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Time for an augmented reality check

The University of Tasmania has offered a glimpse into the digital future of design and construction with a demonstration of the power of augmented reality to transform industry.

University researchers have teamed up with Fologram, an Australian start-up building AR software for the design and construction industry, to support and study the use of Hololens AR headsets by All Brick Tasmania on the Hobart Hospital site.

The collaboration, which includes the University, Brickworks Building Products, All Brick Tasmania and Fologram, was showcased in a live bricklaying exercise at the Tasmanian Architecture Awards at the Odeon Theatre on Saturday, 6 July.

The Hobart Hospital case study is part of a multidisciplinary research project in the University’s School of Environments, Technology and Design (TED) where researchers are working to understand better how advanced technologies, including AR, might impact business-as-usual practices in the Tasmanian design, manufacturing, and construction industries.

The joint research effort between the School of Architecture and Design, and Information and Communication Technologies, addresses both qualitative and technical concerns relating to the practical application of AR in these industries.

University of Tasmania Architecture lecturer Dr Mark Sawyer said that the team was especially interested in how new technologies affect the way people collaborate. The team is also conducting in-depth technical assessment and analysis of the use of Hololens headsets and software at the Hobart Hospital, including considerations of site optimisation, testing for tolerances and accuracy, and minimising material waste.

“The School of Architecture and Design headsets being used by the bricklayers working on the Hobart Hospital capture technical data during the build,” Dr Sawyer said.

Dr Sawyer said the University of Tasmania was an early adopter of AR technologies for visualisation and construction applications, and one of the first architecture schools in Australia to invest significantly in AR.

For more information about this project, contact

Published on: 15 Jul 2019 10:18am