Handheld AR system blends digital models with real-world environments

September 18, 2019 //By Rich Pell
Handheld AR system blends digital models with real-world environments
SaaS technology company Trimble (Sunnyvale, CA) has introduced an outdoor augmented reality (AR) solution that enables users to visualize 2D and 3D data on virtually any project site.

With the SiteVision system, says the company, users can visualize 2D and 3D data outdoors with cellular or internet connectivity for easier and more efficient planning, collaboration, and reporting. The system combines hardware and software in an integrated, lightweight handheld or pole-mounted solution that allows users to view 3D models and assets in a real-world environment at a 1:1 scale, from any angle or position.

"It's easier to understand complex ideas when we can see them in a real-world context," says Mark Nichols, general manager at Trimble. "SiteVision improves our understanding of projects and worksites with a handheld device that is accessible to a wide range of users. Augmented reality is now ready for everyday use in a wide range of applications."

The system consists of the following:

  • Hardware: The Trimble SiteVision Integrated Positioning System integrates the Trimble Catalyst DA1 Antenna, Electronic Distance Measurement (EDM) rangefinder and power management into a lightweight, handheld device that connects to a user-supplied Android mobile phone.
  • Software Subscription: Available to single users on a monthly or yearly basis. The SiteVision software subscription combines Trimble's high-accuracy positioning services and cloud-based processing technology to create a centimeter-accurate AR system. The system leverages Trimble cloud-based processing to manage and deliver data and design models.

SiteVision enables users to visualize digital models from a wide range of data collection, design, and constructible modeling tools in open industry-standard formats including IFC and LandXML. For civil projects, the system accurately visualizes data from the company's Quantm, Business Center, and Novapoint; design data from Civil 3D and Bentley OpenRoads; and GIS data from Esri ArcGIS software.

SiteVision powers Building Information Modeling (BIM) projects with open data from Trimble's Constructible BIM solutions including SketchUp and Tekla, and BIM data from Autodesk Revit and AutoCAD software. For utility companies, PLS-CADD power line design, Distribution Design Studio (DDS), and other industry-specific design data is also supported.

Using Trimble Connect cloud-based hosting, SiteVision can access

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