Augmented Reality in Construction Lets You See Through Walls >

Imagine you’re part of a crew constructing a new office building: Midway through the process, you’re on-site, inspecting the installation of HVAC systems. You put on a funny-looking construction helmet and step out of the service elevator. As you look up, there’s a drop ceiling being installed, but you want to know what’s going on behind it.

Through the visor on your helmet, you pull up the Building Information Model (BIM), which is instantly projected across your field of vision. There are heating ducts, water pipes, and electrical boxes, moving and shifting with your point of view as you walk along the corridors. Peel back layers of the model to see the building’s steel structure, insulation, and material finishes. It’s like having comic book–style X-ray vision—and soon, it could be a reality on a construction site near you.

This magic hat, the DAQRI Smart Helmet, is a wearable augmented-reality system being developed for use in industrial fabrication industries—especially the building and construction industry. Essentially, it allows builders, engineers, and designers to take their BIM model to the construction site, wear it on their heads, and experience it as an immersive, full-scale 3D environment.

Giving construction crews access to this level of multilayered building information would let them see spatial relationships better; detect MEP clashes earlier; and in general, allow faster, more informed decisions with fewer errors….

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