For High Concrete, Smart Glasses Reveal a Better Picture

A recent article on Business Journal discusses High Concrete Group LLC, a subsidiary of High Companies in East Lampeter Township, and their use of Augmented Reality. The company bought the Microsoft HoloLens two years ago but have only began fully utilising it in the last year.

When developing a pedestrian bridge at Villanova University in suburban Philadelphia, an architect working with High Concrete, noticed an error in the design through a HoloLens headset; a sheltered horizontal concrete surface that would have attracted roosting birds. The architect found the error because the glasses showed him the bridge in 3D, and if it was not spotted before the bridge was built, the customer would have had more expense due to adding another material to prevent birds from nesting there. Thomas Beam, 3D building information modelling specialist at High Concrete, is stated to have said that the company was able to make a design adjustment prior to the concrete pieces being put in place.

Beam is quoted to have said that High Concrete wanted to make their clients’ experience of viewing their projects more enhanced, and they did this by purchasing the developer’s version of the HoloLens for $5000, increasing their competitive edge. In addition to improving customer experience, Beam believes that HoloLens also helps him and his colleagues to be better design partners.

On any given project, High Concrete generally works with three different people: a project owner, general contractor, and architect. The HoloLens helps the project owner to visualise the project in 3D space, it helps the general contractor to visualise the project as well as an architect, and it helps the architect (who already knows how to read contract drawings) to gain a clearer idea of what Beam and his colleagues are delivering.

Beam has also said that the headset offers a view of the texture, finish, and structure of the concrete. He hopes to see AR being used in production and quality control in future, and is quoted to have said that this would allow the company to ensure that all the reinforcements and hardware are being placed in the right location by projecting a piece into the form as a one-to-one scale.

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