Technology has advanced at a dizzying rate over the last decade and it shows no sign of slowing that pace. Feats that we could only imagine 20 years ago are a reality today thanks to tech like virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Science fiction movies have been using holograms and mixed reality for years and now those technologies are upon us. The Society for Marketing Professional Services’ technology event, Emerging Technologies in the A/E/C Industry, is a testament to that fact. We learned some really interesting things at this comprehensive presentation and panel discussion from some of Tampa Bay’s leading techies and then we learned how these technologies are being applied to the architecture, engineering, and construction industries.
From Cool Game to Business Application
Just a few years ago, virtual reality goggles and holo-glasses were fun, experimental gadgets that offered games, travel experiences, and trips to outer space without leaving the comfort of your living room. Soon after these gadgets became more mainstream, many industries, with the help of tech-savvy staff and forward-thinking executives, started seeing the real-world business applications of this technology. In the A/E/C/ industries, the applications are vast – and important. Imagine being able to do walk-throughs of a new building with the use of virtual reality, before the contractors even start working on the foundation. Contractors, architects and engineers can communicate about the nuances of a space before construction begins. This is a huge step for eliminating costly errors and miscommunication. Virtual reality is a project manager’s dream come true.
Use Case – Atlanta Falcons
When the Atlanta Falcons decided to build their new stadium, they hired our friends at HD Interactive to create a virtual reality simulation of the stadium experience from all perspectives, including the various seating levels, the 50-yard line, and the end zones. HD Interactive rendered the simulation using the architectural and engineering plans and created an application that allowed the owners and investors to do a virtual walk-through of the stadium. They inspected the experience from a multitude of angles and discovered that the giant television screens were placed at an angle that was extremely uncomfortable to look at. They were up too high so extended viewing caused the viewer to have neck pain. As a result of this discovery, the team changed the plans and placed the screens at a level that was more comfortable to view. Having the ability to change the plans before they began construction saved a significant amount of money and time added to the project timeline.
Many industries are applying virtual reality and augmented reality. If you had the option, how would you apply this technology in your business?