hope you learned something. We're true believers in AR and holographic BIM. But we're excited to


Please tell us how your BIM and tech adoption efforts are coming. What is working for you and what is frustrating?


NEXT UP: We're talking about preventing the NUMBER ONE cause of fee erosion on the construction jobsite: REWORK. Yup. It's the thing you did wrong the first time so you have to do it again. That thing. No one likes it, and even when you're getting paid overtime you want to throw your hard hat in a pool of wet concrete in anger. That thing. Let's avoid it, mkay?


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