First demonstrated in 2013 at the Associated General Contractors of America IT Forum by JBKnowledge President James Benham, the SmartReality Beta mobile app revealed a combination of construction project plans and augmented reality the industry had not seen before. Within just two months of its release, nearly 450 builders from around the world downloaded the mobile app. Nine months later, the commercial construction industry is still buzzing about its advanced capabilities.
Matthew Hoff, Integrated Construction Coordinator at Mortenson Construction has been working to incorporate the mobile app into his company’s U.S. operations. “We have put this technology in front of our owners and senior leadership, and we’ve received an almost ‘mind-blown’ response. We recently implemented this technology during interviews and I have no doubt that showing off this level of innovation had a part in winning us those projects.”
The SmartReality app allows users to point a tablet or smartphone mobile device at printed 2D construction plan files and view the corresponding 3D model of the project on their screen. The app is a way to bridge the gap between project design and visualization, as many owners, investors, and other project participants have a hard time visualizing a structure from a two-dimensional blueprint.
“We primarily build schools and the time portal created by SmartReality allows for anxious parents and students that will be attending the new school to visualize everything about their classroom, front desk, kitchen, cafeteria and media center before we complete the construction,” stated the President of Contract Construction, Greg Hughes.TURIS Systems, a BIM solutions provider, recently worked with Contract to use SmartReality for a pitch to a school board.
Since the unveiling of the Beta app, test users and the JBKnowledge mobile development team have released improvements to the app every month. The latest updates to both the iOS and Android apps include the ability to add animation, such as exploding detail of a layered wall in slow motion, and time dimensions, such as showing the progression of a building frame through the first few weeks of a project.
Anyone can download the free app, print out the provided demo targets, and try it out at no cost. Over a dozen Beta users have already been selected to upload their own construction projects and 3D models for use within the app. Later this year, the much anticipated official launch of the app will allow all users to upload targets (2D plans) and 3D models directly to the web portal and pay per project to have them paired for visualization on their mobile device.
James Benham will be speaking about his experience with Augmented Reality technology in AEC industry at the Augmented World Expo on May 29, 2014 in Santa Clara, California.
About JBKnowledge, Inc.
An information technology services and products provider, JBKnowledge specializes in enterprise applications and databases, electronic data interchange, strategy consulting, mobile solutions, and web development for the construction and insurance industries. Makers of the SmartBidNet, SmartCompliance and SmartReality cloud and mobile solutions, JBKnowledge is based in Bryan/College Station, TX, and serves construction clients on an international basis. Learn more at jbknowledge.com.