Bentley Takes 4D To Construction Sites With Synchro XR
Emily Pollock posted on February 25, 2019 |
Bentley’s SYNCHRO XR and Microsoft HoloLens 2 bring the benefits of mixed reality to construction sites. (Image courtesy of Bentley Systems)
Bentley’s SYNCHRO XR and Microsoft HoloLens 2 work together to let workers use AR on construction sites. (Image courtesy of Bentley Systems.)

Bentley has unveiled its new SYNCHRO XR: an augmented reality application that works with Microsoft's new Hololens 2 to help visualize construction sites.

Both the SYNCHRO XR and the Hololens were announced at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress. Together, Bentley's app and Microsoft's augmented reality (AR) device allow users look at a site's 3D data and time data in an immersive environment. according to Bentley. “Instead of using a 2D screen with a mouse and keyboard, the user can now walk around the model with their body and reach out and grab digital objects that appear to co-occupy physical reality," said Noah Eckhouse, senior vice president of Project Delivery for Bentley.  "This is a powerful way to review work that is completed and to prepare for upcoming work at the jobsite.”

Time is an important dimension in SYNCHRO XR; the Rehearsal tool lets users look at an animated simulation of planned site work. This "4D" model can be looked at on an immersive scale or a table scale, and multiple users can walk through it at the same time.

The platform also makes it easier to compare reality to the model. Users can "walk through" the model at 1.1 scale to compare details, record any differences directly into the model, and measure real-world objects using the AR tools provided. Any changes made to the model, or any new Task and Resource statuses are added directly to the SYNCHRO model once they're submitted, so that the team is all on the same page. 

The dual release of SYNCHRO and the new Hololens is part of Microsoft's Mixed Reality Partner Program, which provides training, technical assistance, and other resources to partners who want to collaborate on AR projects. "We’re excited to work with Bentley, a mixed reality partner, to provide the opportunity for customers to take advantage of the HoloLens 2 and SYNCHRO XR technology to experience a new dimension of creativity and teamwork for their AEC projects," said Alex Kipman, technical fellow of AI and mixed reality at Microsoft

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