Mixed reality (MR) is used as both an independent concept where it combines the best of both augmented reality and virtual reality. It is also used to classify the gamut of reality technologies where it covers all possible variations and compositions of real and virtual objects. Mixed reality can include augmented reality, augmented virtuality, and other mixed configurations.
The concept of MR was explored in a more expansive way in the last couple of years. “Google Trends has shown a five-fold increase in searches on Mixed Reality over the last year, and the term is appearing in more and more marketing material.”
The way it works:
MR is very different from the way virtual reality works. The objects instead of residing in virtual reality are lodged in the real world space. This makes interactions more real than ever. These objects respond to the user’s behavior, as the user gets closer, the objects tend to get bigger. There’s also a change in the perspective as they play around an object.
In simpler terms, the mixed reality is an experience that allows digital content into the real-time surroundings, enabling us to interact with them. MR works when scanning the physical environment creates a 3D map of the surroundings. This allows the device to know how and where to exactly place the digital content. The users can interact with it by using gestures.
To make the holograms look, behave and sound in the most realistic forms the utilization of transparent lenses, spatial sound and an understanding of the physical environment are necessary. This helps them to realistically interact with the surrounding and with each other.
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Mixed Reality in construction:
In the construction sector, MR is a space in which both digital and real objects co-exist. The architects convert digital content into physical objects. It is a space where the construction design connects with reality.
A team of experts is needed to create these real-world objects using digital content. The team needs to have a deep spatial understanding to avoid errors. Mistakes are quite common during the design phase in the construction process. Even the tiniest errors can lead to an increase in costs and delays in meeting the project deadlines.
Visualization of the digital content as holograms or real-world objects helps in closing the gap between real and virtual. This has allowed the construction industry to eradicate the inefficiencies that exist in the current workflow.
Real 3D Visualization:
The construction industry has seen a major shift from 2D documentation to 3D architectural visualization and models. This help in improving the communication and coordination process both within the teams and with the clients.
With the help of MR, the architects are able to get the models out of the screen. This allows the clients to interact and engage with the design at a higher level. They are able to understand and experience the design in a more realistic form. By utilizing digital content and holograms the clients can take a walk around and explore the design in real 3D without any help from a professional to guide them and or dictate their understanding of the design or views.
Benefits of MR in the construction sector:
Mixed Reality can help in improving remote collaborations. It reflects the ability to share 3D digital content and holograms with remote clients. Thus, improving and taking the entire communication process to an entirely different level.
Even post the invention of CAD and BIM process, converting the design blueprints into reality has been a challenging task. It is a complex stage where any small error or wrong analysis of design data can result in repetitive work, increased costs and quality issues. Holograms and digital content minimize these complications. The design and data become clearer with MR.
With information being superimposed on the physical surrounding there is very little space for subjective interpretation. The stakeholders are able to get a deeper understanding and interact easily with the objects. They can give immediate visual feedback to the team, which then also supports a more effective and seamless production control process.
This technology addresses a few specific and significant issues that the construction sector faces during the design and operation phases. Hence, we see Mixed Reality playing a crucial role in the architecture industry over the next few years.
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