Virtual and augmented reality technology is one of the most buzzed-about trends in the construction tech space, as it can enhance collaboration among project stakeholders before building begins.
VR and AR can allow the construction team to detect errors ahead of time and avoid costly mistakes. They also have the potential to improve job site safety, such as letting managers and workers view job site conditions without subjecting them to safety hazards.
For example, researchers at the Institute for Computation in Engineering at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany are training workers on VR versions of job sites. And in September, construction giant Bechtel joined forces with Human Condition Safety to offer VR immersion safety training.
Klawans sees the potential for combining VR/AR and modeling. “There are other shiny pennies, but I think there’s a ton of value to be leveraged from VR/AR.”
Colonna said that with virtual reality, the “cool” factor is still somewhat outweighed by high implementation costs. “You can see a lot of very sophisticated presentations, but the challenge is with the software platforms today,” he said. “It’s kind of cost prohibitive to use that on a regular basis. It’s in more of early deployment.”