AECOM to Use Microsoft HoloLens around the World
Andrew Wheeler posted on June 15, 2016 |

AECOM is a global engineering powerhouse that brought in $18 billion in revenue in 2015, designing, building and operating complex infrastructure projects for governments, businesses and organizations in 150 different countries around the world. Trimble produces hardware and software solutions for an array of Earth-based industries, including agricultural, geospatial and transportation, with an emphasis on positioning, modeling, data analytics and connectivity. 

HoloLens has a new home around the world connecting AECOM design and engineering teams through Trimble’s Mixed-Reality Pilot Program. (Image courtesy of Microsoft.)
HoloLens has a new home around the world connecting AECOM design and engineering teams through Trimble’s Mixed-Reality Pilot Program. (Image courtesy of Microsoft.)

As you might have heard, Microsoft has released an augmented reality or “mixed-reality” headset called the Microsoft HoloLens. The lightweight headset uses a holographic operating system that layers digital holograms of 3D objects into its viewer, allowing you to see and interact with digital objects mixed together with normal physical data that your eyes see every day. 

These three companies are teaming up to bring augmented reality experiences to projects like the Serpentine Galleries’ architectural program, held annually in London. This year, the program will include four Summer Houses with complex and unusual structures that were completed with the aid of HoloLens, which was used for design review and general visualization.

Trimble has created an entire Mixed-Realty Pilot Program, which includes solutions that allow AECOM design and engineering teams to look at a complex 3D model interposed onto a desk or tabletop as if it were a physical representation of the digital data. With this digital representation of a 3D model, they can zoom all the way in to get a 1:1 perspective, which allows them to examine the structural framework as accurately as possible in digital form.

While viewing the 1:1 ratio of a 3D model can help design and engineering teams find and anticipate problems, Trimble’s solutions also allow the teams to log observations and plan as a group. The advantage is that AECOM 3D engineering can look at their giant infrastructure 3D models and explore these complex structures in a mixed-reality environment, which will help the teams speed up the design and iteration process. When it comes to the design review process, I can see how using Trimble and HoloLens could help AECOM accelerate design operations faster than viewing 2D drawings or 3D models on screen, especially given the fact that individual team members could immerse themselves in a holographic projection of a design simultaneously while in different locations. 

Through Trimble’s Mixed-Reality Pilot Program, AECOM is now testing HoloLens headsets in Denver, London and Hong Kong on different projects, so we’ll keep you updated on the effectiveness of HoloLens technology in design and engineering on a global industrial scale as the story develops. 


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