Tuesday, 08 November 2016 12:19

VIDEO: Hololens and Trimble bring architectural and design mixed reality to life


Don’t tremble as the growing rumble of augmented reality comes to life via Trimble and its Microsoft Hololens app to architects and designers.

Via its latest blog postMicrosoft’s GM for Hololens and Windows Experiences, Lorraine Bardeen, is celebrating ‘another important milestone in the Microsoft HoloLens and mixed reality journey.’

At Trimble’s own ‘Dimensions’ conference in Las Vegas, Bardeen stood alongside ‘Trimble CEO Steve Berglund and prominent architect Greg Lynn’ to introduce Trimble’s SketchUp Viewer, which is now available for purchase in the Windows Store.

Bardeen says this marks ‘the first extensible commercial HoloLens solution available in the Windows Store that any company in the Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operations (AECO) industries can buy and use right away.’

We are told that Trimble’s SketchUp is ‘widely used for 3D modelling and design by tens of millions of AECO professionals,’ and that the SketchUp Viewer app on HoloLens ‘adopts mixed reality and extends the value and investment already made in 3D modelling with SketchUp.’

It’s no stitch-up, but an augmented reality, as with this new solution, ‘Trimble is taking 3D modelling as part of the design and construction process further and into what they call experiential review.’

Bardeen explains that ‘SketchUp Viewer on HoloLens allows people to inhabit their designs in the most natural way possible – either as a holographic scale model on a tabletop, or through an immersive experience from within a digital building model.’

After all, the explanation continues that ‘viewing models in this way will enable designers to better understand the choices and tradeoffs in their projects, which can help shorten the cycle between design iterations. Perhaps most important, we believe experiential review will improve communication and collaboration across project stakeholders who participate in mixed reality experiences.’

Bardeen gives us some background, noting that ‘earlier this year, as part of the 2016 Venice Biennale architecture exhibition, Trimble and HoloLens partnered to enable architect Greg Lynn to use SketchUp Viewer to envision a drastic re-design of the Packard plant in Detroit that has been abandoned for half a century.’

‘SketchUp Viewer allowed Lynn to cost-effectively visualise and navigate a holographic representation of the Packard Plant from the convenience of his work space in Venice Beach, California.’

Lynn said: “Microsoft HoloLens and Trimble’s SketchUp Viewer have completely revolutionised the way I work.

“It actually changes the way you think about design and is an absolutely new way to experience architecture in a mode not previously possible.”

Bardeen proudly boasts that this is ‘just one example of the truly innovative work we and Trimble have already seen using SketchUp Viewer on HoloLens, including from some of the world’s largest commercial AEC companies like, AECOM, CallisonRTKL, Gensler and Hensel Phelps as well as other pioneering design and construction firms.’

Continuing her sales pitch to we blog readers and to future actual Hololens customers and users, Bardeen says that “through mixed reality on HoloLens, SketchUp Viewer brings complex architectural designs to life, providing an unmatched level of real-world scale, proportion and perspective. This technology enables higher quality decision making, collaboration, rapid iteration, incredible cost savings, and improved safety in just about every segment of architecture, engineering, construction and operations industries.”

“Architects, builders, designers, engineers and makers using SketchUp Viewer are the people who shape our world. We can’t wait to see how using SketchUp Viewer on HoloLens improves your design process,” Bardeen concludes.

Here’s the video:



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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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