Augmented Reality: What are the possibilities for ARchitecture?

Augmented Reality: What are the possibilities for ARchitecture?

Over the past month, Augmented Reality (AR) has been everywhere in the form of the recently released and wildly popular app-based game, Pokémon Go, but what about its application within Architecture?

The truth about augmented and virtual reality is that they aren’t new to the architecture industry but their impact is definitely growing and in a very positive way too.

Augmented reality devices have the ability to enhance what we see by incorporating digital objects into the real world. By contrast, virtual reality overrides the external world with a fabricated digital visual experience.

As this form of technology continues to rapidly evolve so will its application to specific industries such as design and architecture where its impact is already recognised, but does this reflect the true potential of augmented reality?

Applications of augmented reality

Traditionally architects rely on 2D prints to demonstrate their construction plans. Now, using augmented reality devices such as the Augview app, they have the opportunity to replace these plans and present 3D augmented models via phones and tablets – things, which today could be considered easily accessible to most.

AR apps like Augview and ARKi use multiple interactive layers to allow manipulation such as the modification and removal of walls, a function not available in print. In addition, 2D plans can often allow for human error through misinterpretation, such as determining which wall is which.

Further to this, some augmented plans are capable of being walkable. Yes, walkable in the sense that viewers can move around and experience the full design, inside and out.

Augmented reality is the future

Augmented reality yields multiple benefits for the architecture industry, with its full potential yet to be realised. Once the use of augmented reality becomes more commonplace, it could eventually eradicate reliance on 2D plans, making augmented plans accessible almost anywhere.

With augmented reality, we are also starting to see mass customisation and even experiment with what looks best in real time – both convenient and time saving.

Ultimately, augmented reality brings the real and the virtual closer together, acting as a platform to help the viewer understand how things fit together. It has the ability to illustrate things beyond the eye to ensure precision; it can be useful in quality assurance too, which is something the automotive industry is growing familiar with, including car manufacturers such as Porsche.

This is just the beginning; over time, further devices will be designed and improved, leading to an even wider application in architecture.

This might be necessary given the increasing demand for faster and flexible processes in order to meet growing customer expectations in a consumer-driven age.

By 2026, augmented reality is predicted to be everywhere and architecture is no exception.

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