Convergence: Augmented Reality & BIM & 3D - Who Will Be the Users?
If you are feeling bombarded by the latest and greatest for 3D visualization you are not alone. This week I was struck that news about augmented reality seems to be percolating again. I sensed a lull in the action in AR over the last few months but now both Layar and metaio reloaded with recent announcements. Layar announced their Layar Vision (watch the video below), an enhancement to their platform with more realism and metaio announced a conference on AR plus something called The Augmented City (watch the video below). (See the news on all recent AR announcements.)
In particular, watching the Augmented City demo by metaio I was trying to determine who their audience would be. The demo shows a more dynamic view of a modeled city with location-based advertising placement and other external stylizing of building facades. But I had to question if the technology was more for city managers or was it truly more consumer oriented.
In general, the buzz around building information models, that learns toward the integration of more internal building information, and LiDAR point clouds that render external building and road features with true location accuracy got me thinking about a convergence with AR and the intended audience.
The camps of architects and engineers, remote sensing geospatialists, and the augmented reality folks have pieces of the visualization puzzle that provide aspects of 3D that could, but don't have to, come together. But you should rightfully ask who the audience is for all of these visualization model types and are the products they produce useful to each. You see, we love our techno toys without realizing whether they are useful ... technology in search of a market, if you will. But these visualization tools are begging for convergence or integration. Whether they should or not is the question.
metaio's Augmented City