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Category: Technology

Architect’s dive into the Metaverse

In the 1990s, with the introduction of “the internet”, which brought along websites, apps, live streams, and most importantly cat memes with it, the world went through a digital transformation. Now zoom into 2021 we have what is said to be the internet2.0 – Metaverse, which brings along NFTs, Blockchain, VR chat, and other soon-to-be common terms that are yet to be generalized to the common audience, which all begs a question, what is Metaverse?

Metaverse in its all complexities and glory is simply a digital world, where anything we can imagine can exist. It is a digital frontier where we can interact with each other in a 3D virtual space from the comfort of our home. It is designed to be a fully immersive 3D environment where buildings, art, music, and human connection can exist digitally. The platform might be premature right now, but the foundation has already been laid by Facebook, Microsoft, Epic Games, and many other tech brands and it’s fair to say the concept is an interesting and possibly lucrative domain for designers to leverage their design skills in the physical world and to extend that into the virtual world. This will be the next iteration of the “internet” which can be called web3, the perpetual blurring between our analog and digital life, and that’s where architects come into play.

Source: gamezonehub.com

For architects, the metaverse is an uncharted territory full of possibilities, and a utopia without the constraints of the physical world. Architects have the freedom to design and execute exactly what they desire. They can even create unique art collectibles called non-fungible tokens (NFTs) for the demographic that like to collect one-of-a-kind assets. Architects can also build digital library assets like the furniture to full-fledged cities, and sell them multiple times to the virtual worlds, games, and movies. They can also provide digital products/services across the globe now. It might be difficult to find clients who value their design from their region, but it’s much easier to find users that appreciate their taste globe-wide.

Source: bankdirector.com

The rise of the Metaverse is a seismic level event for architecture and as for their designs, even the sky is not the limit. With correct tools of 3D modeling software that architects are more or less familiar with: Blender, 3Ds Max, Maya, Houdini, city engine, Substance Painter and also game engines like Unity and Unreal, one can easily take the mantle as spatial environment designer in this new medium. This opens a whole new planet of opportunities for the architects. Their ability to visualize along with their software skills is more than enough arsenal to venture into this new realm of digital life. After all, it’s the architects and designers that can harness the power of creativity and imagination that can build an online space as rich and complex as the real world.

Author: Tapasvi Arora

Point cloud scan to BIM

Renovation – Retrofit – Adaptive reuse is becoming mainstream which demands the study of existing structures and their built environment. Adaptive reuse is also gaining popularity looking and sustainability and waste reduction point of view. For this, however, properly documented drawings, models, or surveys of the existing building or infrastructure are extremely important. In the conventional methodology, ‘measure drawings’ were adapted by the Architects and Engineers for a course period to recreate the project with a lot of challenges. But with advancements in technologies, Point Cloud Scan has become the agile technology of the AEC industry. It has enabled us to document the building with 3D laser scanning technology as Point Cloud Data and converting it to BIM on platforms such as Revit, ArchiCAD, etc. gives more advanced results.

Point cloud scan enables us to reduce the time required in measuring the building with more accurate and loaded data. Orthophotos, measurements, space-visualization, and clash-detection are a few outcomes that help us to model the building’s accurate and collaborative process. Scan to BIM also helps to analyze the differences between the point cloud and model geometry created by the native method.

This process required fewer people involved in the surveying process and no or fewer visits required to the project site once the scan is complete. In the present unprecedented times, Scan technology proved to be extremely beneficial, making site surveys possible to be done remotely. Every stakeholder – Architect, MEP Engineer, Structural designer, Interior designer, client, etc. benefits from the recorded data which is available on a single web link.

There are many different types of laser scanning devices that feature technologies such as LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) or SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping). These technologies capture millions of cloud points and provide a high level of quality and accuracy. Hence, there is the seamless integration of the cloud data into the BIM platforms.

