It's Friday! We can't wait to unwind this weekend and gear up for next week, so here's a quick rundown of the topics we discussed throughout the week:
We examined the value of computational systems in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) landscape, and in particular, what we refer to as the "augmented age." While some think this era is still yet to come, we maintain the opinion that this age is already upon us. Cars, for example, have sensors that monitor every system, help us see behind the car, and even help us get where we need to go. Similarly, computational power will augment the way we work in AEC. The Internet of Things (IoT), wearables, and augmented and virtual reality (VR) all have far-reaching implications for the industry, helping us to work safer and smarter.
We compared replacing the spark plugs in a car 20 years ago to replacing them in a car now. The takeaway: Don't try this at home.
Virtual reality was also high on our radar this week, especially perceptions of its applications in AEC. We outlined a brief study, which garnered results that underscoredour long-held belief that in order to make VR technology truly useful, we need better tools. In our current workflows, we expend a great deal of time and energy clicking a mouse. Not only is this difficult to do in a VR environment, but it detracts from the feeling of being fully engaged in our projects and truly experiencing the work we're doing. Fortunately, that fact isn't stopping firms from embracing the technology, but we're still only beginning to utilize its full potential.
Clicking is so last year.
Additionally, we addressed consumer complaints about VR technology and its tendency to induce nausea. We pointed out that while some dynamic gaming platforms may lead to this effect when immersed in the game's experience, the interactive tools relevant to AEC would not. For our purposes, augmented and virtual reality programs offer a way to actively view and interact with a proposed built environment, not a way to kill zombies (although we like that application too!).
We're seeing green. But only with our VR headset set to rollercoaster.
Finally, we talked about the impressive growth of FedEx, from tiny package courier to international shipping giant. Most awe-inspiring in the FedEx story is the foresight: The company not only continuously acquired more and better means of shipping methods, but it also reinvented the technology to control and monitor the entire shipping process. It's this type of innovative forward-thinking that we see as the future of construction.
No more Pony Express! Planes, trains, and automobiles get your mail where it needs to go these days.
What do you think will change the face of AEC? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.