Engineers may soon be able to check bridges for cracks from the comfort of their offices thanks to a combination of full-scale Building Information Models (BIMs) and mixed-reality visualisation techniques being developed by the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with Trimble and Microsoft.
The new technologies will let engineers see fully textured infrastructure models while sitting at their desks wearing mixed-reality headsets and, if it is a new structure, to visit the site and view the structure through schedule-loaded BIMs to check on construction progress at a glance.
Images are captured by workers at the site, who take pictures of the structure using digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, and upload them to a cloud service. Engineers can view those images, which have been stitched together, while “walking” around it from every perspective using Microsoft’s HoloLens headset.
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