The workflow for Scan to BIM

  • Capture – 3D laser scanners capture the physical environment as point cloud data.
  • Process – Point cloud data is visualized as orthophotos and imported to BIM platforms.
  • Modelling – Imported Cloud data is accurately model with BIM capabilities.
  • Optimize – Generated model is used by various stakeholders to analyze the existing and create proposals.

Henceforth, doing 3D laser scans and generating accurate BIM models creates endless possibilities to solve complex projects with ease in AEC Industry.

Author: Madhur Goyal

Featured Image credits: The Lidar news blog

Thinking material transparency in India- the beginning of mM India’s Collaboration Hub

Rooting from its parent initiative which advocates transparency of material information to achieve a healthier environment and built spaces, mindful MATERIALS (mM) India Collaboration Hub is an effort initiated by FivD India Consulting Pvt. Ltd. to enable India to advocate material transparency and setup a single database online hub (the mM library) in India. 

Looking at the current scenario in the Indian context, choices are made based on available incumbent material as against sustainable and healthy options. Many stakeholders are unaware about the ill implications of using certain materials. There is no shortage of efforts made by passionate individuals, firms, companies, or non-profit organizations, but most of the times these remain isolated and unstandardized. A lot of concern over the future of architectural and urban sustainability in India is on the rise and constant efforts towards negating the bad impacts of wrongfully chosen materials need to be explored and devised.  

FivD’s collaboration with mindful MATERIALS as the India Hub partner is a revolutionary step with the help of like-minded organizations coming together to raise awareness of building materials action and transparency in the Indian marketplace. The virtual launch of the initiative, held on 8th September 2021 was a roundtable with Annie Bevan (Executive Director, mindful Materials) introducing the mindful Materials initiative and emphasizing on a cross-disciplinary science-based industry-informed approach for creating a community learning and sharing platform. She also emphasized on the importance of working together and creating a common framework for curation and advocation of sustainable building materials in the form of a material library which could be our only shot towards drastically reducing the vast, global and systemic impact of the built environment on the natural environment. 

The founding members of the India Collaborative Hub including notable specialists from the industry like FivD, Aeon, Environmental Design Solutions, CannonDesign, ShawContract, Perkins Eastman, RePure, Breatheasy contributed several insights on how the initiative can be taken forward. The first step forward would be to develop strategies to encourage and educate our AEC industry peers and other stakeholders to understand the benefits of using sustainable and healthy materials beyond green building certifications through brainstorming sessions, live case studies, demonstrated research findings, workshops with regional context. Universities and government agencies can be roped in to emphasize on the cause and benefits. 

The extensive mindful MATERIALS library will act as a powerful tool giving users an opportunity to make material selections which can be standard for every building and not just those seeking green building certifications. It will act as a holistic material information tool not only for architects and designers but also for clients, contractors, manufacturers and all other associated AEC professionals. 

It will help in identifying better products based on complete knowledge about material ingredients, sourcing of raw materials, safety of processing and manufacturer’s social responsibility under a common framework.  

Image Credit : mindful Materials

A Healing Environment with Colours

Most of us generally associate interiors of a healthcare facility with colour white, as pure. It is often considered as a default setting than a design decision. But as the design briefs are evolving with time, adding a dash of colours is considered more hospitable and welcoming. Healthcare facilities are now integrating new colour palettes into their design that can uplift the look and feel of the environment. Bringing colour into the design is now being utilized to aid in the patient’s recovery as well as its functional uses like facilitating in wayfinding orientation, making a room/corridor look wider & distinct.  Colours help in reducing medical errors, refining the quality of life of the patient by bringing a positive change in their sleep and recovery patterns.

