clone:it Digitizes the Construction Industry with XR Streaming and AI

The construction industry is going through a time of transition, one in which digital innovations play an increasingly important role. Construction projects are planned and executed with the help of 3D models and virtual job sites, construction workers are equipped with wearables to monitor their health and safety, and construction processes are coordinated using digital tools. The Austrian startup clone:it is committed to using state-of-the-art technologies like Augmented Reality (AR), Hololight’s XR Streaming Hololight Stream and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to design more efficient and more sustainable work process for the construction industry. For example, XR Streaming enables the visualization of large and complex BIM data or point clouds on mobile devices, regardless of their size or complexity.

The Need to Digitize Reinforcement

When building reinforced concrete structures, it takes a great deal of time, materials, and labor to ensure that the rebar is able to provide the necessary reinforcement. The exact amount of time and effort this requires will depend on a variety of factors, such as the size and the type of structure, the loads it will be expected to support, and the local building codes. To assess the reinforcement, the project first needs to be drafted and modeled in 3D. The model is then used to create a 2D drawing, which is printed out and turned over to the contractor.

A reinforcement plan also includes a bar bending schedule. Then at the job site, the individual reinforcing bars must be correctly installed and checked, which requires the construction supervisor to perform a detailed inspection complete with an inspection report. Thus, before the concrete can be poured, an analogue, incredibly time and resource-intensive process has to be carried out.

Augmented Reality and AI Can Help

The solution offered by clone:it, in collaboration with XR specialists Hololight, aims to make it easier for site managers and supervisors to inspect reinforcement using contemporary smartphones and high-definition cameras. Their BIM-based tool for smartphones and tablets uses Augmented Reality visualization to allow for immediate comparison between plan and reality. Hololight’s integrated Hololight Stream XR Streaming component makes it possible to visualize even very large and complex BIM data or point clouds on mobile devices. The complete AR/VR application is executed on powerful local servers or in the cloud and streamed onto the mobile device. This ensures that confidential data remains within the secure IT environment and never ends up on the end device.

In addition, AI modules detect errors and recommend solutions, ensuring that all reinforcing bars are laid correctly. New information can be tagged and made visible for all users, thus providing state-of-the-art and easy-to-understand site documentation. The result is an inspection report that can be distributed to all parties at the job site. Automated reinforcement inspection saves time and money and can also be performed by less experienced personnel.

Implement Construction Projects Faster

Digitization and state-of-the-art technologies represent enormous potential for the construction industry to make processes more efficient, more secure, and more sustainable. The example of clone:it shows how Augmented Reality, XR Streaming, and Artificial Intelligence can be used to optimize and automate the reinforcing process. In the future, there will be more and more innovative, immersive solutions and applications that will make it possible to implement construction projects more quickly, more efficiently, and in a way that consumes fewer resources.