Aecom / Trimble test 3D Holograms
Microsoft HoloLens headsets
Engineering giant Aecom is collaborating with Trimble (also known for “SketchUp”) to pilot Microsoft’s virtual reality HoloLens headsets on three projects, including this year’s Serpentine Pavilion in London.Users can view and interact with holograms of 3D engineering models.
Using these on real-world projects, Aecom claims this as the world’s first use of the technology in the engineering and construction industry. Their experience is that the mixed-reality technology supplements conventional working practices and improves communication, collaboration and visualisation.
In Aecom president, Stephen Kadenacy’s, view exploring complex structures in a mixed-reality environment has huge potential to accelerate the engineering design process. “With this technology we can gain greater clarity earlier in the design review process than with 2D drawings or 3D models on screen, and team members in different locations, each wearing a headset, can simultaneously explore the same holographic projections.”
Complex Unconventional Structures
With four different architects (Kunlé Adeyemi, Asif Khan, Yona Friedman and Barkow Leibinger) each designing a different “Summerhouse” for the Serpentine Pavilion, Aecom used the HoloLens technology to visualise and review designs for the complex, unconventional structures. In this way their engineers were able to view the structures as if they were 3D models, and zoom in for a 1:1 view.
Potential Difficulties identified in advance
By sharing this experience, team members were able to physically point out potential difficulties or unforeseen conflicts in an evolving design. “Trimble’s solutions allow participants to log observations and create a group action plan during the session,” said Aecom.
Hong Kong & Denver join Serpentine
In addition to the Serpentine project, Aecom is trialling the technology in Hong Kong and Denver, allowing engineers and architects to share the same holographic models simultaneously across different continents, with their movements and interactions linked together via the internet.
The value of “Mixed Reality”
Bryn Fosburgh, vice president at Trimble sees Aecom’s early adoption of Microsoft HoloLens, as demonstrating the value of mixed reality in the architecture, engineering and construction industry,
“Aided by Trimble and the HoloLens in a business setting, the company is learning first-hand how the technology can improve efficiency and enable effective collaboration throughout the design process.” he said.