On a recent healthcare project for the Fortis group in Mumbai, our team at FivD gave importance to colours and how they come to play differently in each department and space. Drawing colour and textures inspiration from the local landscapes, we opted for a zoned approach. It is key to an institutional aesthetic, aids the wayfinding. The concept of “Art of Healing” was given weightage and can be seen throughout the design. Choice of certain colours were made to encourage a sense of calmness and improve the stress levels amongst the patients and families visiting. A cool colour palette like blue and greens brings people at ease and introduce a sense of tranquility to the room. We limited the use of overly bright red and yellows in patient rooms as they may cause anxiety and irregular cardiovascular readings. Though for a children, bright colors were also bought into play as kids associate differently and colours can help distract them from procedures. Colorful murals on the walls were applied to contrast the departments as well as uplift moods of children and adult patients. Each space had a colour scheme along with few accent and neutral shades to highlight the setting and visually appeal to the client.

For example, the colour scheme for the Mother and child department embarking a new journey is derived from delicate lavender fields and light tones of purple adding a hint of freshness to the setting.

For the in-patient suites, theme is derived from the location being close to the Arabian sea. Shades of blue (water) with neutral sand tones add in a sense of calmness and positivity to the room setting. The palette closer to nature has proven to add more comfort and soothing of our mind.

Application of the right materials also plays a big role while designing for a healthcare facility. Being aware of materials and its properties can help in reducing infections associated with high traffic areas and sensitive spaces. Main concern should be ease of sanitation to avoid germ build up. Use of textures, vinyl wall coverings and fabrics that are approved for medical settings add to the exploration of space embracing wellness. Thus, we can say that colours have a deep psychological and physiological effect on us. A well thought colour theme can aesthetically promote better mood and health of the patients. Our designs focus on creating spaces that integrates a healing environment with an innovative design moving away from traditional colour schemes.

Written by: Zeba Siddiqi, Designer

Healthcare Retrofitted Interiors

The Challenge  

Fortis Healthcare Limited is a multinational chain of private hospitals headquartered in India. This project had four major site locations; Fortis Kalyan and Fortis Mulund in Maharashtra, Fortis Hospital & Kidney Institute in West Bengal, and Fortis Nagarbhavi in Karnataka.  

One of the first challenges was to segregate and study these different locations and our team had to come up with making innovative concepts that were rooted in our culture and context. The team did not have access to detailed built drawings. The approach of the project had to be within a cost budget stated by the client.  
Also, as many retrofit building projects go by, structural stability can be challenge with increasing age of the buildings. In Fortis Nagarbhavi, the superstructure was not initially constructed and planned for a healthcare facility.  
  

The Use of Technology  

In retrofit building projects, the number of site visits is generally higher and also, special attention is given to organize documents for all the site visits. Due to the pandemic, the latter was not possible and hence, technology platform-Matterport came into play, which is a tool for 3D space capture. Matterport generated real-life spaces into immersive digital twin models and captured rooms to create truly interactive 3D models of spaces. The role of technology, especially during the pandemic helped us in studying the buildings and our team was able to visit all the sites at any point of the time virtually.   

Design Solution   

Using potent design solutions, efficiency in circulation spaces, minimal demolishing, optimized design grid, and adaptable planning, our team achieved gilt-edged spaces in each of these locations as per their context. Structural audits were carried out for these buildings to ascertain stability. For attaining the same, we strengthened the framework of the building The interior design of different locations has a specific color and material palette which is dedicated to suit the user’s involvement and illume the intense surroundings. Minimal design and applying economical material solutions helped us to make the best use of the space with a minimum budget.  
  

For Fortis Mulund, the concept materialized from water and greenery in Mumbai. The color theme of greens and browns are chosen to closely resemble nature which as a result is mollifying experience to the patients and visitors. In mother & child spaces, we used the Lavender theme for a lively, happy, comfortable and nurturing experience.  

In Fortis Kalyan, the minimalistic color themes are carved to impart alleviated healing experiences to ultimate users.  

  
In Fortis Nagarbhavi, the inspirations are drawn from the scale and vibrancy of processions. The scheme illustrates the context through its warm hues of reddish-orange with wood-look tones while keeping the articulation of forms simple and straightforward. Specific colors and material boards are used for varied functions in the hospital to make spaces unique yet connected for helping the end-user in way-finding.  

