Mobile app fuses BIM and paper models
US firm JB Knowledge Technologies showcases SmartReality app combining augmented reality and construction
Report from – Jo Smit
As UK construction moves through the early stages of implementing building information modelling (BIM), a Chicago construction show this month featured a demonstration of a new app, SmartReality™, which promises to combine BIM models and paper plans. US company JB Knowledge Technologies, which worked with contractor Hoar Construction on the new product, is about to run trials of the Beta app.
James Benham, founder of JB Knowledge Technologies, said, “SmartReality is our view of what can happen when augmented reality and construction technology come together. We’ve seen a lot of theoretical augmented reality products out there, but this is an app we can use practically every day in construction. It’s a mobile app that enables the fusion of BIM files and paper plans to facilitate incredible levels of collaboration in the field and office.”
While focusing the camera on his iPad on a set of paper plans for a hospital, Benham showed how the app recognizes the building plan and overlays the corresponding 3D model. The user can manipulate the model on the device’s touch screen, zooming in and out or removing layers, like cladding, with a single tap. Using the app, multiple devices can view the model from each individual’s perspective at the same time. A video demonstration can be seen on the SmartReality website.