The buzz about virtual reality has been going on for quite some time with the recent and rapid development of technology and improving visual interfaces, however, we have yet to see it fully penetrate the mass market.
Certain retail stores, such as Best Buy, are starting to promote their virtual reality devices in anticipation of the holiday buying season with some devices as low as $10, which are used in connection with a smartphone, and as high as $800 for stand alone devices. Strategy Analytics Research Firm predicts that the holiday shopping season alone will generate virtual reality sales of 556 million dollars, with about 11.4 million adults financing these purchases. The lower-price virtual reality devices that are used in synch with a smart-device are predicted to be the most sought after. They predict its market penetration to be around 6% at the end of this year, which is significant for a disruptive innovation such as this one.
The rise of virtual reality is sure to have an impact on every industry, whether you have adopted it already or not. Many construction industries have been adopters of virtual reality already, and have articulated some of the benefits that it has provided the industry.
Here are the top 5 ways that virtual reality can make an impact in commercial construction:
Faster Project Completion
According to Construction Business Owner, a construction team did two projects of the same magnitude, one using virtual reality and one without. The project in which they used virtual reality included five additional floors in the building than the project without the technology. With the aid of virtual reality, construction teams will not only be more capable of staying on schedule but may even be able to get more accomplished in a given period.
Every industry is adapting to the digital world by beginning to go paperless. In commercial construction, virtual images created by reality capture solutions and BIM software are much more accurate than paper blueprints. The reality capture is so accurate that it goes into detail down to the nuts and bolts of a building. This technique can be used at any point of the construction process from pre-construction to post-construction to compare change. By checking the progress on a regular basis, you are more likely to catch errors and therefore improve accuracy.
Improved Collaboration and Communication
With the use of virtual reality, you can allow your coworkers to see what you see, which will more effectively communicate your ideas. It also will allow effective communication with the clients. Your 3D virtual images can answer their questions or provide them with some knowledge of the structure of the building that they otherwise would not have. Improved collaboration and communication will lead to greater client satisfaction and ease which makes the job easier for the construction worker as well.
Augmented reality (AR) is a type of virtual reality that combines the virtual world with your physical world. This technology can ensure that the right pieces are being used and being installed correctly by utilizing an audio feature on top of the visual experience. AR helps construction workers step by step when creating the foundation for a project to ensure accuracy and therefore safety from keeping a structure from collapsing.
When you were a kid didn’t you always wish you had x-ray vision? With this augmented reality, you can have the ability to see through walls or other barriers, improving inspection and accuracy in commercial construction by allowing workers to see things that may have been otherwise out of view. This will lead to safer and more sustainable structures.
Aid in Training
Virtual reality can help in safety training. It could create certain visuals and simulations to mirror risky situations that these workers will find themselves in such as extreme heights and dangerous machinery. By utilizing this technology, workers will be better equipped to tackle the potentially hazardous situations they will inevitably face.
Whether using Augmented or Virtual Reality, the reality for the construction sector will be affected by this new technology in every way. It’s happening now. However, as virtual reality becomes more prevalent in the mass market and business practices, the construction industry will see many new benefits as it becomes more widely used.