Design Impact  

Strategies of interior design and psychology helped us to ameliorate the tense situations of the hospital. The spaces derived will placate the stresses not only for patients and visitors but also for staff. Cost optimization is an accomplishment without negotiating with the design and the attribute of spaces.   

Key Learnings and Fun Stories  

‘Embrace the unknown!’ exclaimed the team.  

The surprises that came along the project while undergoing the design concept with the client were a great learning experience. Methodical organization of the documented photographs and data helped us in the transcription of vital information. The team kept on handling the activities during stressful tasks while keeping engaged in fun conversations and socializing informally among the team-mates and the client. 

Data Center – an Architect’s Perspective

“The spectrum of data center options has greatly expanded since their ­­creation. Customers can now choose between a broad array of options, from in-house, to a carrier, to colocation, cloud, or managed service offerings. The common core of each of these offerings is more than just power and cooling. The underlying infrastructure must contemplate security, connectivity, sustainability, and much more. To be helpful and relevant, our industry standards must be expanded as well.” Samuel Castor, Switch EVP Policy.

Data Center Design

Data Centers, a space or building that hosts data and related IT infrastructure physically and made accessible by the network as and when required, are very critical at this day and age for companies to function properly. Data access is so critical that every redundancy check is installed to avoid any downtime. Hosting such large data racks, networking equipment, and keeping it running continuously leads to consumption of a large amount of energy. Moreover, the running cost of ancillary building systems comes out to be much higher than the capital investment in the long run. Hence, energy-efficiency  and following good design practices for data centers are extremely critical as a step towards sustainability.

Best Design Practices

Some of the best practices for Data Centers are as follows:

  • Tier determination.
  • Site selection.
  • CFD Analysis (Computational Fluid Dynamics) to optimize facility design parameters.
  • Optimization of Data center cooling.
  • Smart Airflow management Maximization of the return temperature at the cooling units to improve capacity and efficiency.
  • Match cooling capacity and airflow with IT load.
  • Utilization of cooling designs that reduce energy consumption.
  • Determination of economizer benefits based on geography.
  • Selection of a power system to optimize availability and efficiency needs and use modular units.
  • Design for flexibility using a scalable architecture that minimizes environmental impact.
  • Data center infrastructure management – increased visibility, control, and efficiency.[1] National Institutes of Health, National Institutes of Health)

Sector growth in India

It is an exciting time to be a part of the industry as India is seeing accelerated growth in the data center market. Currently, there are 460 million-plus active internet users in India and the number will keep increasing in the advent of cloud technology, big data and data analytics, AI, e-commerce, Digital-India initiative, Smart-Cities initiative, IoT, Data localization, AR/VR, banking/NBFC initiatives and many other technological and legislative factors. With the current global pandemic, demands rose for WFH, streaming services, virtual conferencing, and digital payments pushing the expected data center market growth in India to 30-35%. As per a report from KPMG, the sector will quadruple in 4 years.

Key Design Considerations for Indian Market

Although India is the 2nd largest data center market in APAC, it is a fairly new industry that has its own challenges. These are some of the design considerations that are necessary for the road ahead.

Prototyping:

Research to optimize data center prototypes which work in this region to save time, cost, and energy for future ventures.

Risk Management:

Risk assessment on the prime aspects of Resiliency, Flexibility, and Connectivity and develop solutions to combat risks.

Planning for Security:

Physical security is as important as IT security, which involves security planning at the site level (Perimeter Layer), building level (Infrastructure Layer), security zoning inside the building, and optimization of personnel flow by smart 360-degree flow planning.

Quality Assurance and Control:

The lack of standardization is one of the main problems that plague any upcoming industry. Development and adherence to strong industry standards and quality databases can form the cornerstones of success.

Scalable Design:

In any growing market, the demands keep rising with time.  Modular designs that can be scaled and developed in sync with the rising demands.

