Bentley announces mixed-reality construction visualization app for HoloLens 2

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When Microsoft announced the HoloLens 2 at MWC in Barcelona, it showed off a hardware solution fine-tuned to appeal to business users over consumers. The company also announced this update alongside new hardware and software mixed-reality solutions from its most prominent enterprise partners, ensuring that the HoloLens 2 lands in a legitimate technological ecosystem.

Bentley Systems’ new SYNCHRO XR is one of these solutions, a mixed reality app designed for visualizing construction digital twins in 4D (3D + time) using the HoloLens 2. Bentley says SYNCHRO XR will allow its customers to use a gesture-driven interface to “plan, visualize, and experience construction sequencing.”

The new app exploits Bentley’s “connected data environment,” which was built using Microsoft’s Azure to ensure that all stakeholders have access to the latest project data in all Bentley applications. The company says it will give stakeholders—including construction managers, project schedulers, owner operators, and more—the ability to view pertinent data in 3D, over time, to better understand the project.

Menno de Jonge, the director of digital construction for the Royal BAM Group, says his firm has already tested the application during the construction of a large museum in Rotterdam. In an official statement, he had this to say about the experience: “The real need for a digital transformation in our industry is about avoiding rework at our construction site. Using this technology, we can easily visualize the construction schedule. Then, we can see if we are behind in schedule, we can flag any potential problems or issues, look into the problems, and get back on track.”

Noah Eckhouse, senior vice president of project delivery with Bentley Systems further explained that “users benefit from a new perspective on the design and a deeper, more immediate understanding of the work and project schedule. Instead of using a 2D screen with a mouse and keyboard, the user can now walk around the model with their body and reach out and grab digital objects that appear to co-occupy physical reality. “

For more information about the SYNCHRO app, see Bentley’s website here.

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SPAR 3D Editor Sean Higgins produces SPAR 3D's weekly newsletters for 3D-scanning professionals, and spar3d.com. Sean has previously worked as a technical writer, a researcher, a freelance technology writer, and an editor for various arts publications. He has degrees from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts and the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, where he studied the history of sound-recording technologies. Sean is a native of Maine and lives in Portland.

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