Trimble’s XR10 with HoloLens 2 is the future of construction productivity. Jordan Lawver, portfolio manager, mixed reality for Trimble tells you why.

How does the XR10 with HoloLens 2 function as a tool in the design assist process? 

The XR10 with HoloLens 2 enables users to more effectively visualize 3D design in the field. Bringing models into the actual environment helps workers to foresee the work and any possible site issues before they happen, as well as align on vision and avoid delays, re-work and going over budget. For example, field workers can rapidly iterate on design ideas in 3D and collaborate with others (both co-located and remote) while immersed in the design.

Is the XR10 with HoloLens 2 a solution someone can easily adapt if they have had no prior experience with mixed reality? Should they start with another Trimble solution first?

Yes, it is an instinctive device that allows users to touch, grasp and move holograms in a way that feels very natural. 

Trimble Connect for HoloLens integrates with the XR10 to fully connect project data directly to the field so the whole team can see the project vision throughout all phases of a construction project. Trimble Connect integrates users’ existing data, without any disruptions in their normal process, and provides an easy platform for open collaboration and coordination.

Who is the ideal person and their title to wear the XR10 with HoloLens 2 on a job site?

It is ideal for superintendents, foremen, installers and field technicians and provides field-oriented workflows that leverage constructible 3D models and mixed reality to solve daily work tasks.

Would the XR10 with HoloLens 2 be a good fit for subcontractors? Why or why not?

Yes, the XR10 with HoloLens 2  and Trimble Connect for HoloLens can be utilized for a variety of use cases including:

  • Review designs overlaid onto the real world and empower project management through streamlined coordination and collaboration to improve workflow.
  • Training and simulation using mixed reality and remote assist to improve efficiency and safety of new employees and front-line workers.
  • Visual sequencing provides step-by-step instructions of an assembly process delivered to the line worker during assembly. For complex assemblies, 3D views of each step with accompanying instructions help even experienced workers to avoid potential errors.
  • Quality control including early identification of discrepancies between design and actual.
  • Production control to monitor progress of work by comparing 4D models with actual progress.
  • Maintenance through remote experts, real-time collaboration, in-context IoT information, and in-context maintenance instructions.

Is mixed reality the future of job sites? Do you envision a future where everyone has some mixed reality component on the job site?

Mixed reality is playing a key role in the digital transformation process by improving the understanding and communication of complex spatial conditions through a truly immersive experience.

virtual reality in construction

Emerging technologies in the mixed reality space, such as spatial anchoring, are allowing for users to collaborate in the same space, and with the same data, while displacing location and time. This will allow workers to coordinate efficiently by essentially leaving virtual “sticky notes” across a site for others to find.

In addition to simply the ability to look at the model, advanced mixed-reality solutions give users access to critical BIM data embedded within project components. By visualizing and “walking through” their projects in the digital world, teams can route changes and RFIs more quickly and accelerate the pre-construction process. They can also identify site issues earlier to reduce downstream rework and prevent chaos during the coordination. This is helping companies shorten project schedules, reduce costs, eliminate rework, and support additional workflows like on-site assembly, progress tracking using 4D models and even asset management.

The XR10 with HoloLens 2 is very much about using mixed reality to increase productivity, is there an estimation on how much time is saved with the introduction of the XR10 to a job site. Are there any case studies?

When Trimble was constructing a second building on its Colorado campus, the construction team was walking the job site to validate the HVAC systems. Using the Trimble Connect for HoloLens software on the XR10, they discovered a clash between the as-built structural and to-be-built mechanical systems that would not have otherwise been visible. The ability to catch this clash early allowed the contractor to fix the problem and avoid what would have caused a one-week delay of the project and $12,000 in rework.

Another example is a prefabrication project where we took four workers who had never assembled a rebar cage and pitted them against a team that did it for a living. The four new workers were equipped with the HoloLens and were able to do the work in half the time compared to the experienced workers without the HoloLens.

This story originally appeared in the January 2020 issue of SNIPS magazine.