Upskilling of Personnel:

Industry-specific training of design professionals for better understanding of requirements of a data center building.

In conclusion, every technological shift brings an irreversible change in society. As the world gets more connected, the pace of development increases, and the need for data centers increase. Those of us who understand and adapt our skillset to provide viable solutions for this new industry shall pioneer this change.

Sources:  Image Source: datacenters.com and venturebeat.com

Author: Ruchira Srivastava

Computation in Architecture

‘The correct lesson to learn from surprises: that the world is surprising.’- Daniel Kahneman

History is something that will never repeat itself but will always inspire us to adopt more evolution, innovations, and technologies. Some such interventions are artificial intelligence, virtual reality, robotics, augmented reality, digital fabrication, Big Data, machine learning and other advanced technologies in Architecture. The digital is everywhere; from the infrastructure we use to navigate the world to the objects we use to communicate. It was in the 1990s that Parametric Design came into existence which was followed by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in around 2008. Next normal will be the people-centric design where data will play an important role. The decisions will not only be taken by a human being but, the human-generated robots who will have access to various essential data and made to learn, ‘the art of possible’.

‘History is the study of change, Ironically used as a map of the future.’-Morgan Housel

In a general context, we need to understand that there is no failure of analysis, it is the failure of imagination. Computation, generative designs, automation, machine learning, and other tools, give imagination and let us explore the endless options. We humans can make them better and give a psychological touch to data. Instead of drawing lines and shapes, we designers must define all the computational instructions, variables, and parameters to achieve the output which is desirable and optimised. This generative process will be powered by algorithms and the designer’s mind simultaneously where the output is not performed by humans using a drawing tool but is auto-generated.

New computational methods have significantly enhanced the ability of people and robots to work flexibly together. Internet, telecommunication and digitalisation of projects using BIM allowed firms to revolutionise the communication, collective intelligence and collaboration of various fields. Evolution of digital tool by David Rutten in 2007 named Grasshopper uses visual node-based component interface to create 3D geometry and other functions such as implementing the explosion of generative tools like Honeybee, Ladybug, Geco, Quelea, Karamba, Kangaroo, Galapogas, etc brought a huge shift and attracted many designers due to its simplicity and ease in comparison to other available programming languages.

Digital fabrication is leading us to find a sustainable and inclusive infrastructure for the built- environment. Augmented reality is increasingly used to deal with precision in construction. Advancement with time has the potential to make us rethink the role of an architect.

These technologies and production are necessary for serving better around the globe and designing adaptive space and world. Together these technologies will help us better understand materials, structural systems, social dynamics and formation processes. More than productivity gains, we’ll rethink the way we live and the way we make decisions, and ultimately how we articulate our built environment.

‘D E S I G N   R E S P O N S I B L Y’

It is time to build a plan with people, planet, and social systems.

‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change’- Charles Darwin.

We should find ourselves responsible as there is no CTRL+Z in our field of architecture and our deeds of nature depletion. It is done and dusted.

Author: Richa Gupta

The Spirit of watching Sports: How its changing in 2021?

Each and everyone of us has had fond memories of watching sports. Be it with the family and friends for that big game, watching it in a bar or pub with a group of strangers or that first visit to the stadium and getting immersed in complete awe. These are some of the special experiences that we all had in our lives that make viewing special.

It is safe to say that watching sports brings a spirit of comradery, togetherness, and upliftment. Stadiums are considered as modern monuments and rightly so because of its scale, witness to modern history being written and the ability to bring us all to share experiences that are unique and joyful.

With that said, we all are well heedful of the current pandemic scenario. We’ve been watching sports to the confinement of our homes and with little or no people in the stadium. The experiences of watching it alone, with little/without crowds has dimmed down the excitement associated with watching sports.

