Will holographics be the next big technology for construction? If two big construction technology providers have their say, the answer to this question will be yes.

Trimble, www.trimble.com, Sunnyvale, Calif., is working with Microsoft, www.microsoft.com, to develop a new generation of tools, integrated with the HoloLens holographic platform on Windows 10, which are intended to improve quality, collaboration, and efficiency in the design, construction, and operation of buildings and structures.

Microsoft HoloLens is a head-mounted, holographic computer that provides a mixed-reality experience for a range of commercial and consumer applications. When AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) professionals use, the HoloLens device extends interaction with 3D models beyond the confines of a 2D computer screen, creating new ways for the many stakeholders of complex, multiphase construction projects to visualize, collaborate, share ideas, and manage change.

During the recent Microsoft Build Developer Conference, Microsoft demonstrated how the integration of HoloLens with Trimble’s SketchUp 3D modeling software and the Trimble Connect collaboration platform could improve design and construction processes.

Using HoloLens, architects are able to experience their SketchUp models as holograms placed in the real world—enabling them to quickly analyze various “what if” design scenarios in the context of the physical environment. The demonstration also illustrates how using Trimble Connect with HoloLens holographic technology enables remote teams to review and collaborate in order to resolve constructability issues in realtime.

This is the next step in an already much-discussed technology—augmented reality. Lately, augmented reality has been garnering a lot of attention in the construction industry, as well gaining new funding.

With improved collaboration and visualization, the technology can provide big value to the construction industry.

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