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Mixed reality: Experimenting with digital models

The project stakeholders can now interact collaboratively with digital construction models using intuitive gestures to plan, visualize, and experience construction sequencing

Published: 15/05/2019

Country: United States
Have you ever imagined interacting with the model and experience collaboratively 4D objects in space and time? Now this is possible with the new application SYNCHRO XR developed by Bentley Systems and the new Microsoft HoloLens 2.

With this technology users can interact collaboratively with digital construction models using intuitive gestures to plan, visualize, and experience construction sequencing.  Project digital twin data is visualized with the HoloLens 2 via Bentley’s connected data environment, powered by Microsoft Azure. 

A well-planned project, a successful project

With the mixed reality solution, construction managers, project schedulers, owner operators, and other project stakeholders can gain insights through immersive visualization into planned work, construction progress, potential site risks, and safety requirements. 

Noah Eckhouse, Senior Vice President and Project Delivery for Bentley Systems, said, “With SYNCHRO XR users benefit from a new perspective on the design and a deeper, more immediate understanding of the work and project schedule. Instead of using a 2D screen with a mouse and keyboard, the user can now walk around the model with their body and reach out and grab digital objects that appear to co-occupy physical reality. This is a powerful way to review work that is completed and to prepare for upcoming work at the jobsite.”

The real need for a digital transformation in our industry is about avoiding rework at our construction site. That’s why many projects are already using this technology. A good example of this is a large museum in the city of Rotterdam, which is being developed by the Royal BAM Group. Its director of digital construction, Menno de Jonge, tell us about their experience with SYNCHRO XR and HoloLens 2: “Using this technology, we can easily visualize the construction schedule. Then, we can see if we are behind in schedule, we can flag any potential problems or issues, look into the problems, and get back on track.”

The more information you get, the best decisions you make

“With this technology you can get any digital information you need from a model. In some specific cases we are rendering 3D and 4D models, complex geometry, and any data that can be searched with this geometry like property sheets, images, PDF’s”, explains Greg Denchmak, Industry Solution Advisor Construction for Bentley Systems.

Alex Kipman, technical fellow, AI and mixed reality at Microsoft, said, “The newly announced Microsoft HoloLens 2 is a self-contained holographic computer that enables hands-free, heads-up interaction with digital models. It builds on the breakthrough innovation of HoloLens and is even more immersive, more comfortable and delivers industry-leading value right out of the box with partners like Bentley.”

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