We at FivD in collaboration with major design firms and consultants are working on various exciting sports projects that aim at changing viewing sports in a revolutionary way. Be it through AR mapping of crowds onto the empty stands, or ingraining technology into our greenfield venues that would make the viewing sports remotely on devices and enhanced experience that is worthwhile.  We are excited to be involved in all.

Design in conjunction with technology is a powerful tool, and we are leveraging on it to provide experiences to sports enthusiasts like they have never seen before. Excited to be part of history being re-written that will forever change and enhance the experience of watching sports through our projects.

Author : Ripudaman Singh, FivD

June 25, 2020 0 Comments

Coronavirus Pandemic Brings New Use Cases for Augmented Reality

Sheba Medical Center in Israel and broadband provider Cox Communications Inc. are among several organizations that have found new uses for augmented reality during the coronavirus pandemic, and they plan to continue using the data-visualization technology beyond the crisis.

“It’s a revolutionary tool,” said Amitai Ziv, director of Sheba Medical Center’s Rehabilitation Hospital and founder of MSR – The Israel Center for Medical Simulation. “We believe we can do a lot with it.”

Augmented reality superimposes digital content, such as 3-D images or visual instructions, onto a user’s view of the real world. This can be done through mobile devices and wearable headsets such as Microsoft Corp. ’s HoloLens.

Companies for several years have been experimenting with early versions of the technology to design objects such as automobiles and to receive step-by-step manufacturing instructions. The pandemic has increased those use cases to include remote assistance and training because employees and customers are less willing to be in close contact, said J.P. Gownder, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc.

Since March, Sheba Medical Center has used five HoloLens 2 headsets to train about 60 physicians, biomedical engineers and nurses on how to operate ventilators for Covid-19 patients, said Ravid Segal, chief technology officer of the MSR – The Israel Center for Medical Simulation, located at Sheba Medical Center. The HoloLens headset uses computer processing and optical projection systems to create digital hologram-like objects that users can see and interact with in their real environment.

In the Sheba Medical Center scenario, medical workers wearing the headset can see a hologram-like rendering of a ventilator superimposed on their real-world view. The headset includes built-in instructions that guide the worker through the process of operating the physical ventilator in front of them. The headset can also be used as a way for doctors in other parts of the hospital to give remote assistance without needing to be physically present but still being able to see what is happening in a patient’s room. Users wearing the headset can connect to a real-time video feed of a doctor in a separate wing of the hospital, which is displayed to the user as a digital image floating in the real-world room. The doctor, using either a HoloLens headset or a mobile device, can also see what the user is seeing in real time.

Before the pandemic, the medical center had already planned to explore the use of augmented reality this year, said Eyal Zimlichman, chief innovation officer at Sheba Medical Center. “With Covid, it reinforced our decision [to use augmented reality] and the understanding that this is a critical tool in health care,” Dr. Zimlichman said.

Microsoft has seen a 13-fold increase in remote assistance usage on HoloLens 2 since January, largely because of social-distancing and lockdown requirements amid the pandemic, said Charlie Han, principal program manager for Microsoft HoloLens.

The number of U.S. employees expected to wear augmented and so-called mixed reality headsets is projected to reach 8.6 million by 2028, up from 25,000 in 2019, according to a November 2019 report by Forrester.

The research firm refers to the virtual overlay of hologram-like, interactive objects onto a user’s view of the real world as “mixed reality,” while the term “augmented reality” refers to static images superimposed onto a user’s view of the real world.

https://www.wsj.com/video/as-countries-reopen-social-distancing-measures-remain-in-place/E554AE56-F21A-44CC-86E1-02CF9B455634.html

Enterprise adoption of the technology could accelerate in the coming years as companies realize the value of the technology, meaning the forecast could change, Forrester’s Mr. Gownder said. “We have seen a huge increase in enterprise interest in augmented and mixed reality during the pandemic,” he said in an email.

