Faith Tangara
Content Writer
The Future of the AEC Industry: Embracing Reality Capture Technology

The Future of the AEC Industry: Embracing Reality Capture Technology

The Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry is currently undergoing substantial changes due to advancements in reality capture technology. In a recent episode, Marco Herbst from Evercam and seasoned land surveyor Matthew Byrd, both of whom are at the forefront of reshaping the AEC landscape through reality capture, provided insights into both the present state and the future prospects of this technological advancement.
Evercam Reality Capture Platform

While reality capture is altering the industry’s landscape, achieving widespread acceptance remains a challenge. Nevertheless, the sector is progressively embracing reality capture tools due to their affordability, user-friendly interfaces, and real-time data capabilities. Companies like Evercam and Nexus Consulting are making strides to democratize knowledge and address industry-specific challenges. Consequently, reality capture is positioned to enhance efficiency, foster collaboration, and refine project planning within construction initiatives.

reality capture technology showing different angles of camera view

Leveraging Data for Efficiency

Historically, data acquisition took center stage in the AEC sector. However, the paradigm is shifting towards the effective utilization of collected data. Managing the substantial volume of generated data presents a challenge. Evercam and other pioneers in reality capture are diligently working to enhance the accessibility and user-friendliness of the technology. The recent pandemic highlighted the importance of streamlined supply chain management, and reality capture technologies are stepping up to enhance design precision and operational efficiency.

Empowering Skilled Labor through Knowledge Sharing

To address the skilled labour shortage, proactive initiatives are underway. Companies like Evercam are creating informative content and hosting podcasts to democratize understanding of reality capture technology. This empowerment of the AEC community not only improves productivity but also fosters innovation and enhances problem-solving capabilities.

reality capture technology empowering the construction industry

Real-Time Decision-Making: Enhancing Collaboration in the Face of Challenges

Historically, weather-related disruptions have posed persistent challenges to construction projects. However, reality capture technology is facilitating real-time decision-making, fostering improved team collaboration. By harnessing the capabilities of reality capture, the industry can significantly enhance its planning software and tools, ultimately leading to more reliable project execution.

people on the construction

Realizing Data’s Value and Overcoming Challenges

In the evolving landscape, real-time data is becoming increasingly integral to planning. The ability to predict future occurrences based on past actions gains paramount importance. While some firms grapple with quantifying the Return on Investment (ROI) associated with adopting reality capture, recognizing the value these technologies offer in averting design glitches and cost overruns is imperative. Embracing cross-platform compatibility, demonstrated by Evercam’s integration of data from diverse sources, empowers the sector with a comprehensive project overview, driving well-informed decisions and superior results.

Despite the potential of reality capture, obstacles remain, particularly within the AEC industry. A significant challenge is understanding the array of types and techniques employed, as well as the intricacies of data acquisition. Addressing these challenges necessitates focused efforts to educate professionals and bridge the knowledge gap for effective integration.

Crafting AEC’s Technological Future

Navigating the technological forefront of reality capture, we highlight a series of methods that are transforming AEC practices.

1. Construction Cameras and Advanced Analytics:

Beyond their primary function of recording, construction cameras have become indispensable analytical tools. These devices don’t merely offer visual documentation; their data is a rich source for project oversight and decision-making. As a result, stakeholders can gain better insights into construction progress, safety compliance, and more.

construction camera advanced reality capture technology

2. Precision through Laser Scanning:

Long known for its unparalleled accuracy, laser scanning is a key player in reality capture. Beyond its obvious application in providing precise measurements, its ability to share data and its crucial role in comprehensive building surveys have made it a preferred tool among professionals.

3. Soaring with Drones:

While drones have often been associated with aerial photography, a deeper look, as shown by the legal case involving Pix4D and DroneDeploy, reveals a broader role in reality capture. These flying devices offer unique perspectives, accessibility, and data collection capabilities that traditional methods can’t match.

Reality capture technology

4. Exploring Lidar’s Potential:

Distinct from drones, Lidar technology uses light detection and ranging to map environments. While its application is vast, spanning multiple industries, it’s especially notable for its detailed topographic surveys and its increasing importance in AEC.

5. 360-Degree Photos and AI Integration:

The integration of 360-degree photography with artificial intelligence is transforming visual data analysis. Platforms such as OpenSpace and Cupix exemplify this synergy, enabling richer, more informative visualizations. When combined with platforms like Procore Analytics, the depth and breadth of data analysis are significantly enhanced.

6. Surveying Enhanced with Total Stations:

Modern surveying has been greatly enhanced by total stations, which combine electronic distance measurement and theodolite functions. By merging traditional surveying techniques with the capabilities of reality capture technology, total stations offer an efficient and precise method of data collection.

7. Pioneering with Side Scan Sonar:

Few technologies have the ability to ‘illuminate’ the underwater world like side scan sonar. Using sound to map the depths, its applications range from underwater archaeology to geological studies. Notably, this technology played a significant role in exploring iconic sites like the Titanic wreckage.

Empowering Through the Reality Capture Network

The Reality Capture Network (RCN) stands as a transformative force, propelling education, collaboration, and community-building within the reality capture domain. Matt Bird’s dedicated efforts within RCN, evidenced through the conference, network, and podcast, significantly contribute to the industry’s advancement, guiding it towards an enlightened future.

Mapping Trajectories: AEC’s Fusion with Reality Capture

As the AEC industry navigates its course, the integration of reality capture emerges as a defining factor. Its potential implications are far-reaching, reshaping project execution, decision-making processes, and the very fabric of the built environment. The journey ahead involves collective endeavors, ongoing education, and technological breakthroughs, paving the way towards an intricately efficient and data-driven future.

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This blog is an extension of the BIM Heroes Podcast hosted by Cody Whitelock, a virtual construction manager at Barnhill Contracting in the US in conjunction with Evercam Construction Cameras. Tune in for more informative and interesting conversations on construction, digitization and technology adoption in the industry

Episode 2 of BIM Heroes is out now! Join us as we navigate the evolving landscape of construction technology and reality capture.

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