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Using HoloLens, participating professionals will be able to use 3D models in a mixed reality setting for their engineering and construction projects.

The companies expect to improve communication, data interpretation and collaboration between team members during the design development and pre-construction stages.

Microsoft HoloLens projects holograms of 3D objects onto a user’s view and allows interaction as if they were present in real time. Trimble’s mixed-reality solutions let AECOM feed 3D engineering models into the HoloLens, including models of complex projects participants can interact with.

Microsoft´s holographic headset will provide AECOM designers and engineers a virtual 3D multiple perspective view of complex structures. From simple 3D models projected on a table up to 1:1 motion simulations in a structural framework, the HoloLens will be tested in many different settings.

As it allows team members to point out difficulties and conflicts in early stages of the designing process, the companies expect a positive impact on overall cost and planning time.

AECOM also plans to use the holographic glasses to connect team members in different locations such as Hong Kong, London and Denver so they can view and interact with the same models simultaneously.

“As an early adopter of Microsoft HoloLens, AECOM is already demonstrating the value of mixed reality in the architecture, engineering and construction industry,” AECOM vice president Bryn Fosburgh said. “Aided by Trimble solutions and the HoloLens in a business setting, the company is learning first-hand how the technology can improve efficiency and enable effective collaboration throughout the design process.”

Applying “mixed-reality” technology

AECOM and Trimble’s mixed-reality approach was already put to a first test for the London’s Serpentine Galleries’ annual architecture program. They used HoloLens-enabled technology for the visualization and the design-review process of four summer houses with complex, unconventional structures.

“Exploring complex structures in a mixed-reality environment has huge potential to accelerate the engineering design process,” AECOM president Stephen M. Kadenacy said. “With this technology we can gain greater clarity earlier in the design review process than with 2D drawings or 3D models on screen.”

A partnership for better construction

AECOM and Trimble in 2014 entered into a multi-year agreement to help increase the productivity of the construction industry using advanced and accessible technology.

While AECOM designs, builds, finances and operates infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organizations, Trimble provides positioning, modeling, connectivity and data analytics technology to boost productivity, quality, safety and sustainability.

Trimble can help AECOM track the progress of construction projects with at-a-glance project status, and illustrate project stage elements easily.