Google Glass is the newest reality enhancement tool that seems to be turning the world upside down. Despite all the privacy concerns, those 10,000 people who were lucky enough to be able to purchase the $1,500 headwear are developing and finding a few gems that run the gamut from a heads-up display that feeds you information about the visual environment at which you are looking to AR (Altered Reality) programs.
While an enhanced vision like the Terminator and RoboCop are what we seem to expect, the real results will be far beyond to where those fictional heads-up displays seem childish. Maybe something more like the AR headgear Geordi La Forge was seen using on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Inspiration is Everywhere!
An architect can get inspiration just by walking down the street in a big city and feast his or her eyes on the plethora of styles present. Even graffiti and wall paintings can inspire the creative processes.
Imagine walking down the street and being able to tell the height, volume of buildings and even angular distances between architectural features. Just imagine seeing the hidden neighborhood amenities pop up on your Google Glass. After all, if you are going to be designing a new building or even a remodel, you will want to get a sense of the area in which your creation will sit.
Here are some detailed views.
An Interface between Architects and Clients
Let’s say you are an architect and have been commissioned to work over a building that has an atrocious external wall painting. One of your ideas is to design another mural but the customer wants to see it before the approval. Just go to the site with your Google Glass and picture the building. Use an AR app and put your own artwork on the picture.
Before too long, you should be able to walk the client down the street with both of you wearing Google Glass and gaze at the building. By your command your artwork will appear on both the glasses and the customer can approve; you saved a lot of time and expense if your customer doesn’t like it.
Hands-Free Augmented Reality
AR apps are already available for smartphones that can plot building navigation paths to help you redesign office layouts. Soon they should be available for Google Glass. This may be the future of redesigning offices and even developments. Just walk around with Google Glass and immerse yourself and others in the architecture! You could see a better layout or even dictate notes on what you envision.
Do you have to design a bridge and wish to get some old-time inspiration? Today, you can put on your Google Glass and see information about a bridge, say the Brooklyn Bridge!
Tomorrow, you will be able to take measurements, analyze angles and curves, and even overlay your own changes and ideas for comparison. How about envisioning the Brooklyn Bridge in gold?
Building design can benefit from Altered Reality when coupled with Google Glass. Internal structures and architectural details can be overlaid right on the building.
Blueprints can even be presented over the building views for reference and consulting with the builders.
Enhancing Utility Services
Utility design, while not as glamorous as highrise skyscrapers, is necessary to provide creature comforts such as water, gas and electric. AR with Google Glass can allow design engineers to “look” underneath the street. The Bentley Colleague Blogs provide such a representation as to what the designer would see through the Glass.
Nicholas Jackson was one of many who tried to talk Google into giving him a chance to purchase Glass. Nicholas said he “would develop a way for construction workers to interact through Glass with 3D Building information models (BIM). They wouldn’t have to set down their tools to reference paper drawings or hand held BIM enabled devices and their real location would be referenced to the location in the drawing.”
The simulation he submitted above shows the plans (top) and the actual (bottom) facility.
So, as much as Google Glass may advance architecture and design, it has also been noted that the Glass needs some design improvement. More titanium and a better case is needed so it doesn’t go to the dogs.