12 October 2022
In this article, we explore the best-performing augmented reality solutions on the market for construction inspection.
With AR making its mark across the engineering and design sectors, here’s what we’ve found are the top AR solutions for construction inspection.
XYZ Reality offers the best AR solution on the market today.
While XYZ Reality has several solutions to streamline the construction process, its main offering in terms of AR is the Atom™: a powerful Engineering Grade AR™ headset that allows users to overlay holograms of 3D design models onto construction sites with industry-leading millimeter accuracy.
With its patented technology, the Atom taps into the site coordinate system enabling 3-5 millimeter precision on-site. Complex hyper-scale design models can be easily stored and loaded almost instantly.
Purpose-built for construction, the Atom is a precise tool that offers high performance with zero delay and dynamic on-site scaling. It’s safety-certified and designed with added protection and comfort in mind.
Remote access features and offline capabilities allow you to work and make decisions no matter where you are. Even if you don’t have a WiFi connection, all data syncs when your internet connection is restored. It’s also wireless, with the ability to connect to Bluetooth as well for easy communication between the office and on-site teams.
The Atom™, as an augmented reality solution, is suited for both indoor and outdoor use.
In terms of its specifications, it boasts:
Intel i7 Quadcore processing power
Software integrations - Autodesk Construction Cloud
With excellent power performance and clear optical displays, the Atom™ is user-friendly. With the help of an XYZ Field Application Engineer (FAE), construction experts can easily use the headset to manage data more efficiently, encourage on-site transparency, and conduct on-site inspections more effectively.
For these reasons, XYZ Reality takes the top spot for augmented reality solutions, as its comprehensive features can significantly streamline the inspection process and increase overall efficiency.
The Microsoft HoloLens 2 is another headset device designed for hands-free work. It possesses a built-in version of Windows 10 for collaboration and photo or video capture.
Features include hand and eye tracking, voice control, and spatial mapping. This device is used across multiple industries, and so, is less suited to address the industry-specific issues dealt with on construction sites.
With around 2-centimeter accuracy, the HoloLens 2 fails to meet the strict tolerances required on complex construction projects. Users also cite problems with model drift as a huge drawback for consistent use on-site.
Regardless, the HoloLens 2 can help during the design phase and assist during construction reworks, validating installation conditions. It’s best used during early-stage design, though it can be used for construction inspections.
VisualLive is an augmented reality solution that works with AR devices like the Microsoft HoloLens, specializing in BIM for integrated workflows.
You can upload CAD or BIM models to the cloud-based platform, and then use external devices to project these models onto real-world environments. VisualLive also works with several apps and plugins to centralize data.
One notable downside is that the platform requires the use of an additional AR device, making the initial investment and implementation pricier. Companies will also need to consider additional overhead costs to manage both VisualLive and the device it pairs with.
Nevertheless, this solution works for inspections, allowing users to walk through designs and check things like electrical systems for routing or mechanical systems for openings.
Procore is another augmented reality solution that works with 3D models to validate work on the field.
The program connects with iOS devices (i.e., iPads and iPhones) and allows users to view models scaled to the real world by having them point and move the device to capture on-site surroundings through the device’s camera. Users can then view the model on the device’s screen.
Visualization and connecting teams are the core focuses of this platform, with stakeholders being able to collaborate through the use of real-time 3D and 2D models.
While this platform works well for job site walkthroughs and inspections, it does require the use of an iOS device. This AR system needs a WiFi connection, which means you won’t be able to use it on the go or if your internet connection isn’t working properly – a major problem for construction sites with limited connectivity.
Last on our list of augmented reality solutions is Fieldwire, a platform that focuses primarily on information access for jobsite management.
Features include access to drawings and files, as well as mark-up tools and internal communication channels. Collaboration and information exchange allow for task assignment, schedule creation, and performance tracking.
This platform is best utilized as an addition to some of the solutions listed in this article. While it can help with some aspects of construction inspection, it lacks some of the more revolutionary features that can significantly streamline the construction process.
As AR technology is shaping up to be an increasingly important tool for construction professionals, leveraging it will allow businesses to get ahead.
In terms of the best AR solutions, XYZ Reality is the top pick. XYZ Reality offers a fully-managed service purpose-built for construction inspection, which includes not only its Engineering Grade AR™ headset, the Atom™ but also its proprietary cloud platform and an XYZ field application engineer on-site for the duration of the project.
With XYZ Reality, you can eliminate rework, improve build quality, and avoid delays in your construction projects.
To see why we’ve put XYZ Reality at the top of our list, book a demo today!