VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed an Augmented Reality application for urban and construction planning. By combining positioning software and Augmented Reality, office and residential buildings can be placed in their actual environments and viewed as a whole already during the planning process, for example on the screen of a smart phone.
The newest examples of the implementation of Augmented Reality are the virtual presentations of the Kämp Tower planned for Jätkäsaari in Helsinki and the Billnäs ironworks area’s hotel project. Sketches of the buildings were placed in their natural environments and the application was used in committee hearings, for example.
According to Charles Woodward, Research Professor for VTT’s Augmented Reality field, the new virtualisation technology can support the work of architects and planners, as well as urban planning and related decision-making.
— This technology allows us to see the entire project at its proper scale and much more realistically than with the 3D imagery and modelling of traditional design software,” Woodward sums up.
The average home decorator can use the application to design and furnish their living rooms, for example. Furniture chain Vepsäläinen is already utilising a software application of this type developed by VividWorks Oy on its website.
Property maintenance and services is one field in which Augmented Reality applications may hold commercial potential, according to Woodward. The technology has also raised the interest of construction companies and software houses in the field of design.
— The technology enables a “see-through” application which can map the position of heating, plumbing and ventilation systems behind walls and panels. This allows us to compare the prevailing on-site situation with previously recorded information and thus detect any changes,” says Woodward.