Broadband internet company Cox Communications in March rolled out augmented reality technology to its workforce of more than 5,000 people including home technicians and contractors. “It’s absolutely essential to how we’re operating,” said Len Barlik, chief operations officer. Customers who need help installing internet service, plugging in a modem or setting up WiFi and passwords receive an email or text message with a link to start a virtual call through a software program from Alabama-based technology company Help Lightning Inc.

When customers click on the link using a phone or tablet with a built-in camera, a technician can talk them through the set-up process while being able to see what the customer is seeing. The technician can “draw” a circle or arrow around a particular object, such as a cable, that the customer will be able to see.

Technicians normally have to go inside customers’ homes to perform such service or troubleshooting requests, but the pandemic and social-distancing requirements have prevented that from happening in various states, Mr. Barlik said.

Cox had explored the idea of using the technology in customer service experiments before this year, but the pandemic accelerated the use case for it, Mr. Barlik said.

The Help Lightning technology is currently available only for residential customers but will continue to be used after the pandemic subsides and could be expanded to business customers, he said. Servicing customers via augmented reality can save the company money and time that would otherwise be spent on driving from house to house, Mr. Barlik said. “We’ll definitely continue to utilize it,” he said.

Help Lightning saw 435% growth in customers using its technology to conduct thousands of calls related to remote assistance between February and April because of the pandemic, said Gary York, chief executive of the company.

Author: Sara Castellanos
Source: WSJ

June 25, 2020 0 Comments

Daqri’s augmented-reality construction helmet aims to “change the nature of work”

CES 2016: LA-based augmented reality company Daqri has unveiled a smart hardhat that gives workers additional layers of information about their surroundings (+ slideshow).

Called the Daqri Smart Helmet, the wearable device enables a user to see an augmented reality – the real world overlaid with computer imagery.

The helmet – which has a blue scratch-resistant visor – was specifically created for workers in industrial settings, such as oil rigs, water treatment plants and construction sites. It is intended to increase productivity, efficiency and safety, said the company.”We’ve been working in the medium of augmented reality for the past four years, and what we found was, you just can’t solve the most challenging problems with devices that were designed for consumers,” said Brian Mullins, Daqri‘s founder and CEO. “We needed something that was designed specifically for industrial applications.”

The headgear uses a combination of cameras and sensors to capture and record real-time information about the user’s surroundings, from valve readings to thermal data. It can also show the wearer stored information like safety guidelines and worker instructions.

The device could be integrated with building information modelling (BIM) software. This could allow the display to show users the insides of structural elements, such as the interior of a pipe.

Daqri augmented reality helmet

“Users are provided with unprecedented levels of information about the world around them for the most precise display and tracking possible,” said the company on its website. “The most powerful augmented reality device on the market will change the nature of work.”

“This idea has been in academia and research labs for a long time, but has never been built into a product until now,” said Chris Broaddus, Daqri’s vice president of research development, in a promotional video.

Daqri augmented reality helmet

A pilot version of the Daqri Smart Helmet was unveiled in 2014, and the updated version – which boasts more computing power – was presented this month during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The helmet contains a sixth-generation Intel Core m7 processor, a sophisticated sensing technology, and an array of cameras that together capture 360-degree views. A computing program within the camera called Intellitrack captures, processes and displays information about the user’s surroundings.

Daqri augmented reality helmet

The company also developed a separate computer software program called Daqri 4D Studio, which syncs with the helmet.

“The smart helmet knows how you move through a space, and it can map the environment and start to create a 3D reconstruction of a facility,” said the company. “When you have multiple people wearing the smart helmets, they share that information and you build an entire model of that facility with that combined data.”

Daqri augmented reality helmet

The helmet has been in a pilot phase and is expected to be available for purchase in the first quarter of this year.

Daqri, which describes itself as a “human-machine interface company”, was founded in 2010 in Los Angeles. The Daqri Smart Helmet is its flagship product.

Other augmented reality devices include a headset that shows cyclists safe routes through urban environments and glasses from MINI that enable drivers to see through the body of their car.

Author: Jenna McKnight
Source: Dezeen.com