HoloLens app developer Trimble has been working with the University of Cambridge in the UK to find practical applications for Microsoft’s holographic technology in the construction industry.
Trimble – developer of the SketchUp Viewer app, which allows architects to see hologram versions of building models when they’re wearing the HoloLens headset – and the university’s Construction Information Technology Lab are trialling the holographic technology in two ways.
They’re using it to help building inspectors when carrying out remote structure assessments, so instead of having to go and carry out visual inspections, fill out forms and reports and consult drawings, they can use Hololens to see all physical and digital information in one go.
They’re also using it to automatically detect damage in bridges. High-resolution images can be taken by local teams and sent to inspection engineers, which can then review the integrity of a bridge in mixed reality using HoloLens, making recommendations for repairs or other preventative measures.
“The construction sector is undergoing rapid transformation as a result of the revolution in digital engineering,” said Ioannis Brilakis, director of the Construction IT Laboratory at the University of Cambridge. “This exciting relationship with Trimble will enable us to work together to push forward our agenda to develop new, transformative tools and technologies to deliver a much safer and more productive construction industry and help build the infrastructure on which the well-being of society depends.”