We are all well aware of the role of building information modeling software giants, in bringing models and information to the construction site. As it is done using a cloud platform, which connects to your tablets, you are able to watch the updates of each stage and see what is happening in the work site. But have you think about creating those information and models on-site with the help of your tablet? But, the chances to become the idea a reality are not so far.
Using Machine Vision for BIM
Even though we can now scan objects in 3D using the cells phones with the help of apps like Autodesk’s 123D catch, it is possible only for small objects. For example, we can scan that Roman bust you saw at a museum or the ultimate Instagram picture of your dinner. But, a research team at an engineering university in Switzerland named ETH Zurich, has developed new software with which we can see, record and create 3D model of, an entire building in a tablet computer.
The tablet makes it possible by using a type of photogrammetry. Photogrammetry is a popular technology in which we can create 3D models of buildings. Using this technology, the geographical information of even large aircraft can be created. To do so, a fisheye camera lens is used in the tablet that can catch multiple images of the building’s surface. The camera in the device then uses the position and location of the images to triangulate different elements pixel by pixel.
Project Tango may be an unfamiliar word for many. It is an attempt of Google at machine vision software. Google’s secretive Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group developed Project Tango and the software is a part of it.
As the Android devices that is provided by Project Tango have human-like senses for spatial and depth awareness, it can monitor the position and orientation of a device using its motion tracking ability. Project Tango can also let the device identify familiar places, as area learning is also incorporated with it.
Currently, Project Tango is applicable only in a specialized tablet and it is available only as part of the Project Tango development kit. But, Project Tango-enabled smartphone will arrive soon on the market, as announced by Google and Lenovo in January 2016.
Augmented Reality on a Mobile Device
Currently drones and other light aerial vehicles are used for building photogrammetry. If the portable medium like mobile phones can get the ability to 3D mapping of structures, it will really be a new revolution in construction industry, as the entire team like surveyors, engineers and contractors can finish their work quickly on site.
We can never ignore the possibility of using this new technology to survey entire districts in future because it is able to make big changes in the AEC industry. Instead of recording and measurements and dimensions and reentering them later, the software helps BIM teams scan them accurately and generate scale models from